Monthly Archives: November 2010

Ark Tribe not Guilty, but the ABCC Still Has Enormous Power Over Building Workers – Two Interviews

Building worker and unionist Ark Tribe was found not guilty last week of failing to attend a hearing of the Australian Building and Construction Commission. Tribe was summoned to give information about a safety meeting on an Adelaide building site in 2008, but the ABCC failed to follow proper procedures, leading to the not guilty verdict. Tribe’s lawyer, Michael Abbott QC, spoke to David Jackmanson about the verdict.

http://static.boomp3.com/player2.swf?id=owbbrya1qxg&title=101130+Michael+Abbott+QC+on+Ark+Tribe+case+-+Brisbane+Line101130 Michael Abbott QC on Ark Tribe case – Brisbane Line

The current laws allow the ABCC to summon building workers to hearings where they have no right to silence and may face six month’s jail for refusing to attend. David Jackmanson also spoke to the National Secretary of the Construction Division of the Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union, Dave Noonan, about how his union wants these laws to be abolished.

http://static.boomp3.com/player2.swf?id=owbd5vyp4tw&title=101130+Dave+Noonan+of+the+CFMEU+on+Ark+Tribe+-+Brisbane+Line101130 Dave Noonan of the CFMEU on Ark Tribe – Brisbane Line

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Tuesday 30 November, Zedlines

Prospective Queensland Liberal National candidates are being required to undergo aptitude tests before being allowed run for office.

The psychometric tests are designed to reveal a person’s ability to both think on the spot and call on past experience. The LNP has refused to reveal how many people have failed the exam so far.

It has not been revealed whether those who now form the new Shadow Cabinet, following John-Paul Langbroek’s reshuffle yesterday, will be required to undergo testing.

Brisbane has been found to have some of the worst police to citizen ratios in Queensland.

Though the state average is roughly 1 officer to every 430 citizens, south Brisbane’s ratio is roughly 1 in 620, and Brisbane’s west is roughly 1 in 900.

Police Minister Neil Roberts said plans were being followed to introduce a further 600 officers before the next election, but that resources are allocated to regions according to individual needs.

South Korea has increased its military presence on Yeongpyeong Island, following shelling from North Korea last week.

North Korea has accused the South of provoking the attack, however the South said their actions at the time were simply training exercises. South Korea later returned fire on the North.

An emergency meeting of the U.N. is expected to be held either today or tomorrow.

A report has found Queensland’s average life expectancy has increased from 78 to 80 over the last decade.

However, adult overweight and obesity rates are now at 61 percent, a 50 percent increase from figures taken in 2008.

Queensland chief Health Officer Dr. Jeanette Young said Queensland was enjoying good health levels, but indigenous and Torres Strait Islander communities were still under represented.

The Moranbah Workers Club will tonight rally to plan protests over the Billiton Mitsubishi Alliance’s plans to exclusively use non-local workers.

The MBA plan to fly in workers from South-East Queensland, a move the Workers Club say will devastate regional businesses and force mining families to live apart.

Queensland Resources Council chief executive Michael Roche said the fly in fly out approach is necessary in a tight labour market.

A federal parliamentary inquiry has heard a northern Indigenous leader’s claims the Wild River laws are restricting development opportunities in the area.

The laws, which were introduced to prevent farming and tourism, have already been criticised by Opposition Leader Tony Abbott for denying traditional owners to benefit from the land.

The inquiry has been established to determine the fairness of the laws, however other indigenous community leaders have also spoken out against the restrictions.

Queensland Health Unions are threatening to strike tomorrow if demands for a pay increase are not met.

Treasurer Andrew Fraser yesterday met with health officials, but was unable to come to an agreement.

Health workers planning to strike said emergency care will still be provided, but other services are expected to face disruption.

Prospective Queensland Liberal National candidates are being required to undergo aptitude tests before being allowed run for office.

The psychometric tests are designed to reveal a person’s ability to both think on the spot and call on past experience. The LNP has refused to reveal how many people have failed the exam so far.

It has not been revealed whether those who now form the new Shadow Cabinet, following John-Paul Langbroek’s reshuffle yesterday, will be required to undergo testing.

A report has found Queensland’s average life expectancy has increased from 78 to 80 over the last decade.

However, adult overweight and obesity rates are now at 61 percent, a 50 percent increase from figures taken in 2008.

Queensland chief Health Officer Dr. Jeanette Young said Queensland was enjoying good health levels, but indigenous and Torres Strait Islander communities were still under represented.

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Wikileaks releases 250,000 US diplomatic messages, 15,000 of them classified “Secret”

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UNSW academics stood down after holding back exam results in fight over job security

15 academic staff at the University of New South Wales who are taking industrial action were stood down yesterday, reports the Sydney Morning Herald. About 150 staff Staff at UNSW and Macquarie University have put work bans on releasing exam results to students. The bans are part of a campaign to ensure job security and put a limit on how many staff can be employed as casuals.

The National Tertiary Education Union has set up a Fighting Fund to collect money for staff taking part in the bans at the two universities, who are not being paid while the ban on releasing exam results continues.

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The @Australian’s editor threatens to sue journalism lecturer, gets defamation law wrong #TwitDef

Julie Posetti from the University of Canberra published reports from a speech by Asa Wahlquist, a former journalist at the Australian, who spoke at the Journalism Education Association of Australia conference. Posetti’s reports, published on the online discussion and networking site Twitter, reported Wahlquist as saying reporting on climate change at The Australian was “debilitating”, that it was “absolutely excruciating” and “torture”, that she left The Australian because she “just couldn’t do it any more”, that in the lead up to the 2010 election Mitchell was “increasingly telling me what to write”.

The Australian reports Wahlquist denies she said she was told what to write by Mitchell, and said she had never spoken with him about climate change.

After the Vice Chancellor of Canberra University said he was concerned about the implication of Mitchell’s threat for freedom of academic expression, Mitchell said academic freedom did not extend to publishing “defamatory lies”. He also said it was “very worrying” that a journalism academic did not understand the laws of defamation”.

However, Australia’s uniform defamation laws say that it is a defence to defamation if one has published a fair report of a proceeding of public concern, including any public meeting at which a matter of public interest is discussed.

4ZZZ News understands a recording of Walhquist’s speech exists, which would demonstrate if Posetti’s report was fair or not.

UPDATE: The ABC reports an audio recording of Wahlquist’s speech supports Posetti.

 

UPDATE December 9:

On Dec 2 2010 Chris Mitchell’s letter of demand to Julie Posetti was published in The Australian.

On December 9 2010 lawyers acting for Ms Posetti rejected the claim by Mitchell that Posetti had defamed him – click here to read the letter (pdf file).

The letter rejects the defamation claim on the exact grounds stated in this article – that Posetti’s tweets, even if defamatory, were defensible because they were a fair report of a public meeting on a matter of public concern, as provided for under S29 of the NSW Defamation Act.

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Ark Tribe not guilty – but the ABCC still threatens building workers’ right to silence

Building worker and unionist Ark Tribe was found not guilty last week in an Adelaide court of failing to appear before a hearing of the Australian Building and Construction Commission. However the Commission retains its powers to summon building workers to hearings, without the right to silence, and anyone who refuses to appear may still be sentenced to six months’ jail.

Mr Tribe was found not guilty on a technicality. Magistrate White said in his judgment last Wednesday a notice to appear issued by the ABCC to Mr Tribe was invalid because the Commissioner had not delegated his functions to the Deputy Commissioner, but only his powers. If the Commissioner had also delegated his functions, which he is allowed to do, it follows that the magistrate could have found Mr Tribe guilty.

Mr Tribe had been summoned to appear before the ABCC to be questioned about a union meeting held on an Adelaide building site in 2008.

The ALP promised before the 2007 Federal Election, and again in 2009, to abolish the ABCC. However in February the Prime Minister, Ms Gillard, announced that a new Building Industry Inspectorate would have the same powers to force building workers to give evidence about union activity.

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Ark Tribe *not guilty*

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