Eureka Flag Banned?!? Time To Rebel!

In July 2001, the lying little rodent and soon-to-be ex-PM John HoWARd announced his intention to investigate backdoor shenanigans in the building industry. From late 2001 until late 2002, the Royal Commission into the Building and Construction Industry met. It, in turn, established the Office of the Australian Building and Construction Commissioner (ABCC) on October 1, 2005. In a stroke of pure, unadulterated genius:

The commission ruled this year that the Eureka flag was a union-related symbol that implied CFMEU membership was compulsory on a building site, in breach of the freedom-of-association provisions of WorkChoices.

A letter from builder Baulderstone Hornibrook’s Victorian general manager, Ian Luck, to ABCC official Helen Evenden, seen by The Age, confirms that the builder has recently been audited by the commission and has been found in breach of the freedom-of-association provisions. If companies refuse to comply with the commission’s orders they can be banned, under the Government’s National Code of Practice, from doing construction work on any Federal Government-owned building site. Mr Luck said the company would “reinforce to all Victorian operation staff that no advertising material of a political nature, or material that is contrary to the code, is to appear on our sites”.

But ABCC commissioner John Lloyd denied he had ordered the removal of straight political material, only union advertising.

“In its report to the company, the ABCC identified the display of numerous union posters and paraphernalia as inconsistent with the national code,” he said.

“The ABCC did not identify any ‘material of a political nature’ as being inconsistent with the code. The term was used by the company, not the ABCC.”

A Baulderstone Hornibrook spokesman said the company was “not in a position to comment”.

The cancer charity flag is designed to raise money for the John Cummins Memorial Fund, named after the former union militant who died of a tumour last year.

His widow, Di, said yesterday the charity was a sub-fund of the Melbourne Community Foundation, set up to donate money to the Austin Hospital for cancer support, and towards scholarships for disadvantaged young people in Melbourne’s north.

The flags are sold for $100 each and the charity has already raised $100,000.

“I’m not surprised, but I’m extremely disappointed with the ABCC, and I probably wouldn’t want to say any stronger emotions than that,” Ms Cummins said. ~ Watchdog accused over site bans on stickers, Michael Bachelard, The Age, November 14, 2007

Note that “ABC[C] Commissioner John Lloyd today [November 14] reiterated that the CFMEU’s claims of political interference by the ABCC are completely false. “These claims are unfounded, unsubstantiated and incorrect. They are merely claims by the union,” Mr Lloyd said”.

Then again, that’s merely a claim by the ABCC Commissioner.

In any case, the absurdity of the Commissioner’s position is revealed in the claim that “ABCC inspectors are unlikely to nominate the flying of a single union flag on a site as a concern. However, if the site shed is covered in union stickers and all workers wear union paraphernalia there may be a breach of the freedom of association provisions of the Code.” In other words, if a site contains a majority of union members, and these members proclaim their membership of the union — say, by putting union stickers on a site shed, and/or wearing “union paraphernalia” — they are in effect violating The Sacred Code of Freedom of Association As Defined By the ABCC. That aside, in the name of ‘choice’ and ‘freedom’, the Commission in its wisdom has actually sought to prevent workers from displaying a symbol that just last year was nominated as being a Victorian Icon:

The Awards were announced in March at the Young & Jackson Hotel, by Victorian Minister for Planning Rob Hulls who said the program had proven to be an exciting new event on Victoria’s calendar, providing an opportunity to celebrate buildings, places and events for their human history.

“The Awards have been a wonderful opportunity for the Victorian community to be involved in identifying icons that have made an outstanding contribution to our contemporary cultural identity,” Mr Hulls said.

“It is a delight to acknowledge and celebrate a revered sporting mecca – the MCG; our racing hero Phar Lap; the beloved Puffing Billy; the emblem of our most significant rebellion – the Eureka Flag; a symbol of Melbourne’s live music scene – the Palace Entertainment Complex; and what ignited the tradition of meeting under the clocks – Flinders Street Station,” Anthony Knight, Deputy Chair of the National Trust of Australia – Victoria said.

Anything to crush the spirit of rebellion eh?


    Friday November 23
    State Library Steps
    Corner Swanston & LaTrobe Streets

    Speakers include: Robert Richter QC, Michael Long, Dean Mighell, Fr. Bob Maguire, Eureka descendants, Kevin Bracken and others.

    Performers: Shane Howard and friends, Archie Roach and others TBA.

    The HoWARd Government has banned the Eureka flag on building sites around Australia. This is an attack on our democratic rights to organise collectively in unions and speak out against injustice. It’s an attack on the fighting tradition of the Eureka rebellion.

    The Eureka flag was first raised in 1854 by the Ballarat miners in a popular uprising against British colonial oppression and injustice. For more than 150 years it’s been a proud symbol of ordinary people’s struggles for justice, democratic rights and a fair go.

    Unions, workers, rural communities, students and community groups have raised the Eureka flag in their many diverse struggles for a more just and democratic society. It’s a proud fighting symbol for a just, democratic and an independent Australia.

    Australia’s multiculturalism was born at the Eureka Stockade rebellion. Among the 20 nationalities that took part in the uprising were Italians, Jamaicans, black and white Americans, Irish, British, Dutch and different religions, including Christians and Jews. They were all united and pledged to stand by each other under the Eureka flag, “We swear by the Southern Cross to stand truly by each other and fight to defend our rights and liberties.”

    The rebel leaders declared the Eureka flag as “the refuge of all oppressed people from all countries on earth.”

    Organised by the Spirit of Eureka Committee // Contact & information 0417 456 001 or 0400 986 745

About @ndy

I live in Melbourne, Australia. I like anarchy. I don't like nazis. I enjoy eating pizza and drinking beer. I barrack for the greatest football team on Earth: Collingwood Magpies. The 2024 premiership's a cakewalk for the good old Collingwood.
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12 Responses to Eureka Flag Banned?!? Time To Rebel!

  1. Evan says:

    Don’t worry, we can just vote for Labor and all the bad men will go away.

  2. Lumpen says:

    Pfft, if you want the world to turn into a Utopia, vote Green. They can fix everything.

  3. Ana says:

    Labor are just the other cheek of the same arse.

  4. vents says:

    the arse has a shit stain on it

  5. Ultimate Hater says:

    What’s with white nationalists using the Eureka flag?

  6. @ndy says:

    White nationalists began to utilise the Eureka flag in the late ’70s/early ’80s. Why they did so, as I understand it, is partly because 1) a number of younger racists wanted to establish or reinvigorate a form of White Australian nationalism that was more obviously ‘Australian’, and 2) partly in a conscious attempt to ape the relative success of left-wing nationalists in so doing (particularly inre the efforts of Maoists associated with the CPA (ML) and the Australian Independence Movement). In other words, people like Dr James Saleam and groups like National Action wanted to use the Eureka as opposed to the Australian flag as a symbol for their particular brand of White nationalism because of the Eureka flag’s uniquely Australian character and origins. Further, this was part of a broader attempt to articulate a distinctively Australian form of racist, nationalist ideology, drawing on many of the ideas, figures and movements of nineteenth and early twentieth Australia; ie, a period in which — with the exception of a conquered and soon-to-be-annihilated (or so it was assumed) indigenous population — White Australia was a reality, and one which enjoyed widespread support, among both elites and the masses (the nation as a whole). In that sense, White Australian nationalism is a classically reactionary (as opposed to progressive) political ideology.

  7. Emma says:

    Why can’t Australians be proud of the Eureka flag and the Eureka stockade? It was the start of the freedom movement towards ‘a fair go for all’. Mainly Irish and Scottish miners fought an unfair law and won. We should be proud. And yes at the time the English suppressed the in[d]igenous groups – but guess what they didn’t discriminate towards just one group – they also suppressed the Irish and Scottish – hence them being sent out here for political crimes as convicts after the English stole their land.

    The convicts built Australia. They endured hardships but made the most of their opportunities. I’m proud to be Australian. I’m proud of the efforts by the convicts. I’m sick of Aboriginal and new immigrant Australians complaining of white people.

    White people have made this country a great place. You only need to check around the world to see most of the developed countries are predominantly white.

    Instead of complaining about the white people here, people should be grateful.

  8. VC says:

    Emma, you do know that the Eureka stockade was a multi-racial and multi-cultural effort, don’t you?

  9. Jon says:

    Gees some great comments there and great to see some die hard aussie patriots voicing their opinions re the Eureka Flag. It’s always been a hot topic for discussion

    If any of you are interested in your own Eureka flag ring, let me know at [email protected] and I will discount it for you after reading those comments 🙂

    all the best

  10. Michael says:

    Well people on Australia Day I’ll fly the EUREKA STOCKADE FLAG instead of our national flag.

  11. jacko says:

    maybe if we all had more fight in us like they did back in the day against the rule with people that are suppose to be working for us to make this country great we would have a better system of government make the flag ours to fly

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