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John Passant

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September 2010



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My interview Razor Sharp 18 February
Me interviewed by Sharon Firebrace on Razor Sharp on Tuesday 18 February. (0)

My interview Razor Sharp 11 February 2014
Me interviewed by Sharon Firebrace on Razor Sharp this morning. The Royal Commission, car industry and age of entitlement get a lot of the coverage. (0)

Razor Sharp 4 February 2014
Me on 4 February 2014 on Razor Sharp with Sharon Firebrace. (0)

Time for a House Un-Australian Activities Committee?
Tony Abbott thinks the Australian Broadcasting Corporation is Un-Australian. I am looking forward to his government setting up the House Un-Australian Activities Committee. (1)

Make Gina Rinehart work for her dole

Sick kids and paying upfront


Save Medicare

Demonstrate in defence of Medicare at Sydney Town Hall 1 pm Saturday 4 January (0)

Me on Razor Sharp this morning
Me interviewed by Sharon Firebrace this morning for Razor Sharp. It happens every Tuesday. (0)

I am not surprised
I think we are being unfair to this Abbott ‘no surprises’ Government. I am not surprised. (0)

Send Barnaby to Indonesia
It is a pity that Barnaby Joyce, a man of tact, diplomacy, nuance and subtlety, isn’t going to Indonesia to fix things up. I know I am disappointed that Barnaby is missing out on this great opportunity, and I am sure the Indonesians feel the same way. [Sarcasm alert.] (0)



Safety on site

This is a copy of a letter I sent to the Canberra Times after it ran a report about the CFMEU – the building workers’ union – taking action for being stopped coming onto a site in Canberra to check safety concerns. The letter doesn’t mention it, but the contractor is working for the Government’s National Capital Authority.


It is good to see the building workers’ union, the CFMEU, taking a contractor to court over the company allegedly refusing the union access to the Kings Avenue overpass site. (Noel Towell ‘Building union sues contractor’ The Canberra Times Wednesday September 29 page 7.)

But hang on. Isn’t it the role of the Australian Building and Construction Commission to stamp out lawlessness on building sites. Why isn’t it taking action against Woden Contractors?

Why not indeed? Because the ABCC is not about stamping out lawlessness but stamping out building unions, the one group of unions still committed to defending their membership by sometimes taking industrial action over shoddy work and safety practices and defending jobs and wages.

The ‘crime’ these unions commit is being real unions.

It is no accident (pun intended) that since the ABCC came into existence, the rate of deaths and injuries on building sites has, according to Labornet, gone up. For example the site says:

Deaths in the construction industry increased, from 3.14 per 100,000 workers in 2004 [before the ABCC was set up] to 3.86 in 2005, 5.6 in 2006, 4.48 in 2007 and 4.27 in 2008.

The situation is so Orwellian that building worker Ark Tribe is on trial in Adelaide and faces six months in jail as a consequence of attending a lunchtime meeting of building union members to talk about a safety issue, an issue resolved in the workers’ favour.

Shackling the building unions in their attempts to protect the lives of their members is the real crime. Abolish the ABCC.



Comment from Auntie Rhoberta
Time September 30, 2010 at 8:39 pm

Hear hear!, as they say on the benighted hill.

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