|Issue No 49||07 April 2000|
Reith's Day in the Dock Draws Near
By Zoe Reynolds
Maritime Unions of Australia members are celebrating a court ruling against the Howard Government on the second anniversary of the Patrick dispute.
National Secretary John Coombs has applauded the Federal Court decision rejecting a government application to withhold secret waterfront documents from public scrutiny.
"The timing could not be better," said Mr Coombs. "The decision comes on the eve of the second anniversary of the Patrick dispute (April 7, 1998). We are now one step closer to learning what role Peter Reith played behind the scenes of the Dubai training debacle and the waterfront dispute. The people behind the balaclavas may yet berevealed."
Federal Labor MP Lindsay Tanner, filed affidavits in the Federal Court last year for the release of government consultancy reports denied under two Freedom of information applications.
Justice Marshall who is sitting in judgement of the case, yesterday rejected an application by departmental head Peter Shergold, as delegate of Peter Reith, that "disclosure of the documents would be contrary to the public interest". If successful this would have prevented Mr Tanner's Freedom of Information appeal proceeding.
The secret reports, which cost taxpayers more than $1 million, were provided to Mr Reith and the then Minister for Transport John Sharp in 1997 by Dr Stephen Webster, ACIL Economics, Minter Ellison and others. They are believed to contain strategic advice to the ministers and the government on how to provoke a waterfront dispute and the mass sackings of MUA members.
Interview: Rebuilding from the Rubble
Ramona Mitussis, APHEDA's co-ordinator in East Timor reports on how Australian workers are contributing to rebuilding a nation.
East Timor: UN Poseurs Delay Reconstruction
Returning to the Dili compound where he spent five days under siege, HT Lee finds an aid bureacracy out of control.
Unions: The Last Bank in Minto
"It's a busy branch", Carol Davison insists, watching the crowd gather around the Commonwealth Bank branch at Minto Mall. By the time you read this, the branch will be another empty shopfront, stripped of its fittings, with junk mail starting to accumulate under the front door.
International: Workers of the World Unite
ILO Director-General Juan Somavia's keynote address to the ICFTU Congress in Durban, South Africa this week.
Olympics: Strange Tenants
Rentwatchers lifts the lid on the legacy the 2000 Games will leave on Sydney's tenants.
Politics: The Loneliness Crisis
Lindsay Tanner looks at the politics of the soul that form the backdrop of many of our social ills.
History: Songs of Solidarity
Visiting US labour acadmeic John Lund has found a new way to digest history - he commits workers' struggles to song.
Satire: Seven Launches 'Popstars' Spin-off
On the heels of Popstars comes a new show taking five minor celebrities and turning them into normal people
Review: Keating's Engagement
Whether it's analysis or self-justification, Paul Keating's new book is an engaging read.
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