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Issue No. 288 04 November 2005  

Terror Laws
It was poetic really, the WorkChoices legislation, all 1,000 plus pages of it, introduced into Federal Parliament this week under the cloak of terror.


Interview: Public Defender
The CPSU's Stephen Jones has confronted the Howard Government's IR agenda at close quarters.

Legal: Craig's Story
An inquest in western NSW is a cautionary tale of the use of AWAs, writes Ian Latham

Unions: Wrong Way, Go Back
The WorkChoice legislation sends Australia down the wrong economic road by smashing the instittutions that have made it strong, argues Greg Combet.

Industrial: WhatChoice?
The Howard Government has shown itself to be the master of illusion, writes Dr Anthony Forsyth

Politics: Queue Jumping
The changes to industrial laws, betray a new vision of Australian society, writes James Gallaway.

History: Iron Heel
Conservative governments using laws to take away basic civil rights. It's nothing new, writes Rowan Cahill

Economics: Waging War
When was the last time you heard an Australian politician talk about incomes policy, asks Matt Thistlethwaite

International: Under Pressure
The push for UN intervention in Burma is intensifying, following a report by Vaclav Havel and Bishop Desmond Tutu into slave labour.

Poetry: Billy Negotiates An AWA
More and more people are meeting Billy, the hero of page 15 of the WorkChoices booklet, including our resident bard, David Peetz

Review: A Pertinent Proposition
Nick Cave's "Australian western" touches on some themes still relevant today, Julianne Taverner writes.


 D-Day For Political Rights

 Bosses In Sack Race

 “Choice” By Decree

 Howard Barges Into Workplace

 Della Grounds Boeing

 Wal-Mart Sees the Light

 Libs Chicken Out

 Shame Ships Filch Fish

 Multis Line Up to Cheer

 Feds in Dock

 Santoro Waves Red Rag

 Activist's What's On!


The Soapbox
Men and Women of Australia
What makes a perfect speech? Michael Fullilove has scoured Australian history to find out.

The Locker Room
The Hungry Years
Phil Doyle gets the feeling we’ve been here before

From Little Things
Paul Kelly's song about the battle for land rights misses one important character, writes Graham Ring

The Westie Wing
Ian West takes a look at Public Private Partnerships, and wonders if we should all just drink rum…

 We're Next
 Australia, 2005
 Truth in Advertising
 Investment Advice
 What a Woman!
 It's Not Pretty
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Letters to the Editor


While the Federal Government is spending $20 million exthols the alleged virtues of its Industrial Relations "reforms" and an unknown amount on television, radio and newspaper advertisments asking those recieving Social Security payments to "support the system that supports you", I, a single male on a Disability Support Pension, considered myself fortunate to have secured part-time employment.

I dutifully "did the right thing", as espoused by these above mentioned public funded advertmisments, and reported my earnings - the princely sum of $15-60c for a half day's work - to Centrelink... and that is where my troubles began!

Despite the fact that Centrelink was duly notified on time and in the manner it had advised me to, the appropriate forms were not "actioned" as Centrelink later advised me. As a result, my Pension payment did not go into my bank on the usual day and my bank has charged me $45 because the necessary funds were not in the account to cover regular payments I had arranged to pay by direct debit.

Despite numerous calls to Centrelink and the assurances of Centrelink staff, four days later, my Disability Pension has still not been paid into my account and I am out of pocket - solely because I chose to "do the right thing"!

Yes... "support the system that supports you"... but I for one now have much greater sympathy for those that instead opt to "screw the sytem that screws you" and not report their meagre earnings to Centrelink - it certainly does not seem to pay - as doing the "right thing" obviously is not always the same as doing the "smart thing"!!

Jean-Luc deVere


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