Australia

Two cyclones devastate areas of northern and eastern Australia

By Will Morrow, 28 February 2015

Thousands of people have been left to fend for themselves, with little or no government support, and been forced to turn to charities, friends and family to survive.

Nick Beams retires as Socialist Equality Party (Australia) national secretary

By the Socialist Equality Party (Australia), 27 February 2015

Nick Beams, a founding member and long-time leader of the Australian section of the International Committee of the Fourth International, announced last Sunday he was stepping down as national secretary.

Australian prime minister’s leadership continues to unravel

By Mike Head, 26 February 2015

Underlying the destabilisation is mounting business dissatisfaction with the Abbott government’s failure to impose deep cuts to social spending and workers’ wages and conditions.

The US “pivot to Asia” and the Australian leadership crisis

By Peter Symonds, 25 February 2015

A major obstacle to Malcolm Turnbull’s ambitions to take over as prime minister lies in Washington.

Australia: Aurizon workers confront deep assault on conditions

By Terry Cook, 25 February 2015

Amid plummeting coal prices, the rail freight company is seeking to dismantle long-standing working conditions and protections for its Queensland workforce.

Australian PM outlines sweeping new “anti-terror” measures

By Mike Head, 24 February 2015

Yesterday’s “national security” speech sought to stoke fears of terrorism and incite anti-Muslim sentiment as a means of diverting political discontent.

Australian government uses Sydney siege report to ramp up anti-terror laws

By Peter Symonds, 23 February 2015

The report is a whitewash designed to cover-up the extensive relations between the hostage-taker Monis and various police and intelligence agencies.

Australia: Sydney city council attacks the homeless

By Gabriela Zabala, 23 February 2015

The harsh treatment of Sydney’s homeless is in response to growing numbers of people sleeping on the street in inner city areas.

Unemployment in Australia at 12-year high

By Terry Cook, 21 February 2015

Officially, the number of jobless workers now stands at nearly 800,000, due to the job destruction under Liberal-National and Labor governments alike.

Oppose political censorship at Griffith University!

By the International Youth and Students for Social Equality (Australia), 21 February 2015

Griffith University’s bans are a direct political attack on the IYSSE, and the democratic rights of students.

US court overturns “terrorism” charge against Australian Guantanamo prisoner

By Richard Phillips, 20 February 2015

The Australian government’s defence of the illegal incarceration and torture of David Hicks is a warning that it is preparing to ramp up the “war on terror” and its attacks on democratic rights.

Australian government launches vicious attack on human rights commissioner

By Will Morrow, 20 February 2015

Prime Minister Abbott vilified the Human Rights Commission over its report on children incarcerated in refugee detention centres in breach of international conventions.

Finance capital pushes for Australian economic “restructuring”

By Nick Beams, 19 February 2015

For the dominant sections of the financial elite, the political impasse facing the Abbott government goes far beyond currently-stalled budgetary measures.

Australia: Sydney residents shocked by police shooting of 22-year-old woman

By our reporters, 19 February 2015

Workers and youth voiced their concerns about the brutal police killing of Courtney Topic in Hoxton Park, a southwestern Sydney suburb.

SEP Australia to stand in New South Wales state election

Against war and austerity! For social equality and democratic rights!

By the Socialist Equality Party, 19 February 2015

The SEP campaign will advance a socialist and internationalist program to fight war, austerity budget cuts, attacks on jobs and conditions and the assault on democratic rights.

Sydney siege survivors speak on Australian television

By Richard Phillips, 18 February 2015

Wounded hostage Marcia Mikhael said the police have treated her “like a criminal.”

US military looks to expand use of Australian bases and ports

By James Cogan, 16 February 2015

The expansion of US-Australia military relations is bound up with the US “pivot to Asia.”

No to war and austerity! Join the International Youth and Students for Social Equality!

By the International Youth and Students for Social Equality (Australia), 16 February 2015

The following statement is being distributed by members of the IYSSE at university orientation days across Australia over the next two weeks.

Australian PM prejudices rights of terrorist suspects to fair trial

By Will Morrow, 14 February 2015

Prime Minister Abbott used parliamentary privilege to make highly prejudicial statements alleging that a plot was underway to commit a terrorist attack.

Australia: Labor forms minority government in Queensland

By Mike Head, 14 February 2015

Labor’s precarious hold on office underscores the fragility and volatility of the parliamentary system in Australia.

Australia: NSW electricity workers face more job losses

By Terry Cook, 13 February 2015

Both the Liberal and Labor parties are preparing for the further sale of government-owned assets following next month’s state election.

Australian police carry out another anti-terror raid

By Peter Symonds, 12 February 2015

The spectre of the “lone wolf” attack is being exploited to push for a new round of draconian anti-terror legislation.

Australia: Homeless people speak on worsening social crisis

By Susan Allan, 12 February 2015

“I think all the austerity measures are terrible—the rich and poor divide is growing.”

Calls to intensify Australian austerity agenda

By Nick Beams, 11 February 2015

The Murdoch press has proposed a national economic summit to push forward policies that will make even deeper inroads into social spending and living standards.

Australia: New South Wales police gun down 22-year-old woman

By Richard Phillips, 11 February 2015

The latest police killing is further evidence of an officially-sanctioned “shoot to kill” policy in response to worsening social problems in working-class areas.

The Abbott government and the deepening political crisis in Australia

By the Socialist Equality Party, 10 February 2015

A vast chasm has opened up between the austerity program demanded by the financial elite and the social needs of working people.

Australian prime minister faces leadership vote

By Nick Beams, 7 February 2015

The move against Prime Minister Abbott arises from a deepening economic and political crisis that has seen the country without a stable government for the past five years.

Former Australian Labor minister endorses university fee deregulation

By Oliver Campbell, 6 February 2015

The measures that the government is attempting to implement are the continuation of a bipartisan assault on higher education.

US spy bases in Australia central to war plans against China

By Will Morrow, 5 February 2015

A recent Australian Financial Review article highlights the far-reaching implications of Canberra’s alignment with the Obama administration’s “pivot to Asia.”

Australian High Court rubberstamps detention of refugees at sea

By Mike Head, 5 February 2015

The ruling gives a green light to the bipartisan drive to go to ever-greater lengths to stop all asylum seekers entering Australia.

Australian central bank cuts rates as economic downturn accelerates

By Nick Beams, 4 February 2015

Australia has now joined the global currency war amid deepening economic and political crisis.

Australian PM recommits to war and austerity

By Nick Beams, 3 February 2015

Abbott began his National Press Club address by invoking the bogus “war on terror.”

Queensland state government defeated in anti-austerity vote

By Mike Head, 2 February 2015

In an unprecedented political reversal, the Liberal National Party is poised to lose office just three years after coming to power in a landslide victory.

Australian politics in upheaval after election shock in Queensland

By James Cogan, 2 February 2015

A definite pattern has emerged in Australian political life where elections, at both the federal and state level, have an entirely negative character.

Queensland voters give voice to disaffection

By our correspondents, 2 February 2015

During last Saturday’s state election in the Australian state of Queensland, Socialist Equality Party members and supporters spoke to voters at Kippa-Ring, an outer northern suburb of Brisbane, the state capital.

Australian government plunged into leadership crisis by Murdoch intervention

By Will Morrow, 31 January 2015

The affair has underscored the enormous weight wielded by Murdoch personally and his ability to manufacture crises to effect right-wing political shifts.

Sydney siege inquest: An exercise in damage control

By Peter Symonds, 30 January 2015

The overriding aim is to counter public suspicion, while protecting the government, police and intelligence agencies that were responsible for the tragic outcome.

Indonesian authorities prepare for more executions

By John Roberts, 30 January 2015

Eleven more prisoners, including two Australians, face death after President Joko Widodo ruled out clemency for anyone convicted of drug offences.

Australian opposition Labor leader visits troops in Iraq

By Will Morrow, 29 January 2015

Shorten’s trip to Iraq underscores the Labor Party’s complete alignment with the US-led war in the Middle East and Washington’s broader militarist agenda.

Australia: Queensland election reveals wider political crisis

By Mike Head, 29 January 2015

The election campaign has underscored the popular hostility toward budget-slashing measures and the instability of the parliamentary system in Australia.

Australian pseudo-left group hails Syriza’s victory in Greece

By James Cogan, 29 January 2015

Socialist Alternative’s enthusiasm stems from years of promoting illusions in Syriza and presenting it as a model for new “left” formations internationally.

The motives behind Australian PM’s knighting of Prince Philip

By James Cogan, 28 January 2015

While derided as a relic of Australia’s past colonial relationship with Britain, the monarchy remains central to the Australian capitalist state and particularly to the military.

Australian Productivity Commission launches wage-cutting review

By Mike Head, 27 January 2015

The inquiry openly canvasses abolishing penalty wage rates for after-hours work and scrapping the minimum wage.

Australian man dies after being tasered by police

By Oliver Campbell, 24 January 2015

Kevin Norris became the third person to die after being tasered by New South Wales state police since 2010.

Australia: Murdoch newspaper denounces universities for “over-educating” students

By Will Morrow, 23 January 2015

An editorial in the Australian newspaper reveals the deeply-reactionary ideological agenda that underlies the bipartisan political assault on the right to university education.

Amid a worsening Australian government crisis, Labor pledges to impose austerity

By Mike Head, 22 January 2015

While opposing the government’s key budget measures, Labor is drawing up policies to make even deeper inroads into social spending.

Labor vows to outdo “debt reduction” in Australian state election

By Mike Head, 20 January 2015

The Queensland election has turned into a contest between the main parties over which can cut government spending the fastest.

Widespread disaffection in Queensland election

By our correspondents, 20 January 2015

After years of broken election promises and worsening social conditions there is intense hostility to both major parties.

Australian PM condemns magistrate for bail decision in bogus “terror” case

By Patrick Kelly, 19 January 2015

A campaign is underway that could see the reversal of the right to bail in a wider range of criminal cases, even where there is no proven link to terrorism.

Hunger strike in Australian refugee detention camp on Manus Island

By Will Morrow, 17 January 2015

The protest reportedly involves over 400 of the 1,053 detainees.

Australian government in disarray over doctors’ fees

By Mike Head, 16 January 2015

Despite the latest backflip—the second in a month—the underlying drive to dismantle the subsidised health system will continue.

Australia: New state Labor leader installed to push business agenda

By Terry Cook and Mike Head, 14 January 2015

Luke Foley became the second figure parachuted into the New South Wales leadership of the two traditional ruling parties within eight months.

Leaked information confirms police refused to negotiate with Sydney siege gunman

By Will Morrow, 13 January 2015

The government and security forces decided that the siege would only end through a violent shoot-out.

Labor pledges to match budget cutting in Australian state election

By Mike Head, 13 January 2015

Both major parties have vowed to satisfy the demands of the global financial markets and the corporate elite for the slashing of Queensland’s near $3 billion budget deficit.

Australian special forces working with sectarian Shiite troops in Iraq

By Will Morrow, 12 January 2015

Australian troops are attached to Iraqi units that function as sectarian death squads, murdering suspected opponents of the US puppet regime.

Australian state government drafts anti-free speech defamation laws

By Patrick Kelly, 12 January 2015

Having already banned anti-business protests, the Tasmanian government is preparing laws to allow companies to sue anyone criticising their activities.

Australian government exploits Paris attacks

By Mike Head, 10 January 2015

While claiming to defend free speech, the prime minister sought to justify measures that abrogate fundamental democratic rights, along with stepped-up involvement in the Middle East war.

Australian budget reviews reveal impact of plunging commodity prices

By Terry Cook, 8 January 2015

Export prices are collapsing, with devastating consequences for jobs, living standards and government budgets.

“Governments want a history that reflects their agenda”

History web site secretary discusses World War I centenary

By Susan Allan, 8 January 2015

Dr David Stephens explains how the Australian government is using the World War I centenary to promote nationalism and militarism among school children.

Australian state government calls snap election

By Mike Head, 7 January 2015

Premier Newman’s desperate move underscores the increasingly volatile and fragile state of parliamentary politics in Australia.

Australian prime minister visits Iraq to promote US-led war

By James Cogan, 6 January 2015

Abbott’s visit coincides with the Obama administration’s push to expand the size and operations of US forces.

Australian bushfires underline impact of global climate warming

By Will Morrow, 6 January 2015

Firefighters in South Australia are struggling to control bushfires that have torn through 12,000 hectares of land and destroyed at least 26 homes.

Australia to be maintenance base for controversial F-35 jet fighter

By James Cogan, 3 January 2015

The decision underlines the degree to which Australia is being integrated into US preparations for war in the Asia-Pacific region.

The Sydney siege: Official lies and contradictions

By Peter Symonds, 27 December 2014

Governments and police exploited the café siege as a giant dress rehearsal for police state measures that will in the future be used against the working class.

Australia: “Terrorism” warnings ratcheted up for Christmas

By James Cogan, 27 December 2014

The Abbott government is using constant fear-mongering to justify its support for the US-led war in the Middle East and deep inroads into democratic and social rights.

Australian state Labor leader quits over Sydney siege-linked letter

By Mike Head, 24 December 2014

John Robertson’s removal underscores the reactionary political climate created by the “terrorist” claims surrounding the Sydney hostage incident.

Australian establishment lays out agenda after Sydney siege

By James Cogan, 23 December 2014

The prime minister signalled with a cabinet reshuffle how he intends to exploit the hostage crisis to implement austerity as well as boost the “war on terror.”

Australia: Workers and youth denounce government and media response to Sydney siege

By our reporters, 22 December 2014

Many of those who spoke with the WSWS in Sydney, Newcastle and Melbourne last weekend were deeply suspicious about the state counterterrorism operation.

The Sydney siege and the drive to war

By Nick Beams, 20 December 2014

The Sydney siege and its bloody outcome are the consequences of the increasing integration of Australia into the war drive of the US.

Governments, media internationally respond to the Sydney siege

By Peter Symonds, 20 December 2014

The Sydney hostage-taking is the latest chapter in the lies and deceit used to boost the “war on terror” and its agenda of war and militarism.

Eight children found dead in Cairns, Australia

By Will Morrow, 20 December 2014

A mother has been charged with murder, pointing to tragic circumstances and a worsening social crisis.

Australian government exploits Sydney siege to advance “war on terror”

By Peter Symonds, 19 December 2014

The government’s “review” seeks to divert attention from its own role in manufacturing a national “terrorism” crisis that ended tragically with three deaths.

More police raids in Sydney on the pretext of counter-terrorism

By James Cogan, 19 December 2014

The raids have been used to maintain the drumbeat that Australia is under attack by domestic terrorists inspired by ISIS.

UN torture report criticises Australia’s refugee policies

By Terry Cook, 19 December 2014

The Abbott government has thumbed its nose at a UN committee report finding that the country’s refugee system could violate the Convention Against Torture.

Australian government announces “review” of Sydney siege

By James Cogan, 18 December 2014

The hostage crisis is being exploited by the Abbott government to press ahead with its agenda of support for US wars abroad and new anti-democratic measures at home.

Unanswered questions about the Sydney siege

By Mike Head and Peter Symonds, 17 December 2014

The most disturbing question is why the Australian government immediately elevated the incident into a major national crisis.

Australia: Senate inquiry whitewashes killing at Papua New Guinea refugee camp

By Patrick Kelly, 17 December 2014

Evidence suggests that the government provoked protests at the detention centre, then violently suppressed them as a means of deterring refugees from trying to reach Australia.

The Sydney siege

By Peter Symonds, 16 December 2014

The Australian government transformed a serious, but relatively straightforward, police matter into a national crisis to justify a shift in foreign and domestic policy.

Sydney siege ends in violent police assault

By Mike Head, 16 December 2014

Long-distance footage showed heavily-armed units storming the building, firing stun grenades and semi-automatic weapons.

Australian government announces budget deficit blowout

By James Cogan, 16 December 2014

The economic reversal is intensifying corporate demands for cuts to government spending.

SEP public meetings in Australia oppose preparations for war

By our reporters, 16 December 2014

The meetings are part of an international offensive to alert and mobilise the working class against the danger of a new world war.

Students and workers speak out on the danger of war

By our correspondents, 16 December 2014

Audience members at the Socialist Equality Party’s public meetings in Australia on “ Why have Australia’s parliamentary parties all signed up for war?” spoke to WSWS correspondents after the meetings.

Australia: Police lockdown as Sydney siege continues

By Mike Head, 15 December 2014

Without any evidence being made public of terrorist involvement, a massive police operation has been set in motion in Sydney and other Australian cities.

Jobless toll continues to rise in Australia

By Mike Head, 13 December 2014

There are now about five times as many unemployed workers as the number of job advertisements.

Successive Australian governments complicit in US torture

By Mike Head, 12 December 2014

Not a word of condemnation of the United States government has been heard within the Australian political establishment.

Australian government seeks to force doctors to charge fees

By Mike Head, 10 December 2014

Abbott’s apparent about-face is another indication of the political crisis wracking the Liberal-National Coalition government.

Australian financial inquiry warns of insolvency danger

By Mike Head, 9 December 2014

An official report says the risks confronting the economy are much greater than during the 2008–09 meltdown.

Australia: Eleven-year-old Aboriginal boy commits suicide

By Susan Allan, 8 December 2014

A record level of suicides by Aboriginal children and teenagers is a product of decades of poverty and a damning indictment of the profit system.

Toyota Australia details restructuring plans after 2017 shutdown

By Will Morrow, 6 December 2014

The trade unions have been the key accomplices of the companies, along with state and federal governments, in organising the shutdown of the auto industry.

Australian sailors say Labor government ordered them not to rescue refugees

By Mike Head, 5 December 2014

Naval personnel testify that captains received instructions direct from Canberra not to assist stricken boats, leaving the passengers to perish.

Australian economy in income recession

By Nick Beams, 4 December 2014

Output grew by only 0.3 percent in the third quarter, well below expectations, accompanied by a fall in national income.

Plunging prices and stalling investment drive Australian mining job cuts

By Terry Cook, 4 December 2014

Thousands more jobs across Australia’s mining and resources sector will be eliminated as major companies restructure their operations and shelve investment plans in response to the ongoing plunge in commodity prices and slowing global demand.

Youth in Australia worse off than their parents

By Zac Hambides, 3 December 2014

This generation of young people will become the first in the post-war period to have a lower standard of living than their parents.

Australian military launches first amphibious assault ship

By James Cogan, 3 December 2014

The ship’s role has been expanded since Australia enlisted as one of the main partners in the aggressive US “pivot to Asia.”

Australian government confronts deepening political and economic crisis

By Mike Head, 2 December 2014

Prime Minister Abbott held a 50-minute solo media conference to try to deal “head on” with the ever-more visible disarray of his government.

The death of Australian cricketer Phillip Hughes

By James Cogan, 2 December 2014

The overblown response of the entire media, political and sporting establishment to Hughes’s death deserves careful and critical scrutiny.