December 22nd 2007

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Articles from this issue:

EDITORIAL: Bali climate conference disconnected from reality

CANBERRA OBSERVED: Liberals not knowing which way to turn

FILM CLASSIFICATION: Porn film case dismissed by Federal Court

NATIONAL AFFAIRS: Can Rudd restore an impartial public service?

FOREIGN DEBT: Last chance to avoid becoming a banana republic?

QUARANTINE: AQIS locks stable door after horse flu has bolted

INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS: US and Israel differ over Iran nuclear capabilities

STRAWS IN THE WIND: Christmas miscellany / Shopping spree / If the Liberals keep their nerve / One way of spending the surplus / Developing expensive tastes

GENOCIDE: Stalin's Ukrainian famine - the Holodomor

OPINION: Four factors that have shaped the new PM

OPINION: Trojan Horse inside Amnesty International

The abused generation (letter)

John Howard's dignified farewell (letter)

Asbestos cynicism (letter)

Malthusian spectre (letter)

CHRISTMAS POEM: The adoration of the Magi

CINEMA: The Golden Compass - well-crafted fantasy film 'about killing God'

BOOKS: THIRD WAYS: Family-centred economies and why they disappeared, by Allan C. Carlson


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Asbestos cynicism (letter)

by M. Gordon

News Weekly, December 22, 2007

The number of mourners at the funeral of asbestos campaigner Bernie Banton was a testament to his standing in the community. The death toll from asbestos will continue for many years, not only amongst workers exposed to its manufacture.

While former asbestos producers such as BHP and CSR have done the right thing, James Hardie did not do so till late in the piece.

What was more galling was seeing representatives of the NSW Labor Government ingratiating themselves at Bernie Banton's funeral, when that same Labor Government and Labor-associated lobbyists had assisted Hardie's move to the Netherlands to reduce its legal exposure, and for a favourable tax ruling which it obtained at the great and continuing expense of Australian taxpayers.

The Hardies asbestos episode has been made possible by some of the most cynical political action by a party supposedly concerned for employee interests. It is shameful.

(Mr) M. Gordon,
Flynn, ACT

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