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Issue No. 294 10 February 2006  

Total Impact
The long hot summer, the calm before the storm, is finally passed; and as March 1 approaches the new world of work is looming and the extent of the attack on organised labour is becoming clear.


Interview: Court's in Session
As the silks line up to challenge WorkChoices, Jeff Shaw is fighting for his own legacy - the NSW IR system.

Industrial: Whose Choices?
The Howard Government's WorkChoices legislation has been dissected by lawyers and the commentariat; now it's the turn of political economists.

Politics: Peter's Principles
Forget John Howard. The force behind WorkChoices is Peter Costello. The Prime Minister-in-waiting has devoted a lifetime to undermining the security and living standards of Australian families, Jim Marr reports.

Environment: TINA or Greener?
What does the greenhouse effect and legislation to control workers have in common, asks Neale Towart

History: Its Not Just Handshakes and Aprons
Power. They have it, we want it. Friendly societies tried to keep it for working people, writes Neale Towart

International: US Locks out Jose' Bove
The US Government has refused to allow France's most famous farmer Jose Bove into the country to address a conference

Education: No AWA - No Job
The Howard Government has given the Australian community its first view of the future by forcing new staff at Ballarat University to sign an Australian Workplace Agreement if they want a job, writes Jenny Macklin.

Culture: Jesus was a Long-Grass Man
The writings of a Middle Eastern theologian may provide guidance to those grappling with indigenous issues, writes Graham Ring

Review: Charlie the Serf
Nathan Brown takes the sledgehammer (and sickle) to Mr Wonka's Chocolate Factory.


 Capital Punishment on the Menu

 Della Builds Fortress NSW

 Unfair Sackings Face Challenge

 Slave Contractors Sprung

 Holden's Bad Deal for Adelaide

 ACCI Never Sleeps

 STOP PRESS: Guest Worker Plan Goes to Water

 Taking a Punt on Melbourne Cup

 Backlash on Job Cuts

 Howard Coy on Ad Orgy

 Newcastle Rails Against Contracts

 Union Man Eyes Cuts

 Free Enterprise Kills Hundreds

 Aussie Icon Moves to China

 Activist's What's On!


The Soapbox
Hitler in Bowral
Political censorship has made its wasy to the sleepy Southern Highlands, wrties Rowan Cahill.

The Locker Room
No Laughing Matter
Phil Doyle tries to take Australian sportspeople seriously, and fails.

The Westie Wing
Ian West is mistakenly sent an advance copy of John Winston Howard’s Little Blue Book of Australian History…

 The Best for the Best
 Belated Merry Whatmas?
 The Grinch Who Stole Christmas
 I Think Therefore I Scam
 A Taxing Answer
 Leslie John Turner
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Della Builds Fortress NSW

The NSW Government is devising a plan to protect state workers from a hostile Canberra takeover as the union movement braces for the WorkChoices assault.

As the High Court commenced hearing a challenge to the constitutionality of the laws and the CFMEU bedded down a collective deal with a key industry player, IR minister John Della Bosca, was finalising plans for 'Fortress NSW'.

The basis of the plan is a broad series of administrative, regulatory and legislative measures that will maintain coverage for the bulk of the NSW public sector.

"Unlike the NSW Opposition, a Iemma Labor government will not jeopardise vital frontline services by condemning nurses, police, fire fighters and other personnel to the Commonwealth's unfair and conflict-ridden workplace model, " Della Bosca says.

The work is being done parallel to the High Court challenge to the laws, which commenced hearings this week.

The High Court ruled it has the jurisdiction to hear the challenges launched by the governments of NSW, Western Australia, South Australia and Queensland. Tasmania and Victoria attended, although they have yet to file.

The matter will be heard by the full bench of the High Court from 8-12 May 2006. A further directions hearing is scheduled for 9 March.

Big Builder Goes Union

Meanwhile, the CFMEU has reached an agreement with one of Australia's largest construction companies that will protect its workers

Bovis Lend Lease, has struck a collective agreement with the CFMEU that will provide certainty and security on construction projects across Australia for the next three years.

CFMEU national secretary construction division John Sutton says the Joint Development Agreement will provide security of wages and conditions of employment for employees of Bovis Lend lease.

Sutton says the agreement, endorsed by CFMEU members this week, showed that the industry was getting on with business, rather than being distracted by the federal government's anti-union witch-hunt.

The agreement allows for an increase in superannuation entitlements as well as consolidating a number of allowances to a base hourly rate and provides for a 13% increase.


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