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Issue No. 326 29 September 2006  
E D I T O R I A L
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

 Death Sites Under Construction

 Bank Pledge - Safe as Houses

 Brush Big Business: Keating

 Sydney the New Mumbai

 CFMEU Blocks Vets Sale

 Workers Go Cattle Class

 Pay for Work Scheme Floated

 Howard Blesses His Brethren

 Uni Flunks AWA Test

 Minchin Takes Back Door Route

 Solid Group Goes Grassroots

 Shrinking Act

 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
 Seditious Intention
 Botched Surgery
 Values Call
WHAT YOU CAN DO
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News

Minchin Takes Back Door Route


Government promises not to proceed with the privatisation of Medibank have been exposed as a sham, with leaked internal documents revealing back-door sale plans.

In a leaked e-mail, Medibank Private management has confirmed the existence of an team of Government appointed bankers, lawyers and spin doctors that will start stripping away the health insurer's not-for-profit status.

The Government had announced it would only sell in 2008, if it won the next federal election.

CPSU National Secretary Stephen Jones, speaking on behalf of the Save Medibank Alliance, described the back-door sale plans as "an absolute scandal".

"The Government's been caught red handed trying to sell Medibank on the sly," Jones said.

"If the sale is off the cards until after the next election, why strip Medibank's not-for-profit status now?"

The Government has already appointed advisers to assist with the sale. They are bankers, lawyers, accountants and communication experts, the leaked document states.

It goes on to reveal plans to strip the insurer's not-for-profit status, clearing the decks for a full sale.

"Although the actual float of Medibank on the stock exchange is not for some time, there are a few steps that need to happen before we can be listed... Medibank will be converted to a 'for profit' business," the memo states.

The leaked document contradicts comments made by Finance Minister Nick Minchin to AAP yesterday.

"It is likely that the conversion of the company to 'for profit' status, including amending the constitution, will occur in 2008, prior to the sale being concluded," he said.

All the secrecy and subterfuge concerning the proposed sale means a full-blooded public enquiry is essential, according to Stephen Jones.

Find out more on the campaign to save Medibank by visiting http://www.savemedibank.net.au


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