Truckies taking speed to stay in work

A report by the NSW Department of Health says that one in five truck drivers use illicit drugs in order to stay awake and complete sometimes impossible deadlines. In response, the NSW Minister for Health John Hatzistergos has announced the State Government will set up a task force to combat the issue, a move which has been welcomed by the Transport Workers Union. Spokesperson Michael Kaine says transport clients are to blame for the high rates of drug use, because they place unfair pressure on drivers to drive dangerously long shifts. And with 67 people dieing on New South Wales roads this year due to heavy vehicle accidents, it’s an issue affecting all drivers. A former long haul truck driver, who wished only to be identified as Bob, spoke to The Wire’s Ashlee Betteridge about the pressures that forced him to take speed and lie in his driving log books.

Broadcast on 2SERFM Sydney 107.3 and The Wire, national community radio current affairs program. September 25, 2006.

Listen to Truckies (4 min 45 sec)

Contempt over court push to reveal sources

Interview with Christopher Warren, then secretary of the Media, Entertainment and Arts Alliance, about the contempt case against Herald Sun reporters Michael Harvey and Gerard McManus. Harvey and McManus refused to name the source of a leaked government document which showed the Department of Veterans Affairs planned to shortchange veterans on entitlements.

Broadcast on 2SERFM’s The Fourth Estate in September, 2005.

Listen to Warren interview (5 min 24 sec)

FOI under fire

The Australian Centre for Independent Journalism has been denied access to complaints about the ABC’s Middle East coverage following a Federal Court ruling. The decision in the Freedom of Information case has raised concerns about the level of transparency at the public broadcaster. The decision raised eyebrows because SBS, which has access to the same FOI Act exemptions as the ABC, decided to fulfil a similar request from author Anthony Loewenstein. Chris Nash from the ACIJ spoke to The Wire about the process involved in lodging the freedom of information request with the ABC. Produced by Ashlee Betteridge.

Broadcast on 2SERFM Sydney 107.3 and The Wire, national community radio current affairs program. September 6, 2006.

ABC and FOI (4 min 39 sec)

Unlikely love story speaks out against violence

Joanne Fedler’s latest novel writing venture began by jotting down a single sentence.
“There are not many useful things you can say to a woman whose sister has just been stabbed to death with a
pair of scissors.”

Story by Ashlee Betteridge. Published in Village Voice Eastern Beaches, July 2008.

View story