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Issue No. 289 11 November 2005  
E D I T O R I A L

The Great Repression
In a rare outbreak of candour in Federal Parliament this week we have seen the Prime Minister admit the five-day week is going out the door and his leader of business, Tony Abbott, blow kisses across the House.

F E A T U R E S

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.

N E W S

 Nobody Expects the Construction Inquisition

 Howard in Redundancy Raid

 States Sidestep Wage Hurdle

 Catholics Bless Day of Action

 PacNat Bids to Railroad Future

 Feds Authorise Invasion

 Howard Censors Workers

 Sol Plays Dumb Card

 Boycott Hangs Over Hardie

 Directile Dysfunction

 Pirates Face Kofi Break

 Miners Donít Dig Safety Levy

 Keep the Spirit Alive

 Activist's What's On!

C O L U M N S

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 weíve been here before

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

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

L E T T E R S
 Just AWBul
 Convict Costello
 We're Just Serfin'
 Take Warning
 Smells Familiar
 Howard's Gas
 Andrews' Operandi
 To the Shredder
 Stop Violence
WHAT YOU CAN DO
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News

Miners Donít Dig Safety Levy


The Australian Industry Group is whinging about a state government move to stamp out death and injuries in NSWís $9 billion mining industry.

The NSW Government announced, last week, it would levy the industry to implement the recommendations of the Wran review into mine safety.

CFMEU national mining secretary Tony Maher said there would be no argument from the community over the levy, which will raise up to $13 million a year.

"People know the mining companies are making a fortune," Maher said.

"It's better that money is coming from the mining companies because no one wants to see it come out of schools and hospitals."

But the Australian Industry Group said the proposal would create excessive red tape.

"Stiff regulation does not necessary translate to safety," NSW director Mark Goodsell told the Australian Financial Review on Monday.

The Wran review was launched after the NSW Industrial Relations Commission found two mining companies, two managers and a mine surveyor guilty of charges that arose from the 1996 Gretley disaster, which killed four miners.

Key recommendations from the inquiry include:

the establishment of a special board of inquiry which will oversee the enforcement of government safety policy;

a stronger Mine Safety Advisory Council;

an independent expert examine working hours and fatigue in the industry.

NSW Mineral Resources Minister Ian MacDonald said the levy would bring mining into line with other industries in the state, all of which pay for their own safety regulations.

Maher said he was particularly pleased about the board of inquiry.

"What we have is the government setting up of an inquiry to monitor its own performance," he said.


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