||Year End 2005|
Interview: Back to the Future
Unions: A Real Page Turner
Industrial: The Pin-Striped Union
International: Around The World In 365 Days
Legends: Terrific, Tommy
Your Rights At Work: Worth Fighting For
Politics: The Year That Was
Economics: Master and Servant Revisited
Culture: 2005: The Year of Living Repetitively
Bad Boss: The Bottom Ten
Religion: Hymns from a Different Song Sheet
The Locker Room
Waves of Destruction
Free to Rat
Tax Cuts and Cockroaches
Proportion, Not Distortion
The Westie Wing
This year promised to be challenging for the progressive side of politics - and it delivered in spades.
From the moment Howard emitted that weird maniacal chuckle after the Federal election and lied about using his newfound powers responsibly - we knew he had something pretty special in store for unions, workers, people on welfare, Medicare, Telstra, students, the environment, social spending and tax cuts for his mates.
And then he found a bit more - Sedition, Terrorism - presenting the new Australia to an International audience. Australia truly is a different country today than it was just a year ago, let alone 10 years.
But in all of this year's mayhem there are things to be thankful for, and the Labour movement can hold its head up high. Unions NSW affiliates have shown everyone they have evolved into a dynamic and relevant force in the 21st century.
The Iemma/Watkins Government, as with other Labor Governments across the land, has said from the start it will stand shoulder to shoulder with workers to see off these laws, and the Howard Government.
In 2006, the Iemma/Watkins Government will argue the Howard Government has exceeded its Constitutional reach.
At the same time, the Iemma/Watkins Government has received advice that about half the NSW public sector isn't covered by WorkChoices, unless the Coalition gains power in the State. And it has indicated it is looking to protect the remainder of the workforce from the zealotry of the conservatives.
I believe the highlight of 2005 was the industrial and political wings of the labour movement working together to produce the James Hardie Acts. To me, this is real Labor legislation.
The Federal ALP needs to step on the accelerator in 2006.
It's criminal and offensive to bribe people with tax cuts whilst watching over the decline of public services and infrastructure and an increasing number in our community wander the streets in need of food, clothing, shelter, care and support.
It's not Labor's game. The ALP exists to present a human alternative, not a bidding war with people who don't believe in the community.
In 2006, we can keep up the pressure by continuing to work together and highlight and expose the selfish agenda of the Conservatives.
To all those who are having a break over the New Year, enjoy it, you've earned it. I'm closing the office over January, but I look forward to building on the successes of 2005, and to working with each other through 2006.
If you require assistance accessing information from a NSW Government Department or a Minister, or have feedback and ideas for speeches, or if you believe you know an issue that should be looked at by one of the Parliamentary committees, contact me at Parliament House on (02) 9230 2052 or email [email protected].
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