Australia

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.

Australia: Liberal-National Coalition loses Victorian state election

By Patrick Kelly, 1 December 2014

The result intensifies the crisis confronting the federal government of Prime Minister Tony Abbott.

Australia: Workers and youth oppose war and austerity in Victorian election

By our reporters, 1 December 2014

Workers and young people discussed a range of political concerns with World Socialist Web Site reporters outside polling booths during Saturday’s Victorian state election ( see: election result article).

Australian government faces crisis over failed budget measures

By James Cogan and Peter Symonds, 1 December 2014

An editorial entitled “Abbott government is doomed without narrative” summed up the deep frustration in ruling circles over its failure to ram through the austerity agenda.

New Australian terrorism bill to facilitate targeted military killings

By Mike Head, 29 November 2014

On the pretext of combatting ISIS, the government’s laws can be used against anyone perceived as a political threat to the ruling establishment.

Australia: East-West toll road provides multi-billion dollar handout to corporate elite

By Will Morrow, 29 November 2014

The toll road has served as a convenient diversion in the Victorian election campaign to help suppress any debate on broader issues confronting the working class.

The Australian Greens and “human rights” imperialism

By James Cogan, 29 November 2014

At the recent G20 summit, the Greens singled out Chinese President Xi Jingping to present a protest letter on “human rights”—in line with Washington’s confrontational stance towards Beijing.

Workers denounce phony “jobs” promises ahead of state election

By our reporters, 28 November 2014

Unemployment in Broadmeadows and Dandenong, former centres of manufacturing and the car industry, has now reached depression-era levels.

Australia: Major parties prepare further austerity after Victorian state election

By Patrick Kelly, 28 November 2014

The official campaign has been a sham from start to finish.

Australian meat workers to face new attacks after JBS buys Primo Group

By Richard Phillips, 27 November 2014

JBS’s rapid expansion over the past nine years has been driven by an unrelenting assault on jobs, wages and conditions.

Two more Australian police killings in working-class areas

By Mike Head, 26 November 2014

Following two fatal police shootings within two days in the state of Queensland there is mounting evidence of an officially-sanctioned “shoot to kill” policy in working-class areas. The two killings brought the number to four in suburbs around Brisbane, the state capital, since late September. Another man was shot in the head at close range, but survived.

Split from right-wing party intensifies Australian government’s impasse

By Mike Head, 25 November 2014

Senator Lambie’s acrimonious departure from the Palmer United Party further fractures the Senate, where the government lacks a majority.

Australia: Rallies against ABC/SBS cuts promote Labor and Greens

By Oliver Campbell, 25 November 2014

The ABC announced more than 400 redundancies, along with significant changes to programming and news coverage.

SEP & IYSSE public meetings: Why have Australia’s parliamentary parties all signed up for war?

25 November 2014

The G20 Leaders Summit in Brisbane underscored just how embroiled Australia is in US-led wars and intrigues.

Australian mining services workers reject 25 percent pay cut

By Declan O’Malley and Mike Head, 22 November 2014

Hastings Deering’s ultimatum points to an intensification of the assault against jobs and conditions in the mining industry.

Australian government outlines major cuts to public broadcasters

By Oliver Campbell, 21 November 2014

The spending cuts go hand-in-hand with disciplining the ABC to ensure that it functions more closely as a propaganda arm of government.

Australia: Police violence in Queensland sparks outrage

By Declan O’Malley and Mike Head, 21 November 2014

Both incidents—a shooting and an assault—were brutal displays of force in working class suburbs of Brisbane.

Australian government embraces security pact with India

By Peter Symonds, 20 November 2014

The manoeuvres surrounding the Indian prime minister’s visit were likened to the “Great Game” of imperialist rivalry in Asia before World War I.

Australia’s housing bubble fuels a social disaster

By Mike Head, 20 November 2014

Working class households are increasingly priced out of buying a home, while thousands of properties lie vacant.

Canada’s Prime Minister spearheads attack on Russia at G-20 summit

By Roger Jordan, 19 November 2014

Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper took the lead in the hostile reception accorded Russian President Vladimir Putin at last weekend’s G-20 summit.

Chinese president seeks to use trade to counter US “pivot”

By James Cogan, 18 November 2014

Xi’s speech in the Australian parliament yesterday was a carefully-crafted response to President Obama's bellicose reaffirmation of the “pivot” last Saturday.

Australian “Direct Action” climate plan to reward corporate polluters

By Barry Andrews, 18 November 2014

The scheme is even more of a travesty than the previous Labor government’s carbon tax regime, which also sought to boost business profits.

Obama’s speech in Australia: A threat of war against China

By James Cogan, 17 November 2014

Every word Obama spoke about the economic and political agenda of American imperialism was a lie.

Empty commitment by G20 to boost global growth

By Nick Beams, 17 November 2014

The G20 summit pledge on economic growth is belied both by the actions of the major powers and the text of the final communiqué itself.

Sham opposition on display at Brisbane G20 protests

By Mike Head, 17 November 2014

Far from challenging the G20 agenda, all of the officially-sanctioned protest groups sought, in one way or another, to appeal to the assembled leaders.

G20 summit held under police-state conditions

By Mike Head, 17 November 2014

The gulf between the leaders of world capitalism and the vast majority of the population was on graphic display during last weekend’s G20 summit in Brisbane, Australia’s third biggest city.

Stage set for confrontation, not cooperation, at G20

By Peter Symonds, 15 November 2014

Even before the summit began, Australian and British leaders targeted Russia—a sign of the bitter rivalry and wrangling that will dominate the talks.

Australia: Sham promises on jobs crisis in state election

By Patrick Kelly, 15 November 2014

Several working class areas in Victoria’s capital, Melbourne, now have depression-level unemployment rates.

Corporatist agenda of trade unions on display at G20 summit

By James Cogan, 14 November 2014

The unions’ statement to the G20 leaders is a grab-bag of issues that their privileged functionaries know will never be acted on.

Australia: Silence on G20 lockdown at “Peoples Summit” forum on civil liberties

By Mike Head, 14 November 2014

The event provided a revealing glimpse of what passes for “opposition” by the various Greens, liberals, anarchists and pseudo-left groups involved.

Brisbane, Australia in lockdown for G20 summit

By Mike Head, 13 November 2014

Australia’s third biggest city resembles a ghost town under police occupation.

Small audiences mark Remembrance Day in Australia

By James Cogan, 13 November 2014

The “Eleventh of the Eleventh” is considered of secondary importance by the Australian ruling elite in promoting patriotism.

Young people in Brisbane denounce “population control”

By a WSWS reporting team, 13 November 2014

Students and young workers condemned the spending of half a billion dollars on protecting government leaders who are responsible for wars and boosting corporate profits.

Australian prime minister demands apology from Russia on MH17

By James Cogan, 12 November 2014

Abbott once again exploited the deaths of 38 Australian citizens and residents in the crash.

Obama calls for more Australian, allied troops for Middle East war

By James Cogan, 11 November 2014

Planning is undoubtedly underway for bloody attacks to retake major Iraqi cities currently controlled by ISIS.

Australian mining fatalities on the rise

By Terry Cook, 10 November 2014

Amid the collapse of the mining boom, safety is being further eroded in one of the country’s most dangerous industries.

Australia: Victorian state government facing electoral defeat

By Patrick Kelly, 10 November 2014

A Liberal Party defeat in the November 29 ballot would mark the first one-term government in Victoria since 1955.