August 15, 2000

The Government today placed half-page ads concerning the D&D Dispute in the Sydney Morning Herald (at a cost of $20,000) and the Daily Telegraph ($10,000). Frankly we found their ad to be about as hard-hitting (and accurate) as the daily astrology readings it was hidden under back on page 30.
Why the Government decided to advertise is anyone’s guess, particularly when the Dispute wasn’t currently an issue with the general public, but it clearly shows that they’re nervous. And if they thought they were leading with their best shot first then we obviously don’t have too much to worry about.

Will the Union respond? Yes – and no. The Government is clearly trying to pull us on so they can deal with us before the Olympics. That being said, we don’t intend to allow ourselves to be sucker-punched into an all-out fight on their terms.

The D&D issue is almost 15 years old, and the Dispute itself has been running for over 12 months. Unless a negotiated solution can be found, and found very soon, then other steps will be taken to bring this issue to a speedy and successful conclusion. The Government can’t hope to control the situation if they don’t know what we’ll do, or when we’ll do it. It follows that we can – and will – wait until the timing suits us rather than them.

Tomorrow the Union will circulate a further notice to members setting out the details of the Government’s latest offer, along with an explanation of its many problems.

Chris Read
State Secretary
Tuesday 15th August, 2000