Friday, October 22, 2010

Fair Go

(Donald Campbell's Caledonian Hotel, Boobyalla (Ringarooma Port))

Unions have taken advantage of the tight labour market, recently negotiating pay deals that deliver average welders as much as $2000 a day, causing employers to reassess the viability of future projects.

Several resources company executives told The Australian that unions had them "over a barrel" on pay negotiations because industrial relations laws had no provision for arbitration of disputes on offshore rig construction projects, which were classified as greenfield worksites.

It was impossible to fight the claims, the executives said, because this would expose them to massive holding costs and delays with no prospect of resolution.

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"I make no apology," AWU national secretary Paul Howes said yesterday. "We are a union, and our job is to secure good wages and conditions for our members. If we know we can get it, we will get it."

Give Jelena a fair go, says driving force
EXCLUSIVE | By Danny Weidler
April 27 2003
The Sydney Morning Herald

Jelena Dokic is misunderstood and deserves another chance from the Australian public says her boyfriend, racing driver Enrique Bernoldi.

Bernoldi says Dokic should not be judged on her behaviour and comments as a young girl.

Last week The Sun-Herald revealed Dokic had been in touch with Tennis Australia with a view to representing Australia at the next Olympics.

Dokic has been in contact with the head of Tennis Australia, but she has not spoken to the Yugoslavian Tennis Federation for six months and her father Damir has fallen out with the country's leading official.

Bernoldi, the man who has given Dokic the confidence to make her own decisions, spoke to The Sun-Herald prior to a race in Belgium, saying that she is a "lovely person".

Dokic's comeback plans all in the name of the father

Damir Dokic has fallen out with Yugoslavia's leading tennis official and his daughter Jelena has not talked to the Federation for six months.

The Sun-Herald revealed last week that Jelena has been in discussions with Tennis Australia over the past few months about representing Australia at the next Olympics.

Tennis Australia confirmed that talks had taken place and said they are more than happy to have Dokic back playing for this country.

According to a senior official, Mike Daws, she would be welcome back "with open arms".

Now, The Sun-Herald has learnt that the relationship between Dokic and her adopted country is strained. And the relationship between her father and the tennis body is even worse.

****************You resent people who succeed over others- everyone should do the same thing, so we all get a "fair go". This is what's known as the "tall poppy syndrome", a kind of American Dream in reverse.

Fundamentally, Chapman’s simple idea accords with the Australian ideal of a fair go: helping people in their time of need, but also expecting them to give a little back when times are good. For a government with more ideas than dollars, expanding income contingent loans might be just the solution


(a) This policy aims to ensure we are able to provide quality mobile services to all of our customers, and no customers are disadvantaged by the behaviour of others.

“Fairness” is another central value that emerges at this time. The term fair go appears in 1904. ‘A “fair bonus” is a real trier, a fair go, or a bit of a don’(1). Before this the standard term was fair show: ‘We have given you a fair show, and we find that you don’t care about working’ (1884)(2); ‘Give the working man a fair show’ (1897)(3).

The principle of ‘giving the working man a fair show’ was central to the Harvester Judgement of the Commonwealth Couth of Conciliation and Arbitration in 1907. The Commonwealth Parliament proposed to exempt manufacturers from excise duty if the wages they paid their workers were ‘fair and reasonable’. In its judgement the court held: ‘As wages are the means of obtaining commodities, surely the State, in stipulating for fair and reasonable remuneration for the employees, means that the wages shall be sufficient to provide these things, and clothing, and a condition of frugal comfort estimated by current human standard’.(4) This judgement was important in establishing the principle of the basic wage (an Australian term but not widely recognised as such) in wage fixation tribunals for much of the twentieth century.

In 1961 Australia was described as the land of the fair go: ‘This is the land of the “fair go”. We have to make that saying real for everyone inside our border.’(5) The term fair dinkum (1890) also has the notion of the fair go or ‘fair play’ at the heart of its meaning. (6)

Myths are not about empirical truths. Even though Ward (Russell Ward, The Australian Legend, 1958) wrote this summary over fifty years ago, the central points that he sets out would certainly continue to resonate with many Australians. Central to the myth is the notion of egalitarianism, enhanced by certain key items of the Australian vocabulary such as fair go, fair dinkum, and mateship.(7)

(1) Bulletin (Sydney), 14 April 1904, p.29.
(2) Australian Tit-Bits (Melbourne), 25 December 1884, p.18.
(3) Tocsin (Melbourne), 25 November 1897, p.9.
(4) ‘Ex parte H v McKay’, Commonwealth Arbitration Reports, 1(1907-8), pp.3-17.
(5) Sydney Morning Herald, 27 January 1961, p.13
(6) Moore, B. (2008), Speaking our Language: The story of Australian English, Oxford, South Melbourne, pp.105-106.
(7) Moore, B. (2008), Speaking our Language: The story of Australian English, Oxford, South Melbourne, p.133.

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