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Issue No. 305 05 May 2006  

Contract With Australia
If WorkChoices is the legislative expression of the Howard Government’s ideological hatred of unions, the Independent Contractors Act is the product of an altogether more dangerous form of ideological zealotry.


Interview: Out of the Bedroom
Reverend Jim Wallis is leading a crusade to take the moral debate into the public arena.

Industrial: Cloak and Dagger
The Howard Government has begun a series of workshops to sell its WorkChoice vsision. Sean Ambrose sneaked through the doors for Workers Online.

Unions: Lockout!
Jim Comerford’s eyewitness account of the 15-month Lockout of 10,000 New South Wales miners in1929-1930 records the inside story of Australia’s most bloody and bitter industrial conflict

Legal: The Fantasy of Choice
Professor Ron McCallum argues the WorkChoices laws are built on a fundamental fiction.

Politics: Labor Pains
Labor has dealt itself out of the crucial workplace relations debate by failing to articulate a credible policy alternative to Howard’s new WorkChoices legislation, argues Mark Heearn and Grant Michelson

Economics: Economics and the Public Purpose
Evan Jones pays tribute to John Kenneth Galbraith, a big man who never stopped arguing that economics should serve the public good, not create public squalor.

Corporate: House of Horrors
Anthony Keenan takes a tour of Sydney’s notorious, Asbestos House, courtesy of Gideon Haig.

History: Clash Of Cultures
Neale Towart with a new take on Mayday through the words of a punk icon

International: Childs Play
An ILO report into Child Labour shows some progress is being made to curb this gobal scurge .

Culture: Folk You Mate!
Phil Doyle dodges Morris Dancers to find signs of Working Life at the National Folk Festival in Canberra over the Easter Weekend.

Review: Last Holeproof Hero
Finally, a superhero who has worked out how to wear his underpants. Nathan Brown ogles V for Vendetta


 Andrews Axes Safety

 Plant Fission for Cost Savings

 Spotless Bosses Blame Howard

 Aussie Bushman Pronounced Dead

 Who's Smirking Now?

 Yellow Bosses See Red

 Amber Light on Howard's Way

 Secret Police Spook Mum

 Wally Pollies Set for Cracker

 Qantas to Parachute In Pilots

 Unmask the Puppeteers, Union Demands

 Cleaners Mop Up

 Cane Toads Hop Into Johnny

 King of Onkaparinga Cries Poor

 Activist's What's On!


The Soapbox
Albo's Meltdown
Labor's environment spokesman Antony Albanese argues that Chrernobyl is one reason why the ALP should stand firm on nuclear.

The Locker Room
A Sort Of Homecoming
Phil Doyle plays to the whistle.

The Westie Wing
Our favourite MP, Ian West reports from Macquarie Street on some strange collective acction.

 Restaurant a Rip Off
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Activist's What's On!

SEDITIOUS INTENT Short Film Collection

Online now at

Seventeen short films - some sad, some funny, some gentle, some illuminating - from the slick to the raw and edgy, ranging from fiction, faction, animation, claymation, subverts to adverts - they make up the exciting web-based SEDITIOUS INTENT short film collection site.

The collection is the result of a call to filmmakers across the country to "create a short film (from 30 secs - 5 mins) that responds in some way to the Australian Government's draconian new anti-terrorism laws".

When we initiated the project, we knew it wouldn't prevent the

anti-terror laws from being implemented. However, 'SEDITIOUS INTENT' is

aimed at keeping the discussion alive and enabling filmmakers to

participate in actions that provoke debate that leads to change.

We have partnered with EngageMedia(, a group distributing video stories about social justice and environmental issues in Australia, Southeast Asia and the Pacific. We are proud to be their first collection.

Rock the Block music festival Saturday May 6

The 'Rock the Block' Festival, on Saturday May 6, 2006, boasts 5 hours of non-stop music, from rock and hip-hop to acoustic and electronic pop, as well as the Blackscreen Indigeneous film-series.

The festival is being put on to raise money to refurbish a community dance studio at the Tony Mundine gym, and will play host to well known acts such as Wire MC and Andorra, as well as nationally recognised acts like Combat Wombat and Ozi Batla, from the Herd.

Other acts include Indigenous acoustic musician James Henry, Tribal Ashes, the Urban Guerillas, Jesse Morris and the Project and Gisele Scales.

The festival also includes the Australian Film Commission's Blackscreen film series, including a wonderful documentary on Sydney's original Black theatre, from the 70's, and a number of moving and beautifully shot recent productions, such as 'Green Bush' featuring David Page.

Rock the Block will kick off in Lawson St Redfern at 1pm, although people are encouraged to come a bit early if they want to grab some lunch before the music starts.

The festival is a family day with kid's entertainment provided, along with the music and films. Entry is by donation, with a discount drink and sausage ticket for those who donate.

Please contact Lani at the Aboriginal Housing Company on 9698 9249 or Joel Beasant at [email protected] for more information.

Rock the Block is an alcohol-free event.

Labor Tribune

You are invited to the launch meeting of Labor Tribune

Labor Tribune

[email protected]



Meredith Burgmann, MLC, president of the NSW upper house

Jack Mundey, environmental campaigner, former NSW secretary BLF

Andrew West, SMH Online columnist, political biographer, Fabian Society executive

Marcus Strom, editor Labor Tribune, secretary Summer Hill ALP

Tuesday May 16, 6.30pm

Mitchell Theatre

Sydney Mechanics' School of Arts

Level 1

280 Pitt Street, Sydney


National Peace Conference Invitation

Thursday, May 25, 7pm

Public Meeting, Storey Hall, RMIT, Swanston St, City

Saturday, May 27 Registration from 9am

Maritime Union of Australia, 46 Ireland St, West Melbourne

The conference seeks to foster better international connections and

develop a clearer coherent national strategy for peace. It will coincide

with tours by significant international players in the peace movement


Hassan J'umar: President of the Iraqi Oil Workers Union, Cindy Sheehan,

from Goldstar Families for Peace, USA. Sabah Jawad, Iraqi Democrats

Against Occupation. Dr Salam Islmail, From Doctors for Iraq, Muslim

Association of Britian and Stop the War Coalition.

Cost :

$50 for one or two delegates,

$20 (waged observer) $10 (unwaged observer)

Conference Dinner Saturday $20 waged, $15 unwaged

Contact the conference roganising committee on:

Phone: 0418 316 310

Email: [email protected]

Mail GPO Box 1473, Melbourne VIC 3001


Work, Industrial Relations and Popular Culture Conference

Monday 25 September 2006, Brisbane

Work and Industry Futures QUT, and the Department of Industrial Relations Griffith University are convening a one-day conference that explores

Work, Industrial Relations and Popular Culture.

David Pope, the cartoonist behind the Heinrich Hinze cartoons will be Keynote Speaker with his presentation -

"Is the pen mightier than s356? Cartoons and Work"


We welcome any paper that explores the manner in which popular culture is used by unions, management or policy makers or alternatively, how work and industrial relations is represented within popular culture.

Sub-themes for the conference include:

- Policy, Influence and Modern Mediums

- Which is Reality, Work or TV?

- Popular Music: Is it the End of the Working Class Man?

- Working in the Movies: What do we see?

- Popular Culture as a Teaching Tool.

Call for Papers.

Abstracts are due 14 July 2006

Full papers are due 11 September 2006

Location; Southbank, Brisbane.

The convenors would welcome participants to submit proposed titles earlier to assist in preparations. For further information please contact Keith Townsend ([email protected]) or David Peetz ([email protected])

Rekindling the Flames of Discontent: How the Labour and Folk Movements Work Together


The Brisbane Labour History Association is holding a Conference/Dinner/Concert on Saturday 23 September. This event will explore the historical relationship between the labour movement and the folk movement in Australia with a particular emphasis on Queensland.

Why? To celebrate the history of the interaction between the Folk and Labour movements, and promote its longevity.

When? Saturday 23 September. Conference from 1pm. Concert from 7pm.

Where? East Brisbane Bowls Club, Lytton Rd, East Brisbane, Next to Mowbray Park

It is still in the formative stages, but to date the following are confirmed:

1-5pm CONFERENCE (will include music with the presentations):

Doug Eaton on John Manifold & the Communist Arts Group in Brisbane, Brisbane Realists

Bob & Margaret Fagan on Sydney Realist Writers

Mark Gregory on trade union & labour songs/music, nationally/internationally

Lachlan & Sue on international perspectives

5 - 7pm Drinks followed by DINNER

7 - 11pm CONCERT

Combined Unions Choir

Bob and Margaret Fagan

Mark Gregory

Jumping Fences

For more information contact the BLHA President Greg Mallory on [email protected], or Secretary Ted Reithmuller on [email protected], or Dale Jacobsen on [email protected]


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