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Issue No. 284 07 October 2005  

Age of Consent
After more than five years of debating, cajoling and at times pleading, NSW workers have secured a set of cyber work rights worth celebrating.


Interview: Under Fire
Michael Crosby outlines his agenda to save the movement ´┐Ż and explains why Australians have nothing to fear from the SEIU.

Politics: And the Winners Are ...
Wal King, Allan Moss, Roger Corbett, Chip Goodyear, Michael Chaney and David Murray have lots in common, writes Jim Marr.

Industrial: Un-Australian
Labour lawyer Clive Thompson argues the changes to IR are fundamentally at odds with the national tradition of consesensus.

Economics: The Common Wealth
As the policy wonks debate the future of our cities, Neale Towart mounts a simple argument: It´┐Żs the real people in a society, stupid

History: Walking for Justice
The Eight Hour Day, a very Australian celebration, had its origins in New Zealand it seems, writes Neale Towart.

International: Deja Vu
A group of trade unions have walked away from America's peak council, again. Labourstart's Eric Lee was there.

Legal: The Rights Stuff
Terror laws have sparked a fresh debate on a Bill of Rights - and workers have a bigger stake than ever before, writes Rachael Osman-Chin.

Review: That Cinderella Fella
Russell trades the phone for mitts in an inspiring cinematic slug-fest. Nathan Brown is ringside

Poetry: Is Howard Kidding?
Mel Cheal asks who Howard thinks he is kidding to the tune of the ´┐ŻDad´┐Żs Army´┐Ż theme song.


 Secret Policemen's Balls-Up

 Centrelink Breaches Cyber Law

 Examiner Pulps Cadet

 Food Truck Flattens Woman

 Will They Know It's Christmas?

 Death By Nestle

 Taskforce On Safety Charges

 Archbishop Preaches End Of Civilisation

 Union Drives Tassie Train

 PM Cold on Lunch Date

 Seafarers Scupper Sell Off

 Fraser Terror-fied

 Tribute to HT Lee

 Activist's What's On!


The Soapbox
No Place For A Woman!
Doreen Borrow spoke to the Public Service Association´┐Żs women´┐Żs conference in September about her experiences of working life that span seven decades.

North By Northwest
Phil Doyle returns from up north, where he survived on nothing but goodwill, good people and a great big orange bus.

The Locker Room
In which Whatsisname slams the recent poor form of Thingummyjig.

The Westie Wing
Our favourite MP, Ian West MLC, gets all casual in his latest missive from the Bear Pit.

 Rat´┐Żs Army
 Kev's Confusion
 Make Ads Not Law
 Nice One, Workers!
 Dog Eat Dog
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Archbishop Preaches End Of Civilisation

The Melbourne Anglican Archbishop, Peter Watson, says the Howard Government workplace laws will erode civilised standards, claiming work rights are based on ´┐Żbiblical principles´┐Ż.

"The Federal Government's industrial relations reforms have fuelled a fear in the community that the civilised standards we have grown used to in our modern industrial democratic society will be further eroded". Watson told the Melbourne Synod, the Anglican church's governing body for the state.

Watson called for "civilised standards" including "a proper balance of work, rest and recreation" to be protected.

"The principle of eight hours work, eight hours recreation and eight hours rest is a treasured hallmark of western civilisation and Australian society, and is based on the biblical principle that human beings have not been made to be productive, dehumanised units in the great machine of ever-increasing productivity," said Watson.

"Civilised society is not an extension of the corporate world. The corporate world should exist to serve the interests and well being of a caring society.

"Weekends and leisure time are not optional extras - they must be preserved for the well-being of individuals, families and the whole community - and ultimately therefore for the health of the economy.

Watson went on to say that matters involving unfair dismissals and adequate rates of pay were "matters of justice and equity about which Christian leaders cannot remain silent and will not remain silent".

"I discard the occasional comments from politicians who oppose the right of church leaders to speak on public issues when they don't like what they hear. The same politicians want our support and ask us to support them when it suits them."

"Families Last?"

This issue also came to prominence this week when the Howard Government brushed the requests of Family First Senator Steve Fielding to establish a Senate inquiry into overtime and penalty rate issues.

Senior Howard government ministers had hailed Fielding as a "fellow traveller" upon his election, but the senator's opposition to the sale of Telstra and concerns over new IR laws has seen the relationship between the Victorian senator and the Federal Government cool in recent months.

Workplace Relations Minister, Kevin Andrews, had originally committed to a Senate inquiry into his legislation, but later backtracked, saying it was a "matter for the Senate" after the Prime Minister, John Howard, and other Coalition members made it clear they did not support the idea.


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