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					                     REGISTERED BY AUSTRALIA POST PP 243184/00025

                                           VOL 67 s NO.5
                                           OCT/NOV 2001

Miners again support cancer kids as Greta Branxton
 Minor League raises $32,000 forCanTeen Charity

                                                                   oal mineworkers in the NSW Hunter Valley have again
                                                                   come to the aid of cancer kids, this time supporting a
                                                                   fund-raising initiative launched by Mount Thorley Lodge
                                                             Vice-President Noel Goodyer.

                                                             Noel’s involvement was originally sparked by his two young
                                                             sons aspirations to play rugby league in their local community of
                                                             Greta Branxton. The only problem was minor rugby league in
                                                             the community folded back in 1998.

                                                             Noel set about organising a committee of which he is now
                                                             Secretary. The committee’s first role was to raise awareness that
                                                             minor rugby league was alive again in the community and to do
                                                             this they chose to raise funds for CanTeen (The Australian
Noel Goodyer (on right) presenting a cheque for $30,000 to   Organisation for Young People Living with Cancer).
                                                             Noel became the coordinator for the 4th annual Charity Auction
                                                             in the community. In the previous three years these events
                                                             raised a total of $60,000 for the Mater Hospital Cancer Oncology
                                                             Unit. For the 4th year, the club set a target of $30,000 and to
                                                             help achieve this Noel volunteered to get his head shaved at the
                                                             Charity Bandanna Ball and with assistance from fellow
                                                             motorcycle riders he organised a poker run.

                                                             The highlight of the charity work was the motorcycle run which
                                                             was well received by the young children suffering from cancer,
                                                             some of who were there to greet the riders at Speers Point Park
                                                             on their arrival. They were thrilled to be able to be taken for
                                                             rides around the foreshore by the participants.

                                                             The total money raised from these events so far is in excess of
Noel’s $7,000-plus head shave.
                                                             $32,000 with Noel’s head shave alone raising $7,000 and still
                                                             rising from pledges. Most of this head shave money was
                                                             received from Northern District Lodges and Noel, on behalf of
                                                             CanTeen and the Greta Branxton Minor Rugby League, would
                                                             like to thank all who donated. In particular, Noel expresses
                                                             appreciation to the following Lodges for their support - Mount
                                                             Thorley, Warkworth, Liddell CHPP, Wambo Underground,
                                                             Wambo CHPP, Stratford, Cumnock, Drayton, Camberwell, South
                                                             Bulga and Cooranbong.

                                                             In addition to raising over $32,000 for the cancer kids, Noel is
                                                             also pleased to report that Greta Branxton Minor League fielded
                                                             10 teams in 2001 from ages 6 to 15 with the under-11s going on
                                                             to be joint premiers with Kurri Kurri.
                                                             A great effort for their first year back. Congratulations to Noel
Taking part in the motorcycle run.                           Goodyer and his team.
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      BHP mineworkers unity secures
      wins in new agreement
      F      ollowing the most protracted and
             bitter dispute in more than two
             decades at BHP’s Central
      Queensland coal operations, mineworkers
      have won important gains in new
                                                                consequently the
                                                                agreements at the
                                                                eight operations all
                                                                eventually expired.
      agreements covering seven mines and the                   This added to our
      Hay Point Coal Terminal.                                  unity of purpose
          The terms of the agreement were                       and determination
      ratified overwhelmingly with the rank                     to      strike      an
      and file at every operation endorsing                     agreement which
      them.                                                     would include the
          Queensland District President                         same benefits and
      Andrew Vickers told Common Cause that                     conditions for all
      the gains were due to “the solid unity and                workers and we On the march in Central Queensland earlier this year
      determination of the mineworkers and                      have succeeded in against BHP’s greed during the industrial dispute.
      their families and communities who                        that”.
      supported them all the way”.                                  Andrew told Common Cause that all the      contributions in the new agreement.
          In his report to the October Central                  seven mines are now all covered by one             Another important achievement has
      Council meeting, General President Tony                   agreement and the Hay Point Coal               been increased job security with the
      Maher described the BHP dispute as “the                   Terminal agreement is similar. “They all       agreement stipulating that permanent
      most significant dispute over wages and                   expire on the same date, so when we are        employees cannot be retrenched due to
      conditions for some time”.                                back into negotiations we will be doing        the use of contractors. Andrew Vickers
          The dispute is estimated to have cost                 it on a united front”.                         said that while the unions did not get all
      BHP around $200 million and involved                          Andrew said that the new agreement         they wanted on the use of contractors,
      mineworkers             from           the                provides from a wage increase of about         this is an important development.
      Goonyella/Riverside, Peak Downs, Saraji,                  15% over the three years. However, for             Andrew paid tribute to the BHP rank
      Norwich Park, Crinum, Gregory and                         some 400 workers at Goonyella/                 and file and their Lodge delegates.
      Blackwater mines along with the Hay                       Riverside, Saraji and Norwich Park the             “BHP threw everything at them and
      Point Coal Terminal.                                      news is even better. Under the old             they withstood it all. Backed by their
          Andrew Vickers told Common Cause                      agreements they were on different levels       families, the BHP mineworkers won the
      that some of the operations had been in                   but now they are all on the top single         support of the Central Queensland
      dispute over new enterprise agreements                    rate, which represents a wage increase for     communities who understood that this
      for two years.                                            them of up to 27%.                             was not just another industrial blue, but
          “BHP obviously decided to draw a line                     The workers have also won an increase      rather an issue with far reaching social
      in the sand with the unions and                           of $60 per week in superannuation              and economic consequences for the
        cover                                                                                                      Even as the terms of the agreement
                                                                                                               were being bedded down, BHP
        Election 2001 – At the crossroads: Your future, Your choice.                                           management continued to act in a
        Responsibility for election comment and material in this issue:                                        provocative manner using staff to carry
        Bruce Watson, General Secretary, CFMEU Mining and Energy Division,                                     out work normally done by mineworkers.
        Level 2, 15 Wentworth Ave, Sydney 2000                                                                     “It was sheer bloody-mindedness by
        Common Cause is published by Bruce Watson                                                              the company and they created a lot of ill-
        for the Mining and Energy Division of the Construction,                                                feeling that is going to take some time,
        Forestry, Mining and Energy Union (CFMEU),
                                                                                                               if ever, to overcome”, Andrew told
        Editor: Paddy Gorman.
        2nd floor, 15 Wentworth Ave, Sydney 2000.                              Designed & Printed by Breakout,
                                                                                                               Common Cause. “A lot will depend now
        Phone: (02) 9267 1035, Fax: (02) 9267 3198.                         19 Buckland St, Chippendale 2008.  on BHP’s ongoing attitude”.

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                        National Executive Statement
                              on Election 2001

              Howard or Costello
                     for another three years?

     T         he Howard Government’s bid for
               re-election is built on a campaign
               of fear and insecurity for the
     simple reason that is all it has to offer after
     almost six years in government. Quite
                                                       between the main parties, the Coalition
                                                       is in serious trouble. That is why Howard
                                                       and his team are attempting to create a
                                                       smokescreen by exploiting the refugee
                                                       crisis and the current international
                                                                                                      considered a potential threat to the
                                                                                                      nation’s security.
                                                                                                         So much for Howard’s national
                                                                                                      security record.

     simply, the people of Australia deserve           instability in the wake of the tragic events
     better than that.                                 of 11 September in the US.                     Why Howard targeted
         Our Union says that the Howard                    Howard hopes that by concentrating         mineworkers
     Government should be judged by its                on the politics of fear, public attention          Since it was first elected in early 1996,
     overall record in office. We urge our             will be sufficiently diverted from vital       the Howard Government has targeted our
     members and our communities to hold               domestic issues to allow his government        members in a bid to weaken and destroy
     the Howard Government to account for              to sneak back into office.                     the organised trade union movement.
     its actions over the past six years. We urge          The truth is that there is no difference   Indeed, when it came to framing its
     you to compare the contrasting policies           in Labor and the Coalition’s commitment        viciously anti-union Workplace Relations
     of the Labor Party to those of the                on either the refugees or the international    Act, Howard and Reith borrowed a top
     Coalition.                                        terrorism issues.                              Rio Tinto Executive, Mike Angwin, to
         In this issue of Common Cause we                  Indeed, on the refugee crisis, Labor has   help draft it.
     focus on the differences between the              a much more effective solution to dealing          Under these rotten industrial laws,
     Liberal/National Party Coalition and the          with the issue. It involves reaching           hundreds of our members have been
     ALP on what we believe are the main               agreement with Indonesia to stem the           victimised and sacked. Our Award wages
     issues confronting us - industrial relations,     flow of asylum seekers while at the same       have been frozen for up to 10 years. Vital
     job security, protection of workers               time creating an Australian Coastguard.        conditions and standards in our Awards
     entitlements, health, education, the                  Howard has so little respect in our        have been stripped back.
     further privatisation of vital community          region that the President of Indonesia             In fighting back, our Union has set
     services such as Telstra and Australia Post,      won’t even return his calls. And the           new records on the Picket Lines. At
     employment services, and the disgraceful          Howard Government will not support             Gordonstone, our members and their
     role of the banks in Australia.                   the creation of an Australian Coastguard       families stood solid for almost two years
         The contrast between what the                 because it might be manned by members          before being sold out by the Commission;
     Coalition stands for and what Labor is            of the Maritime Union.                         the Vickery Picket Line lasted a week
     offering is the real choice in this election.         Indeed, Howard’s hatred of the MUA         short of a year.
                                                       is so twisted that his government                  Rio Tinto created a Black List and
     The politics of fear                              amended laws to allow foreign crews to         victimised hundreds of our members. At
        John Howard and his spin doctors               replace Australian (MUA) crews to man          Blair Athol and at Hunter Valley No.1,
     know that if the people of Australia focus        ships on the Australian coastal trade. This    it took almost three years for our
     on the real issues and the real differences       is not allowed in the US because it is         victimised members to receive a verdict

     4 COMMON CAUSE s                  OCT/NOV 2001
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                                                                                                         Giudice        was      the     Howard
                                                                                                      Government’s only appointment for some
                                                                                                      years as the Commission was gradually
                                                                                                      demoralised and run down. Under the
                                                                                                      Workplace Relations Act, the
                                                                                                      Commission moved away from its
                                                                                                      traditional role of arbitrating on disputes
                                                                                                      that could not be settled through
                                                                                                      conciliation. Indeed, during the Hunter
                                                                                                      Valley No.1 case a Full Bench of the
                                                                                                      Commission over-ruled Justice Boulton’s
                                                                                                      decision to arbitrate and used law of the
                                                                                                      jungle terms like “all’s fair in love and
                                                                                                         The Howard Government showed its
                                                                                                      colours again earlier this year with the
                                                                                                      appointment of Telstra boss Rob
                                                                                                      Cartwright as a Senior Deputy-President
                                                                                                      of the Commission. While at Telstra,
                                                                                                      Cartwright had sent an e-mail
                                                                                                      encouraging Telstra managers to give
                                                                                                      preference to employees on individual
      On the Gordonstone Picket Line for almost two years.
                                                                                                      contracts. Last month, Telstra copped a
                                                                                                      $75,000 fine when the Federal Court
      of unfair dismissals. At Mount Thorley            “I think the industrial relations reform      found that Cartwright’s e-mail
      it took almost two years.                    has to continue and go further. We                 discriminated against Award-based
          All the suffering that these members     haven’t been able to implement all of our          employees in favour of staff on individual
      and their families have been forced to       changes because we’ve been blocked in              contracts.
      endure is because of Howard’s rotten         the Senate. And I think you can unleash               In a pre-election rush, Workplace
      industrial laws. The loss of seniority and   a lot more productivity in the Australian          Relations Minister Abbott moved to
      many other union rights have been            workforce if you can get less union power          further stack the Commission by
      presided over by Howard.                     and if we were able to encourage more              appointing five new conservatives to its
          Taking a leaf from Rio’s book, BHP       individual agreements. So, I’d say that’s          bench. If Howard is returned on 10
      launched its anti-union offensive in the     still a very big area of reform”.                  November, we can expect more of the
      Pilbara with ambitions to try it on in the                                                      same.
      coal industry. While BHP failed in the
      coal industry, it has wreaked havoc on       Nobbling the Umpire and
      mining communities in the Pilbara            stacking the Commission                            Your Future - Your Choice
      splitting the community and families.            To effectively attack workers rights               In this statement it is impossible to
          Despite the offensive launched by        and conditions, the Howard Government              outline the range and extent of the attacks
      Howard/Rio Tinto/BHP, they have not          knew it had to dramatically change                 on all our members. They have been many
      been able to break us, thanks to our         Australia’s century-old industrial culture.        and vicious. We forget them at our peril.
      members fighting determination and the       It had to nobble the Commission as an                  While we can look back in anger and
      resources we have poured into legal          independent body with powers to resolve            frustration at the shocking treatment of
      challenges to protect our interests.         industrial disputes through conciliation           our members, our families and our
          However, we should be under no           and arbitration.                                   communities        by     the     Howard
      illusions. If returned on 10 November,           The first thing it did was to appoint          Government, our focus needs to be on the
      Howard is determined to introduce even       Justice Giudice as the new President of            future. We urge all of you to take the time
      more repressive anti-union laws. Here is     the Commission. Giudice’s record spoke             to read through the issues covered in this
      what Federal Treasurer Peter Costello -      for itself. On numerous occasions he had           Common Cause. We are confident that in
      who has struck a deal with Howard to         represented Rio Tinto in its anti-union            doing so, we will bring the curtain down
      take over as Prime Minister halfway          offensive, including in the historic Weipa         on almost six years of the Howard
      through the next term - told the ABC         case in which Rio was found to have                Government.
      TV’s 7.30 Report on 11 October this year:    discriminated against union members.                   We deserve better.

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     Yallourn – AIRC loses any Remaining Credibility
              B Y G R E G H A R D Y – P R E S I D E N T L O Y YA N G P O W E R S TAT I O N L O D G E

      Y         allourn is situated about 130km
                east of Melbourne and it
                includes a 1450MW power
      station with a dedicated open-cut brown
      coal mine that supplies about 18 million
                                                    by the company, the business was hardly
                                                    affected by the five-week shutdown. The
                                                    newly-elected State Labor Government
                                                    intervened and brokered a deal, which
                                                    Yallourn pulled out of at the eleventh
                                                                                                   ballot. The stance taken by the company
                                                                                                   and backed by the AIRC was cop this or
                                                                                                   we will get even more in arbitration. It
                                                                                                   was a shocking proposal.
                                                                                                       Arbitration was then carried out over
      tonnes of coal to the station each year.      hour.                                          2001 resulting in a decision being handed
      The company, Yallourn Energy (Yallourn            By July 2000, the CFMEU was fed up         down in early September. The CFMEU
      Enemy to the locals), is currently majority   with Yallourn Energy’s stalling tactics and    had run an exemplary case though this
      owned by China Light & Power and              non negotiable position and commenced          stood for nothing when the Full Bench
      employs about 600 people.                     protected action. The company                  amazingly decided to ignore the volumes
         Negotiations for a new Enterprise          immediately dropped its application to         of evidence and essentially grant Yallourn
      Agreement started in May 1999, three-         terminate the existing agreement and           Energy the proposal that had been
      months prior to the nominal expiry date       instead applied to terminate the bargaining    rejected by the workforce. The AIRC in
      of the then existing agreement. Armed         period. This was eventually achieved in        effect awarded something that would have
      with a legal team, consultants (including     November 2000 despite The Age                  failed both the no disadvantage test and
      an ex-Commissioner) and media                 newspaper front-page report that exposed       the requirement for approval of a valid
      personnel, the management started with        Yallourn Energy’s hidden agenda. It was        majority of the employees. The three-year
      a non-negotiable position that included       an alternative mine plan that had never        MX Award was eventually handed down
      a draft EB and seven principles, which        been revealed during negotiations or the       on 12 October 2001 and strips away most
      became known as the seven deadly sins.        termination case. It basically included mass   conditions.
         It was clear from the start that it was    sackings and the contracting out of the            This is not the end of the dispute
      to be the company’s way or no way. The        mine with catastrophic job losses of about     however, merely the start of a new phase.
      unions soon found themselves in the           200 of 262 mineworkers. This did not           Yallourn Energy are working hard to
      AIRC in conciliation processes where          include the 50 they wanted removed from        deunionise the workforce in a time when
      Yallourn was laying the foundation of         the power station as well. The CFMEU           it is more important than ever to be
      their master plan. They pretended to be       sought to have the termination case            part of a union. It has been one of the
      negotiating while they continued to           reopened to allow the new evidence to be       most litigious industrial disputes
      demand everything.                            heard but Commissioner Lewin refused to        ever seen in this country with many
         In November 1999, Yallourn applied         even allow a hearing on the matter.            court cases still in progress, including
      to terminate the enterprise agreement.            On 2 November 2000, in pure                writs and injunctions in the Federal and
      The Liberal’s IR Act was in full swing.       frustration and anger over the company’s       Supreme courts. One of these is a CFMEU
      The local CFMEU immediately went into         tactics and the biased nature of the laws      appeal against the termination of the
      fighting mode and started a ‘Jobs and         and the manner in which they had               bargaining period which will commence
      Community Campaign’ that included a           been applied, the region’s CFMEU               hearings in November 2001. Many issues
      fighting fund struck across the Latrobe       membership resolved the immediate              will undoubtedly wind up back in the
      Valley. The termination case was held         24-hour shutdown of the Latrobe Valley’s       AIRC.
      over the union’s head as a coercive tool in   three mines and three largest power                By contrast, over the past several
      negotiations. The workers would not           stations. The State saw sweeping               months, the CFMEU has been able to
      succumb to these underhanded tactics.         blackouts that evening.                        negotiate excellent enterprise agreements
         Later that summer, ahead of the                As a continuation of the termination       at Latrobe Valley’s other two major power
      CFMEU’s planned action, three                 of the bargaining period, conciliation was     industry sites without disputation. This
      maintenance unions took protected action      conducted in late November/December            clearly demonstrates that the problem is
      leading to power shortages and blackouts.     2000. Using an impending MX Award              not the workers or the union but rather
      As suspected, the company was well            as a coercive weapon, the AIRC and the         the attitude of the company. The workers
      prepared and with the Kennett Liberal         company got the union officials to agree       at Yallourn have in the past enjoyed these
      Government’s strike-breaking legislation      to a proposed settlement, which was later      same wages and conditions and would
      and some manipulative marketing ploys         voted down by the employees in a secret        gladly agree to either.

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      Strike three – Rio found guilty of victimisation at Mt Thorley
     F       or the third time this year, the
             Industrial Commission has found
             Rio Tinto guilty of victimisation,
      this time at its Mount Thorley mine in
      the NSW Hunter Valley.
                                               ruled that Rio had unfairly dismissed 82
                                               employees at Mount Thorley. This follows
                                               similar findings by the Commission that
                                               Rio had unfairly dismissed 108
                                               mineworkers at its Hunter Valley No.1
                                                                                              decisions and almost two years for the
                                                                                              Mount Thorley decision. While we are
                                                                                              delighted that Rio has been exposed, these
                                                                                              victimised mineworkers and their families
                                                                                              have suffered enormously. Let’s not forget,
         On 17 September, the Commission       mine in NSW and 16 mineworkers at its          that it was Howard’s rotten industrial
                                                              Blair Athol mine in             laws that gave the green light for Rio to
                                                              Central Queensland.             victimise mineworkers but even then the
                                                                  While our Union has         company went too far.
                                                              welcomed the three                  “Every time Rio has been put on trial
                                                              rulings, General President      for the treatment of its workers, it has
                                                              Tony Maher has been             been found guilty. At Mount Thorley, it
                                                              scathing in his attack on       is strike three against Rio and the
                                                              the time it has taken for       company should be ruled well out. We
                                                              Rio’s victimisation to          are now calling on Rio to end the suffering
                                                              have been exposed.              of all these mineworkers and their families
                                                                  “It took nearly three       and open the gates to them at Blair Athol,
                                                               years for the Blair Athol      Hunter Valley No.1 and Mount Thorley”,
      On the Picket Line at Mount Thorley in 1998.             and Hunter Valley miners       said Tony Maher.

      Powercoal mineworkers campaign against privatisation

     H            undreds of NSW mineworkers took their campaign
                  against the proposed privatisation of the State’s
                  Powercoal operations to Parliament House in Sydney
      on 18 September and received a commitment from the Carr
      Government that it would continue to negotiate the issue with
          Northern District Vice-President Peter Murray told Common
      Cause that the State Government’s preference is to privatise the
          “They have told us that they do not have the money necessary
      to invest in the future of the mines. We have told them that the    NSW Powercoal mineworkers on the march to Parliament
      publicly-owned mines had served the people of this State well in    House in Sydney.
      the past and they should continue to do so in the future”.
          Peter Murray said that the unions had won the support of the
      Caucus’s Energy Committee but when the union officials and
      Powercoal rank and file representatives arrived in Sydney, the
      Right in Caucus had mustered its numbers to defeat its Energy
      Committee’s recommendation that the Government should invest
      in the mines as a public asset.
          “We are locked in a stalemate at present but at least the
      Government has not pulled the pin, as the Liberals would have
      done. Public ownership of the Powercoal mines is State Labor
      policy and unless this is changed by ALP delegates at a State
      Conference we expect the Government to honour it.
          “In the meantime, we will continue to mobilise our forces and   CFMEU National Secretary John Maitland and Peter
      supporters in the community to protect the jobs of our members      Murray, who both addressed the protesting Powercoal
      and the interests of the NSW public”, Peter Murray told Common      mineworkers outside Parliament House. (Pictures by Merv
      Cause.                                                              Mahon),

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        Howard plan attacks job security,
      fails to protect employee entitlements
      T        he Federal Coalition’s industrial
               relations policy announced on
               12 October was an attack on
      the job security and employment
      rights of working people and failed to
                                                     to sack them without their full
                                                     entitlements,” Ms Burrow said.
                                                         “Mr Howard’s so-called ‘fair dismissal’
                                                     laws would make it easier to sack people
                                                     without regard to their basic rights,
                                                                                                       ACTU research on households where
                                                                                                   the principal source of income is wages
                                                                                                   had shown 285,000 households could not
                                                                                                   afford an annual holiday, 166,500 could
                                                                                                   not pay utility bills and 116,000 could
      protect their accrued entitlements, the        further undermining the job security and      not afford new clothes (Source: ABS, HES,
      ACTU said.                                     income security of working families”.         2000).
         ACTU President Sharan Burrow said               Independent analysis showed that Mr            “Mr Howard’s workplace policy
      the announcement by John Howard                Howard’s individual contracts (AWAs)          would make life even harder for low-paid
      confirmed that his employee entitlements       provided the lowest annual pay rises of       Australians and the growing number of
      scheme would short change sacked               any type of wage agreement, averaging         working families living in poverty.
      workers, often by tens of thousands of         2.4% compared to 3.9% for union               Working people need a Federal
      dollars each.                                  agreements. (Source: Agreements Database      Government that’s going to improve their
          “Mr Howard has already forced lower        and Monitor Report, June 2001, Australian     job security, guarantee 100% of their
      wages onto workers with individual             Centre for Industrial Relations Research      entitlements and protect their basic rights
      contracts. Now he wants to make it easier      and Training, University of Sydney).          at work,” Ms Burrow said.

              Howard’s tax cut for foreign CEOs
               while ignoring working families
      P       rime Minister John Howard’s
              promised election policies would
              deliver tax cuts to millionaire
      foreign business people while cutting the
      wages of young workers, according to the
                                                     is also planning to cut the wages of some
                                                     of the lowest paid workers in the
                                                     community - those aged under 21.”
                                                         An independent survey
                                                     by Britain’s Management
                                                                                                   he should cancel his promises to cut taxes
                                                                                                   for the rich and stop cutting wages for
                                                                                                   young people,” Ms Burrow said.

      ACTU.                                          Today shows Australian
         ACTU President Sharan Burrow said           Chief Executive Officers
      Mr Howard’s policies would widen the           (CEOs) are the third highest
      growing gap between rich and poor in           paid in the world, with
      Australia and ignored the needs of             income soaring by 73% in
      mainstream working people and their            the last two years to an
      families.                                      average $1.3 million, or
         Mr Howard has promised new                  $25,000 a week.
      personal tax benefits for foreign business          “How can John Howard
      people in Australia. While moving to           believe that anyone earning
      extend “youth wages” to more people            $25,000 a week needs a tax
      aged under 21.                                 cut,” said Ms Burrow.
          “It is grossly unfair to give tax relief         “The widening gap
      to business people earning millions of         between rich and poor
      dollars a year while ignoring the needs of     in our community is an
      working families struggling to keep up         offence against Australian
      with GST price rises on essential              traditions of fairness. If Mr
      household expenditure,” Ms Burrow said.        Howard is concerned about
          “To add insult to injury, Mr Howard        a fair go for working people

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           E l e c t i o n              2 0 0 1      –     Y o u r       F u t u r e          –     Y o u r          C h o i c e

      A message from Kim Beazley
     S      ince the last election, Labor’s
            political fortunes have gone up and
            down just as we knew they would.
          But none of us could have foreseen the
      shocking events, the tumultuous events
      of the last few weeks - the appalling acts
      of terrorism in New York and
      Washington were the most horrifying
      acts of terrorism in our lifetime.
          Here at home, there has been the
      collapse of one of our major airlines, with
      tens of thousands of jobs lost, and services
      to regional Australia massively disrupted
      and a crippling blow to the Australian
      tourism industry.
          Those two events have got many
      Australians thinking increasingly about
      their security - at home and abroad.
          That’s why I say, as we approach the       Federal Labor Leader Kim Beazley with General Secretary Bruce Watson (left)
      November 10 election, that’s what we           and General President Tony Maher.
      stand for in the Labor Party: security at
      home and security abroad.                      terrorism; the right security for our        living standards.
          Security abroad means the right            borders.                                         In the course of the last few weeks,
      defence and foreign policies; the right           Security at home means jobs,              we’ve seen massive job losses in the
      policies to guard against international        health and education and family              insurance industry, massive job losses in
                                                                                                  retail, massive job losses in aviation and
                                                                                                  tourism, and massive job losses in
                                                                                                      This has got nothing to do with the
                                                                                                  international economy. This has got
                                                                                                  everything to so with the management of
                                                                                                  the economy by the Howard/Costello
                                                                                                      This election will not just be about
                                                                                                  the last weeks before the election. It will
                                                                                                  be about the last five years - and the next
                                                                                                  three years.
                                                                                                      We will have in place the policies that
                                                                                                  will offer the antidote for what people
                                                                                                  have experienced in the reduction in their
                                                                                                  family’s living standard, the reduction in
                                                                                                  their health care, the reduction in
                                                                                                  employment opportunities, the reduction
                                                                                                  in quality public education.
                                                                                                      There are problems to fix, things to
                                                                                                  be done and, with your support, an
                                                                                                  election to be won.
      CFMEU National Secretary John Maitland with Federal Labor Leader Kim

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       A Fair Workplace for all workers
      J       ohn Howard’s laws mean that
              the principles of cooperation,
              consultation and arbitration are no
             longer the ones that govern our
          In their place, John Howard has
      established a harsh and divisive system
      described last year by Victorian Supreme
      Court Justice Nathan as “ritualised
      mayhem in which only the innocent are
          This is the legacy of five years under
      John Howard.                                      and can’t pay any of those                    which employers would be required to
          It is apparent that there are now             entitlements;                                 contribute to an insurance scheme to
      fundamental differences between the           •   Strengthen the independence,                  protect their employees’ entitlements in
      Coalition and Labor on industrial                 authority and resources of the                the event of insolvency.
      relations.                                        industrial umpire to keep the                    Rather than debate these Bills, the
          The gulf is now wider than it has been        industrial peace;                             Liberal and National parties have used
      for generations.                              •   Safeguard a strong award system to            their numbers to prevent the Parliament
          In short the objective of John                guarantee fair minimum standards,             from even considering them.
      Howard has been:                                  with awards and agreements properly              The great majority of employers
      • To sideline the Australian Industrial           enforced;                                     arrange to meet their liability for accrued
          Relations Commission so that it has       •   Ensure the bargaining system                  employees’ entitlements in the event of
          no effective role in the day-to-day           promotes fairness and efficiency in the       insolvency.
          conduct of industrial relations;              workplace;                                       There has been a succession of cases
      • To reduce both in real terms and            •   Prevent employers from using                  over recent years, however, in which
          absolute terms the minimum safety             unscrupulous practices to avoid their         companies becoming insolvent have not
          net for Australian workers;                   financial obligations to workers;             put aside sufficient assets to guarantee
      • To remove trade unions from the             •   Protect superannuation entitlements           their employees’ entitlements.
          bargaining process and dramatically           from theft and fraud, and require super          In most of these cases, employees have
          weaken their influence in industrial          payments to be made quarterly rather          been owed many thousands of dollars,
          relations and Australian society              than annually; and                            causing great hardship to them and to
          generally; and                            •   Bring Federal and State Governments           their families. Much of this hardship has
      • To force greater numbers of employers           together to minimise the cost and             occurred in regional and rural areas
          and employees onto individual                 trauma of injury to workers and               already suffering disproportionate
          contracts – Australian Workplace              industry.                                     economic and social disadvantage.
          Agreements.                                                                                    Through all of this, Labor’s plan has
          Labor has always been the Party of                                                          remained the most efficient, practical and
      secure jobs, secure living standards, and     Protecting Workers                                equitable way to protect employee
      secure livelihoods. Labor will restore a      Entitlements                                      entitlements.
      sense of security and decency to                 Labor has consistently argued for a               Labor’s policy is to require large
      Australia’s workplaces, and remove the        comprehensive national insurance                  employers to contribute to a national
      fear and anguish which has become the         scheme.                                           insurance scheme to protect their
      lot of working people under the Howard           Since 1996, Labor has sought to                employees’ entitlements.
      Government.                                   provide protection for employees’                    Labor estimates that a comprehensive
          Labor will:                               entitlements in a series of Private               scheme would cost businesses with more
      • Protect 100% of workers’ entitlements,      Member’s Bills.                                   than 20 employees no more than 0.1%
          if an employer goes out of business          These Bills proposed a system in               of payroll.

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          Most employers are required now to           A number of workplaces and some                This payment must be made by 28 July,
      pay Superannuation Guarantee payments         industries have already established               at the end of each financial year. This
      into the appropriate superannuation funds     satisfactory arrangements to protect              annual payment effectively allows some
      of their employees. This is a tried and       employee entitlements. Employers who              employers to make use of their employees’
      true system for collecting these funds.       offer an equivalent degree of protection          superannuation entitlements for up to 12
      Labor would require the additional            for employee entitlements will not be             months. The risk to employees’
      contribution from large employers to be       required to contribute to Labor’s scheme.         superannuation contributions in the event
      paid in the same way.                                                                           of the employer becoming insolvent is
          This payment would be passed on to                                                          obvious, with some employees likely to
      an accredited insurer who would offer the     Protecting Superannuation                         lose up to 12 months contributions if their
      insurance product. Employees in the               Given the growth of job insecurity            employer becomes insolvent.
      event of insolvency could make a claim        under the Howard Government, Labor                    Labor will require that Superannuation
      for their entitlements directly from the      believes Australian workers also deserve          Guarantee payments be made quarterly,
      insurer. The insurer would assess the         stronger      protection       of     their       rather than annually as at present.
      claim and make the payment through the        superannuation.                                       Regular superannuation contributions
      superannuation fund.                              Labor believes that current protections       payable on a monthly, bimonthly or
          There is precedent for this. Currently,   are not strong enough.            On the          quarterly basis have the added advantage
      many superannuation funds offer death         Government’s own admission, the value             of ensuring that employees’ retirement
      and disability insurance. These funds are     of employers’ Superannuation Guarantee            savings begin earning interest
      able to negotiate this form of insurance      payments that are outstanding is $76              immediately they enter members’
      with a third party provider on a group        million. The Australian Taxation Office           accounts and also provide immediate
      basis. This enables the funds to negotiate    received some 8,000 complaints regarding          access to death and disability insurance.
      the lowest possible premiums on behalf        Superannuation Guarantee compliance                   In October 2000, Labor moved a
      of their members. The third party enters      last year. It estimates that some 800             Private Member’s Bill to alter the
      into a contract with the trustees of the      employers paid no superannuation at all           minimum            requirement          for
      fund to provide death and disability          last year. In any effective entitlements          superannuation guarantee payments from
      insurance cover for fund members.             protection scheme, this issue must be             annual to quarterly.
          Employers with fewer than 20              dealt with.                                           The Howard Government refused to
      employees will be exempt from the                 Under the existing provisions of the          debate the Bill and it lapsed. Labor
      additional payment, with the Federal          Superannuation                  Guarantee         persistently listed this Bill before the
      Government assuming responsibility for        Administration Act, employers are                 calling of the election.
      covering their employees.                     required to make only one                             Most employers already pay more often
          Taxpayers will thus be required only      Superannuation Guarantee contribution             than once a year, many paying every
      to cover the employees of small business.     on behalf of their employees per year.            quarter or even every month. They should
                                                                                                      not be at a competitive disadvantage to
                                                                                                      the few employers who do not pay their
                                                                                                      employees’        superannuation         so
                                                                                                      conscientiously or even at all.
                                                                                                          Labor will maintain the system in
                                                                                                      which 100% protection from theft and
                                                                                                      fraud is given to superannuation savings
                                                                                                      rather than undermining it as the Howard
                                                                                                      Government has sought to do.

                                                                                                      Improving Corporate
                                                                                                         Any scheme to protect employee
                                                                                                      entitlements, no matter how well
                                                                                                      planned, will be undermined as long as
                                                                                                      the law allows company directors to avoid

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     their responsibilities as they have in        A strong and independent                         of employees are fairly and properly
     several cases in which employees of           Industrial Umpire                                protected. It will have the authority and
     insolvent companies have been denied                                                           resources to establish comprehensive and
     their due entitlements.                          Labor, like most Australians, values          effective award coverage and to deal with
        The most scandalous of these               and respects the role of the Australian          pay equity and other issues of
     manoeuvres was the attempt by Patrick         Industrial Relations Commission as an            disadvantage in the workplace.
     Stevedores – during the Howard                agent of fairness and decency in the                 Labor will reduce the current excessive
     Government’s waterfront confrontation         workplace, helping to prevent and settle         legalism and prohibitive cost barriers that
     – to sack its workforce by shifting it into   disputes, ensuring proper standards of           confront people when they try to gain
     a shelf company.                              conduct and maintaining decent                   access to their rights.
        Labor believes that the courts should      minimum standards as a central feature               Industrial matters will be removed
     be authorised to retrieve workers’            of the Australian industrial system for          from the Trade Practices Act and will
     entitlements from related companies           nearly 100 years.                                instead be included in industrial
     in corporate structures where asset              Labor will restore the role, capacity         legislation to be consistent with the
     stripping or similar manoeuvres leave         and independence of the Commission so            strengthened role of the Industrial
     workers employed by a part of the             that peace is kept and justice done in the       Relations Commission.
     corporate group without their legally due     workplace. Wages and conditions agreed               Labor will abolish the Office of the
     entitlements.                                 to between employers, employees and              Employment Advocate, which has been
        Labor will amend the Corporations          their organisations will be protected            expensive to operate and ineffective.
     Act to provide the Court with a discretion    through the Commission, and the public           Instead, appropriate resources will be
     to order, when it is just to do so, that a    interest will be served in the process.          provided to an industrial inspectorate for
     parent company or related body corporate         The Commission will be given powers           enforcement of awards and agreements.
     of an insolvent company pay the whole         to deal with all industrial matters, to
     or part of a debt owed to an employee of      prevent and resolve disputes, and to
     an insolvent company.                         ensure that the rights and entitlements          Good Faith Bargaining
                                                                                                       Fundamental to any fair system of
                                                                                                    bargaining in the successful modern
                                                                                                    workplace is the requirement that those
                                                                                                    involved respect the rights of others and
                                                                                                    seek to achieve results that are fair and
                                                                                                    responsible. The gladiatorial approach of
                                                                                                    the Howard Government operates against
                                                                                                    and undermines this principle.
                                                                                                       Its changes to industrial legislation in
                                                                                                    1996 resulted – as they were undoubtedly
                                                                                                    meant to – in a significant shift in the
                                                                                                    bargaining positions in the workplace
                                                                                                    away from the interests of employees and
                                                                                                    towards those of employers.
                                                                                                       But laws must not serve partial
                                                                                                    interests. They must not do so especially
                                                                                                    when they have such impact on the
                                                                                                    livelihoods and security of individual
                                                                                                    working people and their families.
                                                                                                       All those taking part in disputes have
                                                                                                    the duty to genuinely seek out solutions
                                                                                                    which are fair and which contribute to
                                                                                                    the economic benefit of the enterprise and
                                                                                                    the nation. Labor will therefore legislate
                                                                                                    to ensure that parties engaged in
                                                                                                    bargaining do so in good faith.

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      Collective Bargaining                         employees, roughly 73% of AWAs                     pursue the Government’s own divisive
                                                    provide for no pay increases at all.               agenda.
          Labor remains committed to enterprise         With few exceptions, employees asked              It has proved costly, inefficient and
      bargaining as a central part of our system.   to negotiate AWAs with their employers             ineffective. Labor will abolish it, and
          The introduction of enterprise            have little bargaining power. AWAs have            redeploy its resources more effectively to
      bargaining and improved investment in         encouraged conflict in the workplace and           enforce awards and agreements.
      plant and equipment under former Labor        have been used to force down the
      governments brought about the                 conditions of vulnerable employees.
      consistent improvement in labour                  The Labor Party rejects this race to the       Safe Workplaces
      productivity which has contributed so         bottom in working conditions.                          Although occupational health and
      dramatically to Australia’s economic              AWAs should not be confused with               safety is primarily a State responsibility,
      growth and security.                          common law individual contracts, which             the Federal Government can and should
          For most workplaces, the enterprise       are used by 38% of the workforce and               do more to ensure appropriate standards
      will continue to be the desirable level at    which must meet minimum standards set              are applied for Australian workers
      which to negotiate agreements. Labor          in awards and agreements. Common law               irrespective of where they work.
      places a high priority on continuing          contracts will continue to exist.                      The human toll of unsafe work
      enterprise-level bargaining, a process                                                           practices is simply too shocking to be
      which we created.                                                                                ignored. An estimated 440 workers die
          That said, multi-employer agreements      A Fair Award System
                                                                                                       as a result of work-related illness or injury
      are better suited to some industries. The         Labor believes that, in a good                 every year – more than one every day -
      right of employees to choose to be            industrial relations system, there should
                                                                                                       while another 130,000 suffer a work-
      represented by unions and to bargain          be a fair, relevant and properly enforced
                                                                                                       related illness or injury.
      collectively must be recognised.              system of minimum workplace standards
                                                                                                           The cost of work-related injuries can
          Labor will therefore provide for          for wages, conditions, health and safety.
                                                                                                       be debilitating for individuals and their
      collective bargaining, promoted through           We believe that employees, employers,
                                                                                                       families, as well as for industry.
      a fair and simple stream of workplace,        unions and the Commission are best
                                                                                                           To help address these problems, Labor
      enterprise        and      multi-employer     placed to decide what should be included
                                                                                                       will work with the States to achieve a
      agreements, negotiated with unions            in awards.
                                                                                                       nationally consistent occupational health
      collectively.                                     Labor will ensure that the Commission
                                                                                                       and safety framework which reflects best
          Labor will legislate to ensure that the   has the authority to establish and
                                                                                                       safety practice within Australia, and
      right of employees who wish to be             maintain an effective award system that
                                                                                                       which is consistent with the best
      represented by unions is protected and to     provides fair, secure and relevant wages
      prevent employees being discriminated         and conditions to underpin the                     international standards.
      against because of union membership or        bargaining system.                                     Labor will continue the good work of
      union activity.                                   Labor will remove the artificial,              the National Occupational Health and
          Labor will abolish Australian             unnecessary and unfair restrictions                Safety Commission. Its role will be
      Workplace Agreements (AWAs). After            imposed by the Howard Government on                reinforced to ensure that important
      five years, their use by employers has been   the matters that can be included in                occupational health and safety initiatives
      minimal – involving less than 1% of the       awards.                                            and programs have a direct impact and
      workforce – even though they have been                                                           application where they are most needed
      forced on their employees by Coalition                                                           – in the workplace.
      governments at Federal and State levels.      Industrial Inspectorate                                Labor will increase resources for
      More importantly, they have proved to            It is important that standards and              research and to develop and maintain a
      be generally unfair and discriminatory.       conditions once determined are properly            uniform national system of occupational
          AWAs are secret and unreviewable.         observed and not undermined.                       health and safety statistics, which detail
      Most adult workers on AWAs are on                Labor will provide appropriate                  the incidence of deaths and injury from
      average $55.10 a week worse off than          resources for the enforcement of awards            exposure to workplace hazards.
      comparable workers on collective              and agreements.                                        We will work with the States, industry
      agreements. Though 80% of union and              Rather than perform this essential role,        and unions to fast track a complete ban
      63% of non-union collective agreements        the Howard Government’s Office of the              on the importation of deadly chrysolite
      provide guaranteed pay increases for          Employment Advocate has been used to               asbestos by no later than 2003.

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                                Employment Services
      T       he Howard Government record
              on unemployment has been
              marked by inaction and
      bungling. Its determination to drive
      through the GST regardless of the
                                                   • Blamed the unemployed for
                                                      Labor will make significant
                                                   improvements to the Job Network, in
                                                   particular, the provision of information
                                                                                                       Labor will ensure the Job Network
                                                                                                   will be refocussed so these needs are met.
                                                                                                       Labor will also make the Job Network
                                                                                                   transparent and accountable so that
                                                                                                   information about performance is
      consequences has caused widespread           and employment services to those in most        available to all potential clients.
      damage throughout the community. It          need.                                               Labor believes that employment
      has shown no commitment to education            Labor will retain the only Government        services should be able to be used by all
      and training.                                provider, Employment National.                  Australians, not just those who have
         Since coming to power, the                   While competing in the Job Network,          already lost their job.
      Howard Government has:                       it will assist in delivering much needed            By helping individuals to prevent
      • Introduced the jobs destroying GST;        services that have been all but ignored         their job loss in the first place, resources
      • Failed to make any impact on the           by the Howard Government.                       will be more effectively used.
         unemployment rate;
      • Outsourced assistance for the
         unemployed and slashed money
         previously spent on training for the
         unemployed to virtually nothing;
      • Failed to plan and provide for the
         training needs of the unemployed or
         those already in the workforce;
      • Turned a blind eye to unscrupulous
         practices by companies involved in the
         Job Network;
      • Failed to implement proper welfare
         reform, despite rapidly rising
         unemployment since the GST; and

                                          Health Services
      J      ohn Howard is well on the way to
             demolishing Medicare and creating
             a user-pays health care system. The
             destruction of Medicare is one of
      John Howard’s long held political goals.
                                                     since failed to keep pace with
                                                     population growth and inflation in
                                                     medical costs. As a result health
                                                     services have deteriorated;
                                                   • Three million fewer services a year are
                                                                                                   • Labor’s Commonwealth Dental
                                                                                                       Health Program was scrapped in 1996
                                                                                                       leading to serious dental problems
                                                                                                       among low-income groups and the
                                                                                                       elderly. Without affordable dental
      In 1987 he told radio listeners “What I        providing bulk billing compared with              care, the rate of extractions has
      am going to do is take a scalpel…to            in 1996. In country areas, only 61%               increased significantly because people
      Medicare...” and he said he would “get         of GP services bulk bill;                         can’t afford fillings or other
      rid of bulk billing for people other than    • The average patient cost to see a GP              preventative treatment; and
      pensioners.”                                   has gone up by 35% between 1996               • There is a critical shortage of nurses
         John Howard’s strategy is to destroy        and March 2001 from $8.32 to                      and many country people are without
      our faith in Medicare by running down          $11.21;                                           a local doctor.
      public hospitals, blackmailing people into   • The cost of medicines has increased.              John Howard’s public position on
      private health insurance and making            Sixty medicines have been removed             health is that whatever shortcomings
      patients pay more for medicines.               from the Pharmaceutical Benefits              there are in our health system, they’re
         Under John Howard:                          Scheme (PBS) forcing pensioners and           here to stay – if the Howard Government
      • Funds for public hospitals were slashed      families to pay more for essential            is re-elected they have no intention of
         by $800 million in 1996 and have            medicines;                                    doing anything about them.

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          On 15 August 2001 he said:
          “I mean our position is clear, we’ve
      already invested very heavily in things
      like health and education. If there is an
      available surplus then the priority should
      be to give income tax cuts.”
          Labor created Medicare and only
      Labor can rebuild it. Labor is committed
      to reversing the Americanisation of our
      health system and returning it to its
      rightful position as the world’s best.
          Labor’s New Medicare will cut
      waiting times in public hospitals with
      more beds, more doctors, more nurses
      and an investment in new medical
          Labor’s Medicare After Hours will
      work around the clock so families can
      get the care they need whenever they
      need it from qualified GPs in public
      hospitals and community centres.
          Our 24-hour hotline will provide         medical emergency or is anxious about a            delivery of the national service.
      expert health advice for any Australian      child’s health, they need immediate                   Peter Costello’s 2001 Budget included
      facing a medical emergency. And older        medical advice. Labor’s 24-hour phone              a very weak imitation of Labor’s
      Australians will get the care they need      line will give them basic advice and direct        Medicare After Hours policy, but the
      and deserve under Labor’s national           callers to the best place to get further           Government’s copycat proposal is not
      standards for nursing homes.                 help.                                              national and does not include a 24-hour
                                                       The days of only being able to get a           phone advice line.
                                                   recorded message in a doctor’s surgery                Only Labor’s Plan will deliver after
      Medicare after hours                         after hours will be over.                          hours health services.
          Medical advice will only be a local          Medicare After Hours will be
      phone call away with Labor’s new             supported by a website with
      Medicare After Hours medical advice line.    comprehensive information and a book               Public Hospitals
          A Beazley Labor Government will          for parents will be distributed through                Labor knows that people don’t want
      allocate $55 million over its first three    chemists.                                          an American style hospital system—
      years to establish the 24-hour medical           Over time, Medicare After Hours will           where millions of people have no health
      phone service.                               become increasingly sophisticated so that          cover because they can’t afford it.
          Medicare After Hours will provide        it works directly with 24-hour hospital                But these fears are already becoming
      better medical help outside working          emergency services and specialist advice           a reality. The future of our health system
      hours. The policy has two parts:             lines, such as Poisons Information,                under John Howard is one where you
                                                   ambulance services and the proposed                need your credit card, not your Medicare
      • A 24-hour medical advice line staffed      network of Medicare After Hours services.          card.
        by trained nurses under the                    The new service will be implemented                Labor’s New Medicare will rebuild our
        supervision of doctors; and                State by State over a two year period, as          health system and our public hospitals
      • After Hours GP services working            the appropriate arrangements are put in            for all Australians.
        with local hospital Emergency              place, and will be able to handle over a               Labor’s plan will strengthen Medicare
        Departments.                               million calls in its third year. Discussions       and properly fund public hospitals so that
                                                   will be held with the Western Australian           all Australians continue to be covered.
         It will be a truly national scheme to     Government about its existing “Health                  Labor’s plan for public hospitals
      make sure all Australians get the after      Direct” service and the ACT Government             means:
      hours medical care they need – any time.     about its “Health First” service with a            • More nurses, doctors and other staff;
         When a parent is confronted with a        view to developing them to be part of the          • Access to treatment when you need it;

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      • New technology and cleaner public            will be resolved at a National
        hospitals; and                               Summit on Health to be
      • Improved health services in regional         convened after the Federal
        centres and the outer suburbs.               Election.
                                                         This will be a broadly
                                                     based process involving
      Medicare Alliance                              doctors, nurses and other
          A Beazley Labor Government will            health workers as well as the
      rebuild Medicare over the next ten years       wider community.
      by forming an alliance with State and              Medicare’s strengths are
      Territory Governments.                         its      universality,     its
          Labor Leaders, including the five          accessibility and its high
      current Labor Premiers, have agreed to         quality care. With Medicare,
      work with Federal Labor to build a new         Australians receive health
      partnership in a move hailed by NSW            care and medical treatment
      Premier Bob Carr as “an end to decades         according to their health
      of unhelpful conflict”.                        needs and not their income
          For too long, the States and the           or where they live.
      Commonwealth have been arguing over                These strengths and Medicare’s future        This requires improving the safety of
      who is responsible for the funding of our      viability have been under attack from the        medical care and ensuring those suffering
      health system.                                 Howard Government. John Howard has               a medical injury get proper compensation
          Under the Medicare Alliance, both          always hated Medicare.                           in an effective manner.
      levels of Government will be able to               He and his Health Minister Dr                   Labor’s package of reforms, Ensuring
      combine the agreed funds in State-based        Michael Wooldridge have done all they            Safe and Dependable Medicine, has the
      “Medicare Joint Accounts” from which           can to undermine Medicare. As a result,          welfare of patients and doctors in mind.
      health spending will be drawn.                 Australia is rapidly going down the path         The central reform concerns the way
          Initially this could cover hospitals,      of a US style health system.                     payments are taxed to encourage
      aged care, medical benefits and                                                                 structured settlements.
      pharmaceuticals and could be extended                                                              It is nonsense that quarterly or
      to other health programs later.                Labor and the 30% Private                        monthly payments are taxed as income
          Both levels of Government will be          Health Insurance Rebate                          when a lump sum is tax-free.
      committed to funding growth, so that              Labor will retain the 30% private                The recent escalation of medical
      over the next decade we reverse the recent     health insurance rebate, with no means           insurance premiums has put pressure on
      decline in our health system and               test or cap.                                     doctors - particularly obstetricians and
      strengthen it to cope with the challenges         A Beazley Labor Government will also          GPs in rural areas. Labor’s package will
      of the future.                                 expect a vastly improved performance             address this.
          As a consequence of Labor’s proposed       from the private health funds to ensure             Labor’s reform package for medical
      decade of growth, people providing care        that premium rises are kept to an absolute       indemnity will:
      will be able to plan knowing that              minimum.                                         1. Reduce the frequency of medical
      resources will be available, and the public                                                        injuries by setting national
      will know quality health care will be                                                              benchmarks and guidelines, and
      available when they need it.                   Medical Indemnity Insurance                         promoting the use of information
          Labor’s Medicare Alliance will remove          Reforms to medical indemnity are                technologies to help doctors decide on
      the artificial barriers that currently exist   long overdue. Inaction by the Howard                the best treatment and avoid mis-
      between Federal and State funded               Government, combined with the HIH                   diagnosis or incorrect treatment.
      programs.                                      collapse, has allowed a crisis to develop        2. Promote structured settlements by
          It will bring an end to the era of cost    which threatens the continued availability          changing the tax treatment of periodic
      shifting and Governments blaming each          of some medical services and the welfare            payments to ensure injured patients
      other. It will start a new era of co-          of patients.                                        have adequate regular payments to
      operation and put the focus back on                Labor recognises there is a need to             cover their health care costs for the
      patient care.                                  break the cycle which is driving up the             rest of their lives.
          The details of the new arrangements        costs of medical indemnity insurance.            3. Establish a national database on health

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          E l e c t i o n              2 0 0 1        –     Y o u r         F u t u r e            –     Y o u r          C h o i c e

         care litigation to target the problem          that all funds operate soundly and have        7. Improve risk management by medical
         areas and to ensure that adequate              transparent accounts. The open                    indemnity funds including working
         support mechanisms are in place.               discretion held by some Medical                   with the Royal Colleges to reduce the
      4. Seek consistent State reforms to               Defence “mutuals” to decline coverage             rate of medical injuries and provide
         legislation covering court procedures,         will be removed.                                  incentives for quality practice.
         the calculation of damages and the          6. Require all doctors to hold the                8. Seek to refer the current problems with
         regulation of medical indemnity                appropriate insurance for the work                indemnity insurance for midwives to
         organisations.                                 they undertake. Red tape will be                  the Senate Inquiry into Nursing to look
      5. Tighten the prudential regulation of           reduced by harmonising requirements               at options to ensure that home births
         medical indemnity insurance to ensure          for doctor registration.                          remain an option for expectant mothers.

       J    ohn Howard believes the best
            education you can get should
            depend on how much money you
            earn. He’s neglected our education
      system by giving massive funding
      increases to a handful of wealthy private
      schools at the expense of all other schools.
      He has cut education and training across
      the board. Universities, TAFEs, schools,
      student income support and the Higher
      Education Contribution Scheme (HECS)
      have all been hit.
         His next plan is user-pays university.
      That means full fees and $1,000,000
      degrees for undergraduates.
         Under John Howard:                            students into a teaching career;                  available to Australian academics and
       • University operating grants were cut        • Investing $108 million over five years            by creating new elite fellowships to
         by $3 billion;                                to offer Teacher Development                      bring home some of our leading
      • Government schools’ funding was                partnerships to 4,000 a year in                   expatriate researchers;
         reduced by $60 million through the            government and non-government                   • Providing an additional $10 million
         Enrolment Benchmark Adjustment;               schools to upgrade their skills and               to regional universities and regional
      • All growth funding for TAFE was                knowledge;                                        campuses to pay for improved
         abolished between 1996 and 1999;            • Establishing the National Public                  access     to    high      bandwidth
      • Half a billion dollars was taken from          Education Alliance – a long term                  telecommunications links; and
         student income support; and                   commitment from all Labor Federal,              • Establishing the University of
      • HECS changes are costing students              State and Territory leaders to increase           Australia Online, which will give
         $1.1 billion.                                 funding for public schools in real terms          more Australians than ever before the
                                                       over the next decade, and end the blame           opportunity to get a university
         A Beazley Labor Government will               shifting between the Commonwealth,                qualification.
      rebuild our education system by:                 the States and the Territories that holds
      • Investing $110.5 million over five             back real progress;                              Education Priority Zones
         years for improvements for                  • Creating “The Learning Gateway’ –                  Unfortunately in some communities
         refurbishing classrooms, laboratories         an educational Internet site for use by         too few children are succeeding at school.
         and libraries in public schools;              parents, teachers and students;                 Labor will create Education Priority
      • 1,000 HECS-free scholarships each            • Stopping the brain drain by doubling            Zones (EPZ’s) to assist schools in areas of
         year to attract the best and brightest        the number of research fellowships              greatest need.

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          E l e c t i o n             2 0 0 1      –     Y o u r        F u t u r e            –      Y o u r          C h o i c e

       Schools in EPZ’s will be given             available to Australian academics and by         More research places for
     additional resources to:                     creating new elite fellowships to bring          Regional Universities
     • Conduct additional literacy and            home some of our leading expatriate
                                                                                                       Labor will create a pool of 400 new
       numeracy programs;                         researchers.
                                                                                                   fully-funded HECS-exempt research
     • Employ extra specialists;                     Labor will:
                                                                                                   training places for regional universities.
     • Improve student behaviour;                 • Double the number of publicly funded
                                                                                                   The places will be available on a
     • Strengthen links between their school         fellowships for Australian academics
                                                                                                   competitive basis, based on the
       and local universities, TAFEs and             and researchers to prepare the next
                                                                                                   universities’ areas of research excellence.
       employers;                                    generation of leading academics and
     • Help parents encourage their children         scientists;
       to study and assist with homework;         • Create a new category of elite                 University of Australia Online
       and                                           fellowships, valued at $200,000 a year           The University of Australia Online
     • Provide       extra      professional         for five years, to attract leading            (‘UAO’) will give more Australians
       development for teachers.                     expatriate Australian researchers to          than ever before the opportunity to
                                                     return home; and                              get a university qualification and
     Labor’s National Public                      • Create a pool of 400 new fully funded          will stimulate the growth of a world-leading
     Education Alliance                              HECS-exempt research training places          online education industry in Australia.
         This is a long-term commitment from         for regional universities. The places            Labor will create 100,000 new
     all Labor State, Territory and Federal          will be available on a competitive            university places at only half the current
     Governments to increase funding of              basis, based on universities’ areas of        rate of HECS by 2010 for students who
     public schools in real terms over the next      research excellence.                          want to study online.
     decade, to continually improve the quality
     of teaching and to end the cycle of blame
     shifting that holds back real progress in
     improving our public schools.                   Time for a Fair Go –
     The Learning Gateway
         A Beazley Labor Government will
     create ‘The Learning Gateway’ - an
                                                     A Plan for the Banks
     educational Internet site for use by
     parents, teachers and students.
         Labor will create an Internet site –
     ‘The Learning Gateway’ - that will
     provide all students, teachers and parents
                                                  T        he Howard Government looks
                                                           after its mates in the big end of
                                                           town at the expense of ordinary
                                                  Australian families.
                                                     Under John Howard:
                                                                                                   looking after his mates at the top end of
                                                                                                   town while the rest of us get slugged with
                                                                                                   higher fees and disappearing branches.
                                                                                                       Kim Beazley and Labor have a 7-point
                                                                                                   plan for bringing the banks into line.
     with access to quality learning materials    • Australians have endured rising bank               Labor will deliver these and other
     for use in the classroom and at home.           fees, reduced access and declining            important initiatives through a Social
         As well as catering for primary and         banking service levels;                       Charter for the banks.
     secondary education, The Learning            • The big banks are on track to make                 This charter will be legally binding on
     Gateway will also deliver high quality          more than $10 billion in profits this         the banks and backed up by a strong
     online content relevant to vocational           year, yet since John Howard was               complaints resolution mechanism.
     education and training courses, adult and       elected they have closed more than                If the banks refuse to come to the party,
     community education and tertiary                1,505 branches around Australia; and          a Labor Government would legislate such
     education. It will help adult education      • Banks have put higher profits before           a charter.
     students find the right course, enrol more      their customers                                   Australians deserve a better deal from
     easily and complete their studies with          For too long, ordinary Australians have       banks.
     distinction.                                 had to endure rising fees, reduced access            The Howard Government’s head in the
                                                  and declining service levels as the banks        sand approach has failed completely.
                                                  pursued higher profits at the expense of             Banking is an essential service. It is
     Stopping the Brain Drain                     their customers.                                 critically important that all Australians -
        A Beazley Labor Government                   John Howard has refused to crack              no matter where they live and no matter
     will tackle the ‘brain drain’ by doubling    down on the big banks and restore some           what they earn - are able to access banking
     the number of research fellowships           balance. It’s typical of John Howard –           services.

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           E l e c t i o n               2 0 0 1       –      Y o u r        F u t u r e            –     Y o u r          C h o i c e

                       Telstra and Australia Post
      Telstra                                          • Supported a bill
          Since coming to power in 1996, the             which, if passed,
      Howard Government has pushed for the               would        force
      sale of Telstra while failing to ensure            Australia Post to
      telecommunication services for rural and           introduce
      remote Australia.                                  differential
          John Howard and John Anderson will             pricing, sharply
      fully privatise Telstra if they are re-            increasing costs
      elected. We know this because it was in            to regional, rural
      this year’s Federal Budget.                        and remote areas;
          John Howard and John Anderson say              and
      they won’t sell Telstra until services are       • Allowed       107
      adequate. But they have made themselves            corporate post
      the sole judges of the adequacy or                 offices to close
      otherwise of those services. When it               since June 1997, replacing them with               Labor will stop the Howard
      comes to Telstra, the Government has               licensed post offices and community            Government’s stealth moves to run down
      made itself judge, jury and executioner.           mail agencies, which can’t provide the         Aussie Post.
          The Budget confirms the Howard-                same level of service.                             There is no doubt that the
      Anderson Government plans to fully                                                                privatisation of Aussie Post would lead
      privatise Telstra in the 2003-04 financial                                                        to a decline of services – especially in
      year. That’s even before half the money          Labor’s Australia Post pledge                    remote and rural Australia.
      that the Government admits is necessary          – No sell-off                                        Australia Post continues to make a
      to fix mobile phone services and Internet           Labor’s four-point plan for Aussie            significant profit, and provides a dividend
      services, has been spent.                        Post:                                            to the Australian community from this
          The Government is trying to be tricky        • No Sell Off - Australia Post will              profit each year.
      on Telstra but Australians won’t be                 remain in public hands.                           Not only will we stop the deregulation
      deceived.                                        • No More Deregulation - Stopping                rot, we will enhance Aussie Post and build
          Labor has pledged itself to keeping             further deregulation of Australia’s           upon its role as a key part of building the
      Telstra in majority public ownership.               postal services.                              nation.
          This is a policy supported by a              • Services retained - Australia Post                 Under Labor, the local post office will
      considerable majority of Australians and            will continue to provide current              become a hub for new services, and
      by a considerable majority of Telstra’s             services, including Giropost and              remain a point of focus in Australian
      shareholders.                                       Internet bill paying services.                communities.
          Many Australians are worried that if         • Better services for all, regardless of             Aussie Post outlets cover the nation
      Telstra is fully privatised, services will          where you live - Australia Post will          and Labor will use them as a platform for
      suffer.                                             play a critical role in the delivery of       new and upgraded services, especially in
          It’s clear that a fully privatised Telstra      services, particularly to rural and           rural and regional Australia.
      will care more about profits than about             regional Australia.                               Australia Post operates through
      people.                                             Under John Howard we have seen                approximately 4,500 outlets across
          Kim Beazley has signed a pledge to           downgrades to local services – banks have        Australia. Over 2,500 of those outlets are
      maintain Telstra in majority public              shut, Telstra services have declined and         located in rural and remote areas.
      ownership and he’s challenged John               Australia Post has been readied for                  This represents a powerful network
      Howard and John Anderson to do the               privatisation.                                   capable of delivering face-to-face and
      same.                                               The local post office has been a              online services to communities which
                                                       gathering point for people as they collect       don’t have ready access to other
      Australia Post                                   and send their mail - Aussie Post is part        government agencies.
        The Howard Government has:                     of our nation’s life. It is a huge public            This plan for Australia Post
      • Committed itself to the further                asset and a critical part of our nation’s        complements Labor’s vision to create a
        deregulation of Australia Post;                infrastructure. It should not be sold.           Knowledge Nation.

                                                                                              OCT/NOV 2001 s COMMON CAUSE                    19
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                                    NSW coal industry achieves record
                                    levels of production                                                     BY RON LAND*

      I    n 2000-01 the New South Wales
           coal industry achieved record levels
           of production and productivity. Raw
      coal production for the year reached 138.8
      million tonnes, up 4.4% on the previous
      year and 3.6% more than the record
      tonnage attained in 1997-98.
          61.3% of this production came from
      open cut mines, 33.3% from
      underground mines with longwalls and
      the remaining 5.4% from other
      underground mines.
          During the year, raw production rose
      by 6.1% at open cut mines and by 1.8%
      at underground mines. At 30 June 2001
      there were 56 mines in operations
      employing 9,849 mineworkers. Five new
      mines commenced production during the
      year - Nardell underground in the north
      and four open cuts, Ravensworth East,
      Whitehaven, Donaldson in the north and
                                                   A 6.1% increase in raw production at open cut mines helped set a new
      Cullen Valley north-west of Lithgow.
                                                   production record for the NSW coal industry.
      Also in the west, Charbon open cut
      reopened. Two mines, Southland an            whether employed by the mine operator           The other productivity indicator
      underground mine in the north and            or by a contractor. At June 2001, overall    presented in this article, output per
      Invincible open cut in the west,             industry employment reversed the             employee per year, discounts time lost
      experienced temporary closures during        downward trend and rose to 9,849, up         through industrial stoppages and
      the year.                                    2.8% on the previous June figure.            absenteeism. Raw output per employee
          The year also saw the amalgamation       Employment at underground mines              for 2000-01 for all mines increased to
      of Howick, Hunter Valley and                 increased by 2.2% to 5,740 and at open       14,570 tonnes, up 9.0%. Underground
      Lemington open cuts to form Coal &           cut mines by 3.6% to 4,109.                  mines increased to 9,520 tonnes, up 5.4%
      Allied’s Hunter Valley Operations.               The year 2000-01 saw further gains       and at open cut mines to 21,880 tonnes
          Four underground mines ceased            in productivity. Labour productivity         up 11.7%.
      production during the year - Gunnedah        statistics are presented in two forms in        While the average number of hours
      and Teralba in the north, Cordeaux in the    this article, output per employee per year   worked per employee at underground
      south and Kandos in the west. The            and output per employee per hour. Coal       mines fell by 5.1% to 1,946.3 hours
      Ravensworth area of the open cut             output per employee per hour is a            during 2000-01, hours worked at open
      Ravensworth/Narama also ceased               measure of labour efficiency “on the job”.   cut mines increased to 1,983.7 hours, up
      production.                                      Output per employee per hour rose by     6.3% on the previous year.
          In these statistics (except where        9.7% to a record 7.43 tonnes of raw coal        Days lost per employee have fallen
      otherwise stated) coal industry              in 2000-01. Underground mines reached        steadily from 19.1 days in 1995-96 to
      employment covers all workers at mines       4.89 tonnes of raw coal per employee per     11.0 in 2000-01. Days lost due to
      and coal preparation plants, including       hour, an increase of 11.1% on the            industrial disputes have fallen from an
      coal preparation plant operators,            previous year, while open cuts recorded      average of 5.8 days in 1996-97 to 1.2
      technical, administrative and office staff   an increase of 5.3% to 11.05 tonnes.         days in 2000-01. In 2000-01 the number

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      of days lost per employee due to workers
      compensation fell to 3.1 days, down 6.1%
      and days lost due to sick leave fell by
      8.3% to 5.5 days.
          Coal exports from New South Wales
      after falling from 76.4 million tonnes in
      1998-99 to 72.4 million tonnes in 1999-
      00, rose 4.8% to 75.9 million tonnes in
      2000-01. Metallurgical coal exports rose
      1.0% to 23.4 million tonnes. Steaming
      coal exports rose to a record 52.5 million
      tonnes, an increase of 6.6% on 1999-00
      and slightly higher than the previous
      record achieved in 1998-99.
          The FOB value of New South Wales
      coal exports rose 24.1% to A$3.83 billion
      in 2000-01 with an average FOB value
      per tonne of A$50.55.
          In 2000-01 the Asian region
      accounted for 93.1% of the total New
      South Wales coal export market. Export
      shipments to Japan continued to increase,
      reaching a record 44.7 million tonnes and
      accounting for 58.9% of all New South
      Wales coal exports in 2000-01.
          The FOB value of Japanese exports
      was A$2.26 billion, representing 59.1%
      of the total value of all coal exports from
      New South Wales. The average FOB
      value per tonne for exports to Japan was
          Consumption of black coal within
      New South Wales totalled 32.3 million         A 1.8% increase in raw production at underground mines helped set a new
      tonnes in 2000-01, an increase of 3.7%        production record for the NSW coal industry.
      on the previous year. Electricity
      generation is the major domestic market           In the year ended 30 June 2001, New     South Wales Coal Mines 2000-01 and NSW
      for black coal in New South Wales.            South Wales coal industry employees         Coal Industry Injury and Disease Claims
      Consumption at power stations rose by         lodged 2,643 injury claims and 269          2000-01.
      6.2% to 27.2 million tonnes accounting        disease claims for workers’ compensation.       If you require additional analysis of
      for 84.1% of coal consumption in New          Regrettably there were two work-related
                                                                                                any of the statistics presented in this
      South Wales.                                  fatalities at New South Wales coal mines
                                                                                                article the Board’s Statistics Group offers
          The steel industry is the next largest    during the year.
                                                                                                a statistical service on a user pays basis.
      consumer of coal in New South Wales               For more information regarding safety
      using 13.1%, or 4.2 million tonnes            performance in the New South Wales coal
      during the year, down 9.2% on 1999-00.        industry the Board publishes two booklets   *Ron Land is the employees
      Stocks held by consumers were 3.3             released annually. The current editions     representative on the Joint Coal
      million tonnes at the end of June 2001.       are Lost-time Injuries and Fatalities New   Board.

        JCB OFFICES: 44 Market Street, Sydney  1 Civic Avenue, Singleton
            472 The Esplanade, Warners Bay  Princes Highway, Corrimal
                                             52 Eskbank Street, Lithgow

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                                           I n t e r n a t i o n a l                    N e w s

       13 killed in US coal mine explosion
      I    n the worst mining accident in the
           United States since 1984, 13 coal
           miners were killed following an
      explosion and cave-in at the Jim Walters
      Resources No. 5 coal mine in Brookwood,
                                                   minutes later. The mine is North
                                                   America’s deepest vertical shaft coal pit,
                                                   and employs 402 people.
                                                      In a news release, the United Mine
                                                   Workers said most of the victims had
                                                                                                  Secretary-Treasurer, who was at the site.
                                                                                                  Tarley was referring to rescue workers
                                                                                                  still seeking to recover those missing in
                                                                                                  the Sept. 11 attacks that destroyed the
                                                                                                  World Trade Center and damaged the
      Alabama, on 23 September.                    rushed into the mine to help injured or        Pentagon.
         The first blast is thought to have        trapped co-workers.                                The heat from the fires reportedly sent
      happened after rocks loosened in a roof         “The efforts of the professional mine       temperatures in the mine above 2,500
      collapse hit a battery charger, causing      rescue teams were no less daring than the      degrees F (1,400 degrees Celsius).
      sparks that ignited the methane. The         efforts of the men and women                       Members of the United Mine
      miners who went back in search of their      undertaking similar missions today in          Workers of America union observed
      colleague were probably caught by the        New York and Washington, D.C.,” said           a day of mourning on Tuesday, 25
      second explosion, which occurred 45          Carlo Tarley, the union’s International        September.

        Stop death carnage in Ukraine coal
        mines, demand International Unons
            The international trade union movement has called on the       affiliated Miners Independent Trade Union of Ukraine (MITU)
        Ukrainian Government to act immediately to stop the carnage        notes. This year alone, 181 miners have been killed.
        in the country’s coal mines over the past 10 years.                    The Zasiadko pit has a particularly bad record. Five major
            The demand followed the latest mining disaster in the          accidents there over the past 18 years have left 228 miners
        Ukraine in which 49 miners were killed and another 18              dead and injured.
        seriously injured in an explosion at the Zasiadko pit on 19            Mismanagement, corruption and chronic underinvestment
        August. Miners there say that concentrations of methane gas        in Ukraine’s mines are widely blamed for the accidents, as is
        at the time of the blast were more than three times the            the practice of paying the miners according to output rather
        permitted maximum. Immediately after the accident,                 than by the hour, when indeed they are paid at all. Often,
        production continued in a neighbouring shaft of the same pit       wages arrive months too late and miners have been known to
        at the same depth.                                                 faint from hunger while working underground.
            3,653 Ukrainian miners have died in accidents over the 10          Miners who have refused to work in dangerous conditions
        years since the country broke from the USSR, the ICEM-             have also been victimised.

                                         Colouring-in Winners
               Congratulations to the following winners of the Aug/Sept colouring-in competition,
                   who each receive a $20 prize and a CFMEU set of highlighters and stickers:

               Caitlyn Shannon, age 12, Collie, Western Australia.                  Matthew Burton, age 9, Brassall, Queensland.
                 Josie Ernst, age 6, Rutherford, Northern District.                   Hayley Skinner, age 8, Traralgon, Victoria.
                   Naomi Mannuzzai, age 7, Churchill, Victoria.               Jenna Heath, age 4, Cullen Bullen, Soutn-Western District.
                     Jessica Bourke, age 5, Tieri, Queensland.                      Rhianon Stuart, age 10, Scamander, Tasmania.
            Laura Morgan, age 9, Ambervale, South-Western District.         Jessica Wiedermann, age 11, Heddon Greta, Northern District.

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            Lithgow Valley, Hermitage and
          Fernbrook reunion a great success
     O          ver 120 mineworkers came
                from all over NSW, the ACT
                and Queensland to renew
      acquaintances and relive old memories at
      a reunion of the Western District’s
                                                 their 80s and they told
                                                 some terrific yarns. I’m
                                                 not sure if it is a case of
                                                 the older they get the
                                                 better they were, but it
      Lithgow Valley, Hermitage and              was a privilege being
      Fernbrook collieries.                      with these men because
          The reunion was held at the Lithgow    they are the people
      Workerman’s Club on 8 September and        whose sacrifices and
      according to NSW South/West District       determination built
      Senior Vice-President Wayne McAndrew       our great Union and we
      it was “a great success”.                  owe it to them to keep
          “We had some great old veterans        their traditions and Enjoying a beer and sharing old memories.
      present including a number who are in      principles alive”.
                                                                           Wayne McAndrew      great to see him there with his old mates.
                                                                       told Common Cause       Sadly, less than a week after the reunion,
                                                                       that among the          Vern passed away but at least he had spent
                                                                       veterans present was    some happy and quality time with his old
                                                                       Vern Moffit, former     comrades”.
                                                                       Western        District    Wayne McAndrew paid tribute to
                                                                       Check Inspector.        those who had organised the reunion and
                                                                           “Vern had been      who had ensured that it was a very special
                                                                       crook lately and it was and successful occasion.

      Vern Moffit (right) with Geoff Wheeler.

                                                                    Wayne McAndrew (left) with former            Don Kenniff, past
                                                                    Lodge Secretary Ron Patient.                 Lodge President.

      Cec Thompson, Mark Thompson and Dave Stait.
                                                    Right: Cec
                                                     and Mark
                                                    with Dave

                                                   Left: Bill
                                                   Willians and
                                                   Ron Evans.

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          1. Can I leave my money in COALSUPER when I leave the industry?
                   YES. COALSUPER gives Members the opportunity to retain their
                   money within the Fund up to age 65 years (or later if still working
                   more than 10 hours per week).

          2. What happens to my money when I turn 65?
                  When a Member reaches 65 years of age, they are unable to leave
                  their money in the Drawdown Account. Currently, there are two
                  options available to Members:
                          i.    Close your account and invest outside
                                the superannuation environment, or
                          ii. Commence a COALSUPER Allocated Pension.

          3. How often can I get a balance of my account?
                 ANYTIME! You can ring up at anytime for a balance of account –
                 which will be mailed to your home address. Due to the changes in
                 the Privacy Law Act, we are now unable to provide that information
                 over the telephone.
                 Your Annual Member Statement is generally mailed to you in
                 September each year. We are also looking at providing this
                 information on the Internet.

                     For more information or to make an appointment for an interview
                  with a Member Relations Officer, please call the Fund’s administrator:–
                          By phone: 02 4948 6944 OR Toll-free 1300 366 212
                             By mail: PO Box 735 Warners Bay, NSW 2282
                       In person: Level 1, 472 The Esplanade, Warners Bay NSW

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                                          OCT/NOV 2001 s COMMON CAUSE   25
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          For the Kids!  Colour in Rag’s latest sketch and you could become one of our $20 prize winners. Send your entries to:
             Jenny Baxter, Common Cause, PO Box Q1641, QVB Post Office, Sydney 1230. Entries must reach us before 3rd December, 2001.

       NAME                                                                                                            AGE
       ADDRESS                                                                                                         POSTCODE

     26 COMMON CAUSE s              OCT/NOV 2001
         St Joseph’s Primary wins NSW State title
              with Bulli disaster re-enactment

      passionate re-enactment of the
      1887 Bulli mine disaster has
      earned St Joseph’s Catholic
Primary School a Wakakirri dance
competition NSW State title.
It is the first year the Bulli School has
taken part in Wakakirri, the primary
school equivalent of the Rock
Eisteddfod, and students beat fierce
competition to take out first place at the
State finals.
St Joseph’s teacher Robyn Menghi told
The Illawarra Mercury that the historical
theme of the entry really engaged the
students and made for a powerful
 “We chose the theme ‘William Birch -
Working Class Man’ as William Birch,
who died in the Bulli mine disaster, is
the great grandfather of one of our
students, Sharnel Desborough “, Mrs
Menghi said. (81 men and boys died in
the Bulli disaster - Ed.)
 “We thought it was appropriate to
portray our suburb’s mining history and
the tragedy, as it is important to keep
children in touch with their ground
 “The performance, and the research
involved, has given students a sense of
pride of who they are, who their
ancestors were, and what their
community is about”, said Robyn
School principal Paul Brady said 81
students from Years Four to Six, were
involved in the performance. He told         Pictures show St Joseph’s Primary School students during their winning performance
Common Cause that the students               in the NSW Wakakirri dance finals at the Sydney Entertainment Centre.
performance “began with a scene from
life in Bulli in 1887. The scene then        they were chosen to participate in the     poignant story was judged the best on
shifted to the workers in the mine. The      State finals at the Sydney Entertainment   the night.
disaster was then reenacted and the          Centre on 18 September. The St Joseph’s    As well as a stunning perpetual trophy,
final scene displayed the anger and          students joined more than 20,000           the school also won a prize of $5,000
anguish of the community in the              Australian primary students who took       which is to be spent on equipment for
aftermath of the disaster”.                  part in the 2001 Wakakirri (Aboriginal     the children.
The school’s performance so impressed        for dance), now in its 10th year.          St Joseph’s will now contest the
the judges at the heats at the               Against a strong field of schools from     national finals and Common Cause joins
Wollongong Entertainment Centre that         other regions of the State, St. Joseph’s   in wishing them all the very best.
Rio stooges target Blair Athol school kid
       for wearing Union tee-shirt
          hen Serdana Finger went to Rio Tinto's Blair Athol
          mine on a school biology trip, she chose to wear
          her Blair Athol Union tee-shirt. Her dad, Athol, is
one of the 16 mineworkers victimised by Rio Tinto at Blair
Athol three years ago who won their case for reinstatement
in April this year. Serdana and the children of the other
victimised mineworkers have felt the brunt of Rio Tinto's
contempt and hostility against their families.
When the mineworkers won their case against Rio Tinto's
victimisation, all the families celebrated and marked the
occasion with a new tee-shirt which they proudly wear.
On field trips, students wear whatever casual clothing they
like and there has never been an objection to this until some
Rio Tinto sneak took offence at Serdana's tee-shirt and rang
the school to complain saying it was "inappropriate"!
Serdana's father is still out the gate despite the Court's
ruling that he and his fellow victimised mineworkers be
Now that's what we call "inappropriate".
As one of the world's most powerful mining companies,
you'd think it would take a lot more than a school kid
wearing a Union tee-shirt to rattle Rio Tinto. But with the
company indicted for victimising hundreds of Australian coal    Serdana Finger proudly wearing her Union tee-shirt
mineworkers at its Blair Athol, Hunter Valley No.1 and
Mount Thorley mines, their embarrassment is "appropriate".      ally General Franco of Spain, General Pinochet of Chile,
However, Rio Tinto's contrived moral indignation over a         President Soeharto of Indonesia and the apartheid regime
school kid's tee-shirt is in sharp contrast to the company's    of South Africa.
own historical record.                                          Rio Tinto has one of the most shameful records in world
After all, this is a powerful multinational company that has    corporate history while Australian mineworkers can look at
been historically linked with some of the most brutal           our history with pride.
dictatorships of the 20th century including Hitler's fascist    Never let them forget that.

                                                          Belt Buckle Special
                                                          Benson House is producing a special "IF PROVOKED WE WILL
                                                          STRIKE" CFMEU pewter belt buckle at a special price of just
                                                          $14 plus freight and GST for minimum orders of 50.
                                                          The special deal is for bulk orders only and Benson House
                                                          cannot accept individual orders.
                                                          To place an order,
                                                          or if you require further information, contact:
                                                          Paul McNamara, Benson House Trading,
                                                          PO Box 1746, STRAWBERRY HILLS, NSW 2012.
                                                          Phone: (02) 9310 3166 Fax: (02) 9699 4766

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