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Issue No. 286 21 October 2005  
E D I T O R I A L

Lord of the Lobster Legs
It was probably only shame that prompted the Prime Minister to drag himself away from a $250 per head fundraiser to meet with a group of emergency workers in Wollongong this week. But, this in itself may be a development.

F E A T U R E S

Interview: Under Fire
Michael Crosby outlines his agenda to save the movement – 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’s 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 ‘Dad’s Army’ theme song.

N E W S

 Family Grieves an Enterprise Worker

 All Quiet in Dandenong

 Hotline Gets Wires Crossed

 High Flyer Crashes Families

 Bolt Strikes Lecturer

 Good Heavens - Della Plays Santa

 Maori Take Challenge to Canberra

 Drips Fail Water Test

 Hardie Shuts the Door

 Hadgkiss Threatens Protesters

 Army Fires Salvo

 The Munro Doctrine

 IR Sparks Emergency Call

 Tassie Jobs Hit By Truck

 Canberra Coy on Promised Statements

 Inquiry to Speak No Evil

 Activist's What's On!

C O L U M N S

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

Postcard
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
Disaster
In which Whatsisname slams the recent poor form of Thingummyjig.

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

L E T T E R S
 Sacking For Dummies
 DIY Tool
 Thus Spake Sydney Uni
 Morgan’s Way
 Vote 1 Dictator
 Howard’s Choice
 Buying peace Of Mind
 Coolies Bullish
 Unfair ads
 Rev Kev Speaks
 Politicians
WHAT YOU CAN DO
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News

Drips Fail Water Test


Sydneysiders’ two-year battle to save their water supply is being ruined as billions of litres drain away while authorities sit on their hands.

Despite Utilities Minister Carl Scully announcing tough new water saving measures, maintenance workers have revealed that hundreds of reported leaks remain unfixed.

"This is just one tenth of the problem in Sydney. The ASU has been urging Sydney Water for months to employ at least 80 more maintenance workers to help deal with the massive backlog of leaks but it refuses," says ASU secretary, Sally McManus.

"In Sydney's northern suburbs, there are more than 100 reported but unfixed leaks and problems with pipes and valves.

Sydney Water maintenance workers are being overwhelmed by reports from the public of cracked and leaking pipes and need more resources to meet the demand, she said.

The latest catalogue of leakages have been documented since the Minister promised improvement, a month ago.

Sydney Water spokesperson Colin Judge said an internal investigation would now be conducted about delays in responding to leaks.

"All we can do is apologise and a thorough investigation is being carried out," he said.

However, McManus said Sydney Water has known for months, even years, about the delays and reasons for them.

"More than a million litres of drinking water has been lost from one pipe in the past week. Billions more litres from thousands of ageing pipes will be lost unless Sydney Water employs more staff to fix the problems.

"Sydney Water maintenance workers are frustrated that they continue to report the problems to Sydney Water once the public has alerted them to leaks, but the it continually fails to give them the authority to do the work," Ms McManus said.


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