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  Issue No 64 Official Organ of LaborNet 28 July 2000  

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Satire

Murdoch Launches Bid for Under-9s Netball Team

Extracted from The Chaser

Sydney's lucrative junior league netball broadcasting market has been shaken by a bid by one of the world's most predatory entrepreneurs, Rupert Murdoch, to secure ownership of the most successful team in the league.

The Clontarf Nuggets, currently leading the league table by 9 points, look set to take yet another pennant this year, despite being dogged by injuries and allegations of steroid use by key goal attack, Jenny Reid.

The club has seen its share price depressed over the past 6 months despite strong growth in its merchandising and promotion budgets and the proposed launch of a website used to reach Nuggets supporters throughout the world.

'There's a lot of interest in the area, driven by the need to develop pay TV subscriber numbers in key markets such Abbey Street, Regent Street and Clontarf Road,' noted Macquarie Bank analyst, Gregory Simons. 'The Nuggets are a key asset in securing those customers.

News has chosen a clever time to strike, because the share price is flat because the market fears a likely slowdown in growing subscriber numbers outside its traditional suburban areas of Clontarf Junction and the three blocks west of North Sydney station. It's a classic Murdoch play.'

There was celebration last night at Clontarf Public School Hall where many initial investors have seen their stock rise from a pre-listing subscription price of 20 cents to over $6,000 since listing on the ASX. 'We're over the moon', said one shareholder, who preferred not to be identified. 'When we were deciding how to raise capital for the new uniforms, it was either the public float or a lucky dip. All I can say is, the investment bankers got it right. Woo Hoo!'

Not all shareholders are pleased at the prospect of a takeover by Murdoch. The Nuggets Supporters Association, formed at a rally today, dedicated itself to challenging this 'cynical attempt by an American billionaire to commercialise a grand Australian tradition.'

The NSA argues that, in any event, the offer grossly undervalues the stock. 'The poor showing in first quarter earnings was driven by poor sausage sizzle figures, on the back of poor spring weather', argues Brendan Thompson, 31, of Clontarf. 'The share price is temporarily depressed. With the approach of summer, we should expect to see an upward trend in sales of core service offerings, such as sausage-in-a-bun and cordial.' Parties opposed to the bid also point to current plans to move into high-margin e.commerce delivery systems, driving down production costs and raising revenue. Thompson described under-7's netball teams as having 'natural synergies' with the development of on-line services. 'With the Internet, we can cut out the middleman entirely. We expect savings to account for up to 30% of current costs. That's like 19 cents off every chocolate crackle sold on-line, instead of at the cake stall.'

Team manager, Hurbert Hurbert, was refusing to comment on the bid last night, preferring instead to focus on the last four games remaining this season. 'My players are concentrating on fitness, and ensuring that everyone remembers to bring their mouthguards on Saturday morning' said Hurbert. 'We're not interested in the stock-market bid, although lots of the parents are shareholders. We just want to get on and play netball.'


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*   Issue 64 contents

In this issue
Features
*  Interview: Greg Sword Unsheathed
The NUW national secretary is set to be endorsed as ALP Federal president next week. He talks about the relationship between the two wings of the labour movement.
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*  Unions: Phone Rage, Headaches and Stress
A comprehensive survey of the call centre industry conducted by the ASU has revealed an industry workplace culture dominated by excessive monitoring and stress.
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*  Economics: And the Winner Is .... Sydney?
Austrade chief economist Tim Harcourt looks at the export impact of the Sydney Olympics and asks if we'll win gold.
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*  International: Western Sahara: Referendum Or War?
A June UN referendum in Western Sahara could have provided the people of Western Sahara a chance to exercise their right to self-determination and independence. It didn't.
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*  History: The Union's Roots in Song
We look at some of the songs that kept working people going through their darkest hours.
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*  Media: Unchaining the ABC
The ALP needs to rethink our public institutions to determine how they might better deliver the ends for which they were originally established.
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*  Environment: Motorways Fail the Pollie Test
Our daily grind of congested roads, polluted air, and frustrated motorists is putting all and sundry to the test, and not least Liberal and Labor politicians.
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*  Satire: Murdoch Launches Bid for Under-9s Netball Team
Sydney's lucrative junior league netball broadcasting market has been shaken by a bid by one of the world's most predatory entrepreneurs, Rupert Murdoch, to secure ownership of the most successful team in the league.
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*  Review: Espionage a Trois
The Whitlams' brass section his teamed with some of the hippest cats in Sydney to make the sort of music you'll want to shoot baddies to.
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»  Doing It For The Love Of It
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»  Deadline to Vote in ARM Poll Approaches
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»  Grief Support for Workplace Tragedies
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»  Workers Invited to Mark Federation
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Columns
»  The Soapbox
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»  Sport
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»  Trades Hall
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»  Tool Shed
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Letters to the editor
»  Viva Eavesdropping Jonesy
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»  Globalisation and Maintaining Our Lifestyle
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»  Crappiest Music Feedback
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