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Issue No. 324 15 September 2006  
E D I T O R I A L

Democracy Rules
The hysterical response to the ACTU’s blueprint to restore industrial democracy to the Australian workplace only serves to underline what a brazen grab for employer privilege the Howard Government’s changes to IR really are.

F E A T U R E S

Interview: Australia’s Most Wanted
The ACCC is the latest state agency to turn its guns on the construction union. National official, Dave Noonan, discusses the implications.

Industrial: The Fox and the Contractor
With new laws looming for “independent contractors”, Foxtel subbies have had the carpet pulled from under their feet, writes Nathan Brown.

Unions: Industrial Wasteland
A group of inner-Sydney veterans appear to be working to strip their families of retirement incomes. Jim Marr records their desperation.

International: Two Bob's Worth
German and British workers are participating in business decisions while WorkChoices locks Australians out of the conversation, writes Anthony Forsyth.

Economics: National Interest
John Howard claimed that interest rates would always be lower under a Coalition government than under Labor, Neale Towart crunchess the numbers.

Environment: The Real Dinosaur
Economic ignorance remains at the top and the critics are oblivious says Sol Power

History: Only In Spain?
The experiences of self management during the Civil War have been the one positive factor to come from that tragic event, and the Mondragon Cooperative Corporation thrives today.

Review: Clerk Off
Nathan Brown draws solace from some fellow social misfits.

N E W S

 Medibank Sale "Critical"

 Broken Down and Packaged for Export

 Child's Play: New Low for Spooks

 Judge Lashes Building Laws

 Buy Gum and Masticate on "Associates"

 Bosses on the Barbie

 No Secrets On Union Agenda

 OWS: Better Never Than Late

 Youth Workers Beat AWAs

 Kiwis Demand Shelf Respect

 Meat Man Steaks Claim

 Heinemann Chooses Its Laws

 Air Safety Crashes

 Super-Size Me

 Less is More for Dixon

 Activist's What's On!

C O L U M N S

Legends
Westie Wing
MLC Ian West ventures beyond Macquarie St and into the desert of the eco rats.

The Soapbox
Testing Times
Former RLPA secretary and Newcastle Knights prop, Tony Butterfield, fires up over dawn raids.

Obituary
Dare to Win
The union movement has lost an inspirational leader of working men and women, writes Jeana Vithoulkas

Fiction
Tommy's Apprentice
Chapter Two - Tommy’s Tale.

L E T T E R S
 Tony Terrific
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News

Air Safety Crashes


Australia is sacrificing its world-first air safety record by putting trade dollars ahead of safety standards.

For the first time, planes will be able to operate in Australia without meeting our strict guidelines, under Mutual Recognition legislation passed by the federal government this week.

The move - which allows New Zealand-registered planes to fly into Australia and also operate domestic routes without being issued an Air Operator Certificate here - is bad news for pilots, air crews and passengers, warns Peter Somerville of the Australian and International Pilots Association.

"The federal government is setting off down the path of abandoning

Australia's world-best safety regime and allowing the importation of lower

international standards," Somerville says.

Transport Minster Warren Truss has dismissed differences in safety regimes between Australia and New Zealand as 'details'. But their significance shouldn't be understated, says Somerville.

New Zealand airlines don't require the same number of cabin staff as Australian carriers and allow for different take-off speeds and passenger thresholds.

The armed air marshals used on Australian planes to boost security are banned from New Zealand-registered planes.

The long-term impact of this development will be the continuing downgrading of aviation safety, says Somerville.

"Historically Australian aviation safety has been the best in the world, we have gone beyond minimum international standards.

"Operators are looking to compete on cost and you can bet your bottom dollar as soon as New Zealand-registered planes are operating here with cost advantages obtained through lower safety standards, Australian operators will want the same."

The Mutual Recognition Act stems from the Closer Economic Relations pact between Australia and New Zealand.

"It puts marginal improvements in economic relations ahead of air safety," says Somerville.


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