||Issue No. 291||25 November 2005|
Interview: Public Defender
Legal: Craig's Story
Unions: Wrong Way, Go Back
Politics: Queue Jumping
History: Iron Heel
Economics: Waging War
International: Under Pressure
Poetry: Billy Negotiates An AWA
Review: A Pertinent Proposition
The Locker Room
Name and Shame
Unite and Fight
The Worker's Best Friend
Stop the Corporate Rot
Tough Men Back CFMEU
Bruce Bennedick and Evan Fraser, residents of a 24-hour care facility have personally thanked the CFMEU, and Unions NSW, for helping save their home.
Bennedick and Fraser made the trip to Labor Council from Lidcombe's Ferguson Lodge, which has been saved from demolition by pressure from the unions, including a CFMEU green ban that was supported by the Greens and the Labor Party.
"Unions are not recognised enough for the community support they give," says Bennedick who, along with Fraser has lived at Ferguson Lodge for the last 26 years. Bennedick, a quadriplegic with some arm function but no hand function, injured himself in a diving accident as a 21 year old in 1979, while Fraser became a quadriplegic when injured during a rugby union game.
Earlier this year, ParaQuad, the owner of Ferguson Lodge, announced it was redeveloping the land to build short term and respite care, a plan that would have caused the eviction of Ferguson's 24 long-term residents.
'They wanted to farm us out to community housing where we wouldn't get the 24/7 care we need," says Bennedick. "Some of us would have ended up in nursing homes."
However, community pressure led to the State government and ParaQuad brokering a deal under which government funding could be transferred to planned redevelopment provided long-term residents kept their accommodation.
"Without the Green Ban, the campaign advice and media contacts
provided by the CFMEU and supported by Unions NSW we would probably not have achieved this success," said Bennedick.
The CFMEU confirmed its green ban until a new purpose-built facility is delivered.
"They will be with us all the way," says Bennedick.
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