The Guardian December 6, 2000


Briefs

An investigation into Victoria's private prisons has found they are 
inefficient and a failure in ways that we've come to recognise as typical 
of the money grubbing private sector, with their exploitation and inhumane 
treatment of prisoners of the state making them particularly repulsive. The 
investigation found the contracts between the then Kennett Government and 
the three private providers were so broadly worded that each of them simply 
went off and made up their own operating rules. The three prisons, Port 
Phillip, Fulham Correctional Centre and the Deer Park Women's Correctional 
Centre, (which has now been taken over by the government) have high suicide 
and self-harm rates, overcrowding and increasing levels of violence. 
Recommendations include uniform operating standards, health provision and 
staff training.

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Stop press! The Minister for Immigration Philip Ruddock has launched "wide- ranging initiatives" to stop illegal workers in Australia. The campaign, dressed up as saving-jobs-for-Aussies, is a propaganda exercise to boost the Government's image and reinforce its backward immigration policies which are defended by claims that migrants cost jobs and are burden on the economy. Hence the policy that bars people being given residential status unless they've got a bloody great bag of money. Hence the refugees locked up for years in tin sheds in the middle of the desert. Add to this the Government's total lack of job creation plans, a privatisation agenda that has thrown hundreds of thousands of people out of work and industrial relations laws aimed at destroying trade unions, wages, condition and jobs then the relatively small number of people overstaying their visas and working illegally, pales into insignificance, as does Ruddock's pathetic Aussie-jobs posturing.
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CAPITALIST HOG OF THE WEEK: is Federal Treasurer Peter Costello. Costello's now P1 and in the Prime Ministerial box seat since his main rival, P2, Peter Reith, was lumbered with that huge and mysterious taxpayer-funded phone bill. P1 strutted his stuff last Sunday in the Reconciliation Walk in Melbourne, as though he was doing us all a big favour for which we should all be grateful. What this really meant is that the Federal Government and its racist ideology had moved a step closer to the dustbin of history. Thanks P1.

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