Analysis

Dave Noonan, the Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union’s construction division national secretary, has slammed the Australian Building and Construction Commission (ABCC) for “intimidating and bullying” workers.
On May 30, Labor’s industrial relations spokesperson Julia Gillard shocked many unionists when she announced at the National Press Club that a Rudd Labor government would retain the Australian Building and Construction Commission (ABCC) until January 31, 2010. This back flip comes a month after Labor decided, at its national conference, to abolish the hated body. ACTU president Sharan Burrow said she did not support the delay.
The Canadian-owned Barrick Gold Corporation, the world’s largest gold producer, is exploring, building and operating huge, open-pit goldmines on nearly every continent on the planet.
Therese Rein has done very nicely under the Coalition government — particularly since its 1996 decision to privatise the Commonwealth Employment Service and set up a private Job Network to steamroll the unemployed into often underpaid and unrewarding jobs. From humble beginnings in Brisbane in 1989, Rein has built up an international employment business with an annual turnover of $175 million. She should be a poster child for the benefits of the Coalition’s privatisation drive for business, except that she is also the wife of federal Labor leader Kevin Rudd.
The following is an abridged version of the Beyond Zero Emissions stationary energy plan for the state of Victoria. It is reprinted with permission from MATTHEW WRIGHT of Beyond Zero Emissions, a non-profit, volunteer-run campaign set up under Sustainable Energy Future Inc. The full version can be read at http://www.beyondzeroemissions.org.
Australia has long been known as one of the most wasteful countries in the world: per head of population we are second only to the US in the amount of waste we pile into landfills.
Just a week after Treasurer Peter Costello delivered the federal budget, which contained $31.5 billion in tax cuts over four years among other pre-election bribes, a Newspoll published in the May 15 Australian found that support for Labor had increased to 59% (on a two-party preferred basis) from 57% the previous month. Several other polls have since confirmed this trend.
The standard of health of Aborigines lags almost 100 years behind that of other Australians, according to the World Health Organisation.
The deepening of Australia’s drought- and global-warming-driven water crisis has thrown into sharp relief the historical and current inadequacy of the Liberal-Labor political establishment to put the needs of working people before those of big business.
The International Labour Organisation (ILO) could not be clearer: “The right to strike is one of the essential means available to workers and their organisations for the promotion and protection of their economic and social interests” (1983).

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