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Saga of flowery IR stunt continues

By Kerces 30 September 2005 7

Well it’s been no holds barred today as the war of press releases continues between Jon Stanhope and Brendan Smyth over the proposed launch of ACTU’s anti-IR reform campaign at Floriade.

At 1.34pm this media invitation to the launch popped into my inbox:


Chief Minister Jon Stanhope will on Monday launch the “I Didn’t Vote For” postcard, part of the Australian Council of Trade Unions’ national campaign against the Federal Government’s proposed industrial relations reforms.

The campaign points out that, when Australians went to the polls 12 months ago, they did not have the opportunity to consider the Howard Government’s radical industrial relations changes.

What: National launch of the ACTU postcard
When: 12pm, Monday 3 October 2005
Where: Village Stage, Floriade, Commonwealth Park

Just eight minutes later I got this release from Brendan Smyth.

He called the whole thing a “disgrace” and said it showed the contempt in which Mr Stanhope holds us Canberrans and our visitors.

“He knows the last thing that tourists or Canberrans want to hear this long weekend is a political message about workplace reforms, but knows if he does it centre stage at Floriade people will be forced to listen,” Mr Smyth said.

He also wondered what Ted Quinlan “thinks about all of this”, saying, “Surely he is not pleased that Canberra’s major tourist attraction is being abused by his leader in this way.”

And to finish off he claimed the ACTU has not got the relevant permissions from the National Capital Authority to conduct a political campaign in the area.

Well. It took Stanhope’s staff a wee bit off time to think out the best way to respond to all this and I received this at 3.26pm.

In it Mr Stanhope said “Brendan Smyth ought to come clean on his stance regarding the Howard Government’s appalling attacks on Australian workers and Australian families”.

He said Monday is the most appropriate day to launch such a campaign as it is the celebration of “one of the labour movement’s greatest achievements — the eight-hour day”. It also appears that it was ACTU who decided to use Floriade as the venue for the launch.

He claimed the proposed changes (which I don’t believe are finalised yet) will affect up to 100,000 Canberrans — or roughly a third of our population.

He finished off his bit of wordy spray with, “The Howard Government’s majority in the Senate might stifle free speech on Capital Hill, but it won’t stifle free speech elsewhere in the ACT.”

One does wonder why Jon Stanhope has been asked to do this — was Stephen Smith too busy to help launch a campaign that you might think he’d be rather interested in?

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Saga of flowery IR stunt continues
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terubo 11:14 am 01 Oct 05

Young Stephen isn’t being quite so coy, JB. He was in a lengthy debate on ABC ‘Lateline’ just a week ago.
-Albeit looking like a cornered rat seeking a drainpipe.

Thumper 11:01 am 01 Oct 05

Totally inappropriate., In fact disgustingly so.

Why not hold it at Weston park and see how many turn up.

I will add, however, that I too am a bit wary of Howard’s new IR legislation and I believe that people should speak out against it, once they know what it actually entails, which no-one knows as yet.

Once again the Comrade bangs on about free speech, what a joke, he forgot to add, ‘when I decide its appropropriate for me’

johnboy 10:35 am 01 Oct 05

It’s very much an “as near as I can tell” at this point.

But he’s been hunkered down out there for weeks with only limited access to the media so i’m presuming something is forcing him into it.

Either that or he’s trying to lay low until Mark Latham dies.

colsim 10:23 am 01 Oct 05

Thankyou Brendan Smyth the honorable member for the seat of I-can’t-do-a-damn-thing-but-whinge-so-who-gives-a-fuck 🙂

What’s the Stephen Smith story Johnboy?

johnboy 8:44 am 01 Oct 05

Unless you want a ticket, in which case you’re pretty happy to see them.

terubo 8:11 am 01 Oct 05

I doubt earnest gardening types eagerly sporting pocket digi-cameras are going to shy away from the great tulip display, just because a couple of bearded khaki-clad union fanatics are waltzing around with pencil & paper.
-It’s like ticket touts at Aussie Stadium, you just walk past them and smile sweetly. And mutter ‘bugger off’ under your breath.

johnboy 12:05 am 01 Oct 05

Stephen Smith is fighting for his (political) life in Peth as near as I can tell.

Mr Stanhope’s media release is now up

The Canberra Liberals views on federal policies is made quite clear if you spend five minutes reading the ticker on the top of their website.

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