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Issue No. 332 10 November 2006  

Affairs of State
For those of us on the left of politics it’s been a week where there is more joy in thinking global rather than focussing on the local.


Interview: Common Ground
Nature Conservation Council director Cate Faehrmann on the fight against global warming and how unions and greens can learn from each other.

Industrial: A Low Act
The Low Paid. The Fair Pay Commission knows who pays them. We can do something about it as they will not.

Unions: The Number of the Least
Forget 666 - 457 is looming as the scariest number for Aussie workers and their families, Jim Marr writes.

Politics: The Smoking Gun
Hayek's henchman, Raplph Harris, goes to free market heaven, writes Evan Jones

Economics: Microcredit, Compulsory Superannuation and Inequality
They are supposed to ensure the wealth of well-being of individuals. Whats wrong with that? asks Neale Towart

Environment: Low Voltage
Nuclear Power and Prime Ministerial pronouncements are seriously short of a few volts, wrties Neal Towart

History: The Art of Social Justice
Tom Martin was a terrific cartoonist and part of a great tradition in labour movement history and culture, swrties Neale Towart.

Review: Work’s Unhealthy Appetite
It pays the bills – usually – but going to work should come with a warning, wrties Jackie Woods.

Culture: A Forgotten Poet
There is little information on the public record about the radical working class poet Ernest Antony, writes Rowan Cahill.


 Abrasive Giant Pinged on Sackings

 Offshoring Good for CV: Qantas

 Records of Convenience

 Construction Lives Going Cheap

 Suncorp in Dee Why Denial

 States Fall to Unions

 Bisshop Looking for Converts

 Guestworkers Off the Menu

 AAPT Hangs Up on Country Jobs

 Super Funds Fight Telstra Perks

 Taxing Times for Compo Cheat


The Soapbox
Robbo Goes Green
John Robertson's speech to the Walk Against Warming

The Westie Wing
Ian West takes a look at a former public institution and its contribution to NSW.

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Suncorp in Dee Why Denial

Suncorp is skiting about its role in a Dee Why development but playing Pontius Pilate when it comes to paying contractors for their work.

The insurance giant confirms its involvement via a bold billboard on the site but tells dudded contractors it is not responsible for paying the freight.

Several contractors are in the cart for millions of dollars because developer, BSB7, has struck financial problems.

Two of them, HD Projects and Safe Access Scaffolding, are at the centre of a noisy picket that has been running outside Suncorp's NSW head office all week.

"These two companies are owed nearly $200,000 for work they have completed," CFMEU organiser, Rob Kera, says.

"That's big money for these operators and, at least one of them, will lay off employees before Christmas if it doesn't get paid.

"We've been through the chain of responsibility and all trails lead back to Suncorp. At the end of the day, they are paying the bills.

"Morally, at least, Suncorp owes these people a lot of money."

The argument reignites a key CFMEU criticism of a contracting system that sees asset rich finance companies and property developers hiring lowest-cost operators.

Time after time, these people go broke, leaving subbies and, sometimes, their employees unpaid while principal beneficiaries wash their hands of the debts.

The insurance company's Queensland head office delivered unpaid contractors a "get lost" message, last Friday.

Kera says the picket will be extended from offices on the corner of Bridge and Pitt Streets, Sydney, to the project at 23 Howard Ave, Dee Why, next week.


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