Rio and its mystery sink holes. Your tip on the Rio Tinto project about to breach the water table that feeds the Karijini National Park is absolutely true. I discovered late last year that Rio is taking so much water out of the Karijini catchment that sink holes 50 metres across and 15 metres deep are appearing as the ground collapses in the national park. I have been hearing about this for more than three years, as contract teams are sent out to simply fence off the sink holes … and to say nothing.

Just wait until they work out that the (masses of) water being pumped out of Millstream National Park (to Karratha and many mine sites) is going to cause all kinds of problems — by drying up. Local news media is already carrying stories about how the Pilbara has only about two years of groundwater left and then it won’t have enough to sustain this mining boom. I just spent my long weekend driving through the region; it’s very dry everywhere, nil surface water, and the gorges have had very little water running through them for the past 18 months.

Crown deals a dud hand? Crown is drawing up a new enterprise agreement for staff  because the current three-year plan expires in July. From what I’ve heard it seems as if its HR department for dealers, known as “Workforce Planning”, has a terrible relationship with staff. I myself am a dealer; last week a rep from the LHMU asked if I would go on strike over the new agreement, so it might be a strong possibility.

From what I’ve heard, Crown has a very high turnover rate, around half quit after one year, because of the bureaucratic conditions and the hugely demanding rosters that make it very hard to get a work/life balance. The theory I’ve heard is that they sign you up as a trainee for a Certificate III in hospitality, the government gives them a $10,000 bonus, and they don’t care whether you quit after that. The staff is mainly part-time; a lot of uni students, a lot of people working two-plus jobs because Crown simply doesn’t roster enough hours despite continually hiring more dealers.

SBS and its disappearing subtitling unit. See this piece of incoherent nonsense from the subtitling manager last Friday. I think they’re starting to panic.  The viral email has gone far, and there’s now talk of a Film Festival forum about the issue. They have delayed announcing the names due to fear, mostly.

>>> Winnie Lai 4/06/2010 4:43 pm >>>

Dear Everyone

I am writing to let know that SBS will soon progress redundancies for those who have expressed an interest in taking a redundancy where it matches SBS’s operational requirements.

Some of you have already expressed your interest to Human Resources or to me and I appreciate your doing so. I understand that this is a very difficult time for everyone but I want to make sure that everyone has had an opportunity to express their interest before we proceed.

If you haven’t done so, and you are in an affected language group, or an editor, and you are interested in redundancy you should advise Ken Anderson, the Acting Director Human Resources, or me before close of business Wednesday next week. If you do not contact Ken or I, SBS will proceed will the redundancies for those who have expressed an interest and where those redundancies meet SBS’s operational requirements. I am asking again because I do not want someone who is interested to miss this opportunity because you are delaying to let us know for whatever your reasons may be. Your entitlement calculations will be made available to you at your request.

Contact Simon Douglas-Robertson in Human Resources to obtain your figures if you haven’t already done so.

If you have any other questions, please do not hesitate to contact me or Ken.



Winnie Lai
Manager – Subtitling and Program Preparation
SBS CORPORATION, Locked Bag 028 Crows Nest NSW 1585

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