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Issue No. 294 10 February 2006  
E D I T O R I A L

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.

F E A T U R E S

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.

N E W S

 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!

C O L U M N S

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.

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

L E T T E R S
 The Best for the Best
 Belated Merry Whatmas?
 The Grinch Who Stole Christmas
 I Think Therefore I Scam
 A Taxing Answer
 Leslie John Turner
WHAT YOU CAN DO
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News

Howard Coy on Ad Orgy


The Howard Government is trying to keep the public in the dark about taxpayer-funded advertising for its workplace revamp by charging more than $5000 to release information.

Melbourne newspaper, The Age, has been told publication of correspondence between Minister Kevin Andrews and his department about the $55 million campaign "would not, on balance, be in the public interest" but it would still be made available if the paper stumped up $5158.

The Age appealed the Workplace Relations Department decision on the grounds that the documents were of public interest, particularly given the breadth of response to the legislation and the amount of public money spent.

The department rejected that appeal.

The Age had already revealed that the Prime Minister's office was intimately involved with the campaign, run by companies that handle Liberal Party election advertising.

Just four days before the ads went to air, last October, a Howard adviser informed departmental officials of inclusions the Prime Minister wanted in the campaign.

One possibility for the obstruction is that that Howard-sanctioned email appears to run counter to his government's decision to renege on a pledge to release a family impact statement on the legislation.

A spokesman from Minister Andrews' office refused to comment on the FOI application, saying it was a matter for the department.

The ACTU and federal ALP have criticised the veil of secrecy drawn over the advertising campaign.


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