April 28th 2007

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Articles from this issue:

COVER STORY: East Timor election: what's cooking?

EDITORIAL: Implications of East Timor's election

CANBERRA OBSERVED: Kevin Rudd's character under scrutiny

OVERSEAS TRADE: Wheat-growers back single-desk selling

MANUFACTURING: Japan still shows the way

STRAWS IN THE WIND: Easter and the media / Literacy, and all that / Anzac Day / Jews and Muslims / Pre-Budget ruminations

DAVID HICKS AFFAIR: Media's blind eye to Hicks treason

THE COLD WAR: How Moscow framed Pope Pius XII as pro-Nazi

GREAT BRITAIN: Why Britain is no longer great

PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION: Lottery players fleeced for $100 million

ETHICS: New safeguard for vulnerable patients

HEALTH: Married gays die 24 years younger

OBITUARY: Dr John Billings (1918-2007) and the Culture of Life

AS THE WORLD TURNS: The unmarriage revolution / Unexpected outbreak of morality / Mediocrity on the march / Children recruited to spy for Big Brother

Antidotes to narcissism (letter)

Problems with surrogacy (letter)

Politicised public service (letter)

Bell tolls for national icon (letter)

CINEMA: Spartan sacrifice that saved Greece


BOOKS: BACKS TO THE WALL: A larrikin on the Western Front, by G.D. Mitchell with Robert Macklin

Books promotion page

Bell tolls for national icon (letter)

by Robert Ettery

News Weekly, April 28, 2007


There's an old familiar ring here:

• Qantas executives and directors voting themselves massive salary rises and bonuses that would cripple a Third World country's economy.

• Qantas aircraft maintenance and servicing - as well as their own call-centres - being out-sourced overseas to save a buck.

• Qantas aircraft breaking down so that passengers are now bumped down (both in service and quality) to available Jetstar seats with little or no compensation.

• Jetstar passengers, 300 in all, stranded for two days in Hawaii and misinformed - and for what? Because the new outsourced service-agent there took two days to fix a “dodgy” fuel gauge.

While Qantas executives and directors continue to “feather their own nests” and to “get fat off the lamb (kangaroo)”, their customers - their full fare-paying passengers - are subjected to an increasingly shoddy and inferior service.

Thanks to a culture derived from the old '80s adage, “save a dollar, pay yourself a two-dollar bonus for delivering it”, a national icon is slowly being destroyed.

The afore-mentioned “old familiar ring” is called a death-knell, and it is tolling for Qantas.

Of course, don't expect the Government to help. Without any public tendering whatsoever, the Government has just awarded Qantas a $900 million contract, thank you very much! So much for competition!

Who is it that the politicians fly with, again courtesy of the taxpayer?

Robert Ettery,
Mirboo North, Vic.

All you need to know about
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TRANSGENDER: one shade of grey, 353pp, $39.99

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