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Issue No. 291 25 November 2005  

International Relations
Globalisation drags up all sorts of contradictions, none the least the attitude of nation states to international law, as show by events in Australia this week.


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.


 Senators Back Rorters' Charter

 Families Last in WorkChoices

 Howard Loses Poll Position

 Printers Stamp on Low Paid

 Tough Men Back CFMEU

 Kiwis Fly into Starbucks

 Vale John Ducker

 Iemma Drives Hardie Bargain

 Memberships on the increase

 Uni Union Shown The Door

 In a Flap Over Flu

 Job Cuts Threaten CBA's Bottom Line

 Blackouts as Bosses Cut Deep

 Barnaby's Choice

 Wal-Mart Exposed

 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…

 Demonise the Laws
 Name and Shame
 Unite and Fight
 The Worker's Best Friend
 What Choices?
 Stop the Corporate Rot
 The Telemarketeers
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Tough Men Back CFMEU

Two wheelchair-bound qualdriplegics have gone into bat for federal government's favourite scapegoat, the 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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