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Issue No. 325 22 September 2006  

A Values Call
Opposition leader Kim Beazley has copped a bit of flak in the past week for his Aussie Values Pledge, but we reckon he got it at least half right.


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.


 From Comrades to CUBs

 Workers Demand Right to Know

 Flying Kangaroo Eyes Passage to India

 It’s A Secret: Ballot Boosts ABC Campaign

 Brake WorkChoices, NSW Urged

 City or the Bush? It’s Telstra’s Call

 Compo Rights a Burning Issue

 2500 Get Coles Shoulder

 Hardie Payrise Stiffs Victims

 WorkChoices Reverse Somersault with Pike

 Qantas Workers Ground AWAs

 Latest Import: Childcare Workers

 Let Tem Eat Cake!

 Mugabe Thugs Mug Unionists


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.

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

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

 Fair Crack
 Aussie Values DOA
 It’s Not Cricket
 Kim’s New Platforms
 Reaping What You Sow
 Roll Out the Tanks
 Auntie Hijacked
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Compo Rights a Burning Issue

While NSW politicians can choose to ignore the impact of their controversial changes to compensation laws, former factory worker Dushan does not have that luxury.

In June 2003, the fireworks factory he worked in erupted as the machine he was operating caused gun powder to ignite, setting off a chain of powerful explosions.

Dushan woke from a coma two weeks later with third degree burns to over 70% of his body and an uncertain future with the possibility of never being able to work again.

He also woke to the reality that exists in NSW where he is unable to sue for damages, due to changes to compensation laws introduced by the state Government over the last six years.

The controversial changes were met with strong opposition at the time from Unions NSW and the wider union movement.

The resulting campaign included a mass union meeting that broke all previous records and culminated in a firey picket outside State Parliament in June 2001.

Now a new campaign is being mounted in the lead up to the March 2007 state election to restore personal injury compensation rights that were stripped away under the guise of tort reform.

Named A Fair Go For Injured People, the campaign has seen four peak legal bodies - the Law Society of NSW, NSW Bar Association, Law Council of Australia and Australian Lawyers' Alliance - join forces.

Their aim, according to NSW Bar Association President Michael Slattery is " to educate the public about the impact of the laws in the lead up to the March State election... with the ultimate aim of restore fairness to the system."

Individual stories, like that of Dushan, will be used to highlight the negative impact of the changes to personal injury laws.

Since the accident, Dushan has very little mobility in his upper body which has required constant operations to re-graft skin. Needing around the clock care, Dushan's wife had to quit her job to become his primary carer fulltime.

" Beacause of the accident I have lost everything," Dushan said.

Australian Lawyers Alliance President Richard Royle called the politicians to take notice.

"The Government must hear these voices and amend laws to bring fairness back to the system," he said.


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