Australia

Millions of Australians living in recession

By Mike Head, 3 December 2016

An estimated 6.6 million people—28 percent of the population—are living in areas of outright economic decline.

Fifty years since the Aboriginal stockmen’s strike

By Richard Phillips, 3 December 2016

While Australia’s political elite hails the 1966 Wave Hill walkout strike, tens of thousands of Aboriginal people continue to live in dire poverty.

Australia’s ABCC Bill: A far-reaching assault on workers’ rights

By Mike Head, 2 December 2016

The central purpose of the bill is to outlaw and suppress all strikes, stoppages and work bans by workers throughout the construction, transport and offshore oil and gas industries.

Australia’s Socialist Alternative agitates for escalation of US intervention in Syria

By Will Morrow, 2 December 2016

Socialist Alternative’s commentary on Syria closely aligns with the most hawkish sections of the US military and intelligence apparatus.

Australia: CIMIC Group’s takeover of UGL foreshadows more job cuts

By Oscar Grenfell, 1 December 2016

The acquisition will intensify years of job destruction and restructuring by the mining and engineering contractor.

Former Murdoch executive axes more jobs at Australian Broadcasting Corporation

By our reporter, 30 November 2016

The job losses did not begin with the current Liberal-National government but with chronic underfunding that started with the Hawke-Keating Labor administrations three decades ago.

Anxiety in Australian elite over Trump’s policies

By Mike Head, 25 November 2016

“America first” protectionism could lead to trade wars that would crash the global economy, with disastrous consequences for Australian capitalism.

Australia: Mounting evidence of black lung cover-up

By Oscar Grenfell, 25 November 2016

Thousands of miners could be afflicted by the deadly disease as a result of the erosion of safety standards by the major companies, with government and union complicity.

Australian state government imprisons teenagers in adult jail

By Eric Ludlow, 24 November 2016

The repressive response to a so-called riot in the Melbourne juvenile prison is the latest example of the brutality being inflicted on teenage prisoners in Australia.

Australia: IYSSE establishes student club at the University of Melbourne

By our reporters, 24 November 2016

In 2017, the centenary year of the Russian Revolution, the IYSSE will wage a fight for Trotskyism in opposition to the pseudo-left politics that have dominated on campus.

Australia: Desperate refugee sets fire to himself in a bank

By Peter Byrne, 22 November 2016

Nur Islam, a young Rohingya man who fled Burma, was on a temporary bridging visa, which blocked basic social and political rights, including to work.

Australia: Pacific National axes more rail jobs

By Terry Cook, 21 November 2016

The rail union is complicit in the widespread job-shedding and casualisation within the haulage sector.

Australian prime minister pushes Trump-style tax cuts

By Mike Head, 19 November 2016

Turnbull demanded “hard” economic and budgetary decisions that would “create winners and losers.”

Rising indicators of social distress in Australia

By John Harris, 18 November 2016

A recent report points to a stark increase in rates of imprisonment and suicides.

Australia: National Party decimated in New South Wales by-election

By Richard Phillips, 18 November 2016

Last weekend’s ballot again revealed that masses of people are deeply alienated from, and hostile to, Australia’s two-party system.

Australia: NSW government re-introduces public school inspectors to enforce unpopular measures

By Frank Gaglioti, 17 November 2016

Inspectors will police standardised testing on behalf of the New South Wales government, with powers to close schools and dismiss “underperforming” teachers.

Anglo American sacks workers amid strike at Australian mine

By Terry Cook, 17 November 2016

The unions are isolating a three-month strike by 140 workers at the German Creek mine in Queensland, even as the company announces sackings.

Australia: New South Wales government “bumps up” standardised testing in schools

By Erika Zimmer, 16 November 2016

The new measures underscore the relationship between standardised testing schemes and the government’s cost-cutting agenda for public education.

Workers and young people in Australia and New Zealand concerned by US election result

By our reporters, 15 November 2016

Many noted that Trump’s victory was a product of the deepening social crisis and a breakdown of American democracy.

Public meetings in New Zealand and Australia

The political causes and international implications of Trump’s election: A Marxist assessment

By the Socialist Equality Party (Australia), 15 November 2016

These meetings will clarify the immense political questions raised by Trump’s victory. Who is responsible? What conclusions must be drawn?

Australian government unveils brutal refugee deal with the US

By Max Newman, 14 November 2016

On both sides of the Pacific, the world’s most vulnerable people will be denied the basic right to seek protection, while many will face permanent separation from their families.

Australian government mounts attack on Human Rights Commission

By Peter Symonds, 14 November 2016

The campaign is a cynical attempt to divert attention from the crisis within the government by launching a “freedom of speech” crusade against the Racial Discrimination Act.

Australian establishment concerns over future of US alliance under Trump

By James Cogan, 12 November 2016

A panicked Australian political establishment has rushed to accommodate to the election of Trump, while seeking to work out its implications.

Australian government pushes ahead with lifetime refugee ban

By Max Newman, 12 November 2016

The government remains determined to get the bill through the Senate despite widespread public opposition to its blatant violation of international law.

Australia: Residents denounce closure of Hazelwood power station

By our reporters, 11 November 2016

The state Labor government and the unions are collaborating with management to axe the plant and destroy 1,000 jobs.

Australian foreign policy strategists discuss US-China nuclear war

By Patrick Kelly, 10 November 2016

At a forum on “China’s rise,” former defence official Hugh White repeatedly warned of the danger of nuclear war.

Doctors demonstrate against Australian government’s refugee policies

By Zac Hambides, 10 November 2016

Protest organisers made futile appeals to the Turnbull government and Labor, the very agencies responsible for the escalating persecution of the asylum seekers.

Australia: Unions back cuts in working conditions at state broadcaster

By our reporters, 9 November 2016

Union support for the new Australian Broadcasting Corporation enterprise agreement opens the way for even deeper attacks on jobs and conditions.

Australia: Rally against Shellharbour hospital privatisation

By our reporters, 8 November 2016

The trade unions that organised the protest promoted the fraud that Labor would defend the hospital and public health care.

US election stokes deep concerns in Australian ruling circles

By Peter Symonds, 7 November 2016

Not only the “pivot to Asia,” but the whole framework of post-war alliances in Asia is being called into question.

Australian workers and young people discuss US election crisis

By our reporters, 7 November 2016

Many spoke out against Trump and Clinton, who they correctly see as representatives of the banks and big business.

Australian government steps up assault on social welfare

By Richard Phillips, 5 November 2016

The measures are in response to growing demands by the financial elite for major cuts in social spending.

Dreamworld tragedy underscores unions’ role in undermining safety

By Terry Cook, 5 November 2016

The unsafe working conditions now prevalent in every industry are the result of the collaboration of the trade unions with the decades-long drive by corporations to slash costs.

Australian government hit by legal challenges to two senators

By Mike Head, 4 November 2016

The turmoil produced by the bids to disqualify the senators has intensified the Turnbull government’s precariousness.

Australia: Hazelwood power station closure threatens thousands of jobs

By Oscar Grenfell, 4 November 2016

The Construction Forestry Mining and Energy Union is seeking to impose an “orderly closure” of the plant.

Australian government moves to bar entry to refugees for life

By Mike Head, 3 November 2016

Some of the most vulnerable people in the world, many fleeing the ravages of US-led wars, are bearing the brunt of a brazen repudiation of basic legal and democratic rights.

Indonesia and Australia discuss joint naval patrols in the South China Sea

By Peter Symonds, 2 November 2016

The naval operations would be anything but routine, given that the Indonesian navy has already clashed with Chinese fishing trawlers in the South China Sea.

Australia: Police break up Sydney College of the Arts occupation

By Oscar Grenfell, 2 November 2016

The growing use of police against campus protests is bound up with the transformation of universities into for-profit entities reliant on corporate funds and with close ties to the state.

Australian poultry firm Baiada to close Victorian plant

By Will Morrow, 1 November 2016

The National Union of Workers is working with the company to try to enforce an “orderly closure” of the Laverton facility.

Australia: Widespread exploitation of backpackers and overseas labourers

By John Harris, 31 October 2016

The report documented the slave-like conditions for overseas workers which flow directly from the 417 visa arrangements enforced by Labor and Liberal-National governments.

Australia: Murdoch columnist blames young people for inability to purchase homes

By Oscar Grenfell, 29 October 2016

The article, though written in a satirical tone, is part of a campaign against the supposed lifestyle indulgences of the younger generation.

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

By , 29 October 2016

The World Socialist Web Site invites workers and other readers to contribute to this regular feature.

Australia: Maitland residents oppose privatisation of regional hospital

By John Roberts, 28 October 2016

The protest was another attempt by the unions to divert mounting anger over the attacks on public health into appeals to the government and the promotion of illusions in Labor.

Major safety questions emerge after fatal accident at Australia's Dreamworld theme park

By Oscar Grenfell, 28 October 2016

Despite the many revelations that have emerged since the theme park disaster, Arden Leisure continues to insist that there was nothing wrong with its safety procedures.

Queensland university case shows divisive agenda behind Australian “racial discrimination” law

By Mike Head, 28 October 2016

As universities have suffered punishing cuts, there has been a growth of facilities reserved for particular groups of students, defined in terms of race, gender or sexual preference.

US “pivot to Asia” in disarray

By Peter Symonds, 26 October 2016

Far from making a retreat, Washington’s response to its setbacks will be to escalate its diplomatic intrigues and military provocations in the Asia Pacific.

Report signals renewed US pressure on Australia to line up against China

By Peter Symonds, 24 October 2016

The US Studies Centre document examines risks to the US-Australia alliance, raising concerns, in particular, about the lack of public support for the US military build-up in Asia.

Public rifts erupt in Australian government

By Mike Head, 22 October 2016

The internal warfare wracking the Liberal-National Coalition cannot be explained by a dispute over gun laws.

UN committee condemns Australia’s Nauru refugee camp

By Max Newman, 19 October 2016

The Committee on the Rights of the Child described the treatment of children in the Australian-controlled detention centre as “inhumane and degrading.”

Australia: Large protest against Wyong hospital privatisation

By John Mackay, 19 October 2016

Unions New South Wales is seeking to channel widespread opposition to the attacks on healthcare behind the Labor Party.

Australia: Five workers killed in industrial incidents within a week

By Terry Cook, 19 October 2016

Five workers died within seven days, pointing to increasingly unsafe conditions in the construction and transport industries.

Amnesty report: Australian government running torture detention on Nauru

By Nick Beams, 18 October 2016

Efforts by Australian politicians to sell their detention model have helped create the conditions where governments around the world are regularly in breach of international law.

Report details widespread and rising poverty in Australia

By Oscar Grenfell, 18 October 2016

The growth of poverty is a direct result of the policies implemented by successive governments, Liberal-National and Labor alike.

Australian government hails New Zealand’s brutal welfare system

By Tom Peters, 17 October 2016

Australia’s government is seeking to emulate policies that have pushed tens of thousands of people off welfare.

Australian government seeks to gag top legal official

By Mike Head, 15 October 2016

By silencing the solicitor-general, the government is seeking to free itself of any constitutional or legal constraint.

Healthcare costs a growing barrier to treatment for Australians

By Michelle Stevens, 15 October 2016

Almost half those suffering some chronic health conditions are skipping treatment because of “out of pocket” costs.

Australian IYSSE holds Inaugural General Meeting at the University of Melbourne

By the IYSSE (Australia), 15 October 2016

The meeting was the culmination of a two-and-a-half year fight to establish an IYSSE club at the university.

Australia: Arrest of two boys used to ramp up terrorism scare campaign

By Mike Head, 14 October 2016

Broadcasting vague and unsubstantiated police accusations has been taken to new depths with prejudicial allegations against two 16-year-olds.

Australian tax department seeks to fast-track sackings

By Terry Cook, 13 October 2016

The changes are part of a sweeping overhaul of wages and conditions that the Liberal-National government is attempting to impose across the public service.

US seals military basing deal with Australia

By Mike Head, 10 October 2016

The cost-sharing pact will mean billions of dollars being spent on upgrading facilities across Australia for the US military.

Australian union imposes 10 percent pay cut on steelworkers

By Oscar Grenfell, 8 October 2016

The Australian Workers Union is playing the central role in the destruction of the jobs, wages and conditions of steelworkers.

Australian politicians hold sham hearings on banks’ “unethical behaviour”

By Mike Head, 8 October 2016

Thousands of working class people, retirees, small business owners and family farmers have been ruined by the banks.

Australian Labor Party restates call for military challenge to China

By James Cogan, 8 October 2016

Labor’s statements indicate frustration within the US and Australian establishments over the Turnbull government’s refusal to order an operation in the South China Sea.

Ford Australia’s closure demonstrates need for a global auto workers’ strategy

By the Socialist Equality Party (Australia), 6 October 2016

Ford’s shutdown of its Australian production tomorrow is one of the final nails in the coffin of an entire industry, at the hands of the transnational auto companies.

Australia: Dean of arts college quits amid student protests

By Elle Chapman, 4 October 2016

The moves to close Sydney College of Arts are one expression of a broader assault on the social rights to education and culture.

Australia: Strike continues at Anglo American’s German Creek coal mine

By Terry Cook, 3 October 2016

The union continues to isolate a dispute by 140 mine workers at Anglo American’s German Creek coal mine even as the company moves to recruit strike-breakers.

Australian state government to privatise five hospitals

By John Mackay, 1 October 2016

The plan will set a model for the wholesale handover of health care to profit-making corporate operators.

Infrastructure breakdown plunges Australian state into darkness

By Mike Head, 30 September 2016

Power went out across South Australia, cutting off electricity to 900,000 homes and throwing the state into chaos.

Australia: Immigration employees take industrial action in public sector dispute

By Oscar Grenfell, 30 September 2016

The limited stoppages are a continuation of the union’s attempts to isolate public sector workers and prevent a unified political and industrial fight against the government’s attacks.

Ex-Australian Labor minister calls for deregulation of university fees

By Mike Head, 29 September 2016

Dawkins appealed for Labor and the Coalition government to develop a bipartisan policy to further slash education spending and deny access to working class youth.

Anti-China witch-hunt targets former Australian foreign minister

By Peter Symonds, 28 September 2016

The attack on Carr, an establishment figure with strong ties in Washington, is a sign that nothing less than full support for the US war drive against China will be tolerated.

International court dismisses Australian challenge over Timor Sea border dispute

By Patrick Kelly, 28 September 2016

The judgement marks another exposure of Canberra’s contempt for international law and its rank hypocrisy over the resolution of maritime disputes.

Australian government claims refugee policy “best in the world”

By Max Newman, 26 September 2016

At the UN summit, Prime Minister Turnbull urged countries to adopt Australia’s “border protection” regime.

Australian brewery still operating as unions isolate sacked workers

By Frank Gaglioti and Chris Sinnema, 24 September 2016

The trade unions have opposed any unified industrial and political action to win reinstatement of the Carlton & United Breweries maintenance workers.

Australia: Thousands more jobs being destroyed

By Terry Cook, 24 September 2016

Better-paying jobs are being eliminated throughout mining-related and manufacturing industries.

Australian aircraft involved in provocative US-led airstrike in Syria

By Peter Symonds, 22 September 2016

Canberra is so enmeshed in Washington’s proxy war in the Middle East that it could find itself on the frontline of a conflict with Russia.

Australia: Socialist Alternative conference promotes racial politics and the unions

By Oscar Grenfell, 22 September 2016

The pseudo-left SAlt pushes various forms of identity politics, to cut across and suppress growing opposition to social inequality, the escalating assault on democratic rights, and war.

More than a million Australians live in poor housing

By John Harris, 21 September 2016

Many families live in precarious conditions and their children are more likely to have long-term health issues.

Australian government launches far-reaching assault on welfare

By Mike Head, 21 September 2016

The government is trying to put new window dressing on measures designed to coerce some of the poorest layers of the working class into low paid jobs.

Australia, Japan press US congress to ratify TPP

By Peter Symonds, 20 September 2016

The repeated references to the TPP’s “strategic” dimension underline its connection to the US military build-up in the Asia Pacific against China.

Australian political establishment embraces Pauline Hanson’s One Nation

By Mike Head, 16 September 2016

Hanson’s first Senate speech, which was given wall-to-wall media coverage, focused on vilifying Muslims, China and welfare recipients.

US ambassador backs campaign against “Chinese influence” in Australia

By Peter Symonds, 15 September 2016

Berry’s intervention confirms American involvement in the anti-Beijing crusade, and highlights US determination to ensure Canberra’s support for its war drive against China.

Australia: Labor Party helps government slash welfare

By Mike Head, 14 September 2016

The Coalition-Labor pact sends a wider signal to the financial elite: Labor will try to shore up the fragile political establishment and deliver the austerity measures demanded by business.

BHP Billiton demands Australian coal miners accept three-year wage freeze

By Oscar Grenfell, 14 September 2016

The company’s move is part of a broader offensive against the jobs and working conditions of workers.

The witch-hunt against Chinese influence in Australia

By Peter Symonds, 14 September 2016

The campaign against politicians, commentators and businessmen not fully supportive of the US “pivot” against China is a warning of the advanced character of war preparations in Asia.

Australia: Juvenile prison abuse exposed in Queensland

By Erin Cooke, 13 September 2016

Media reports have revealed a state Labor government coverup of the violent mistreatment of teenage detainees.

Australian government exploits attack by mentally-ill man to whip up terrorism scare

By Mike Head, 12 September 2016

Prime Minister Turnbull equated the stabbing incident to the 9/11 mass terrorist attacks in the US, which were used to proclaim an endless “war on terror.”

Australian public sector union holds farcical protests amid one-day strike

By our reporters, 12 September 2016

The protests were aimed at appealing to the Liberal-National coalition government and preventing any serious political discussion among public sector workers.

Turnbull government expands Australian military powers at home and abroad

By our correspondent, 12 September 2016

The twin measures underscore the close connection between escalating militarism and domestic police-military repression.

Few Syrian refugees yet to arrive in Australia

By Max Newman, 10 September 2016

Less than 2,000 Syrian and Iraqi asylum seekers have been allowed entry since the government’s promise to protect 12,000 people nearly a year ago.

Australian senator falls victim to anti-China witch-hunt

By Mike Head, 9 September 2016

Dastyari’s removal sends a wider message to the parliamentary elite that no dissent will be tolerated to the bipartisan policy of backing Washington.

Australian Greens signal pro-business agenda in portfolio appointments

By Oscar Grenfell, 9 September 2016

Greens leader Richard Di Natale installed senators with “fiscally conservative” credentials to key frontbench posts.

Tens of thousands of Australian public sector workers set to strike

By Oscar Grenfell, 8 September 2016

The union is seeking to corral opposition to attacks on wages and conditions behind the Labor Party.

Australian government dismisses international law in The Hague over Timorese oil theft

By Patrick Kelly, 8 September 2016

While demanding Beijing abides by a recent South China Sea ruling, Canberra has rejected the court’s jurisdiction in its disputes with East Timor in the Timor Sea.

Knives out for Australian PM Malcolm Turnbull

By James Cogan, 7 September 2016

The political atmosphere resembles that before the June 2010 political coup that removed Labor leader Kevin Rudd.

Deteriorating Australian economy adds to pressure on Turnbull

By Mike Head, 7 September 2016

The corporate discontent with the prime minister’s performance is mounting amid falling business investment and stagnant retail sales.

Australia: Opponents of war with China labelled “rats, flies, mosquitoes and sparrows”

By James Cogan, 6 September 2016

The language provides an ominous warning of the chauvinism and hysteria that is set to engulf Australian politics.

Intelligence agencies reportedly question Australian PM’s “stance” on China

By James Cogan, 5 September 2016

The question mark over Turnbull’s allegiance to the US alliance and anti-China agenda has been raised under conditions in which he holds office by a thread.

Australian supermarket chain sheds hardware stores and jobs

By John Roberts, 5 September 2016

The closure by Woolworths of Masters and Home Timber and Hardware stores reflects the impact of slump and deflation on the retail industry.

Australian government shaken by defeats in parliament

By Mike Head, 2 September 2016

Last night’s chaotic scenes underscore the ongoing instability of the political establishment.