Australia

Australian industrial tribunal slashes workers’ wages

By Oscar Grenfell, 24 February 2017

Low-paid workers face pay cuts of thousands of dollars a year following the Fair Work Commission’s ruling.

Australian tabloid vilifies Muslim immigrants and welfare recipients

By Max Newman, 23 February 2017

Murdoch’s Daily Telegraph is witch-hunting Muslim immigrants, claiming that they are “piling on the dole queue.”

Australian governments’ decade-long cultural wrecking operation

By Richard Phillips and Linda Tenenbaum, 22 February 2017

Today, the ruling elites regard genuinely critical and creative voices with suspicion or outright hostility.

Australian state Labor government strengthens draconian anti-association laws

By Erin Cooke, 21 February 2017

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk is revamping notorious laws that provide sweeping powers to the police and courts under the guise of combatting “bikie gangs.”

The election of Donald Trump, the danger of war and the political tasks facing young people

By International Youth and Students for Social Equality (Australia), 20 February 2017

As the Australian university year begins, students confront a drastically changed world, where an extreme right-wing administration has come into office in the United States.

Australian stripped of citizenship, setting dangerous precedent

By Mike Head, 18 February 2017

By targeting Khaled Sharrouf, the government is continuing a pattern of using individuals demonised by the media to set legal precedents that threaten basic democratic rights.

Australian housing among the world’s most unaffordable

By John Harris, 17 February 2017

Soaring housing prices are causing widespread financial stress and social hardship, especially for young people.

Australian government faces deep budget crisis

By Mike Head, 16 February 2017

Over the past decade, it has become increasingly difficult for any government to push through parliament the brutal measures demanded by the corporate elite.

Australian government in disarray over vote-swapping deal with One Nation

By Mike Head, 15 February 2017

The political crisis not only raises the prospect of a split in the federal government but points to the widespread popular disaffection wracking the entire parliamentary establishment.

Australian disability workers strike against privatisation

By our reporters, 15 February 2017

Union officials sought to divert the widespread anger into impotent appeals to the state Coalition government, while promoting the opposition Labor Party.

Australian government uses investment collapse to push Trump-style corporate tax cuts

By Mike Head, 14 February 2017

Under intense pressure from the financial markets, the Turnbull government is seeking to slash social spending to enable cuts to business taxes.

Infrastructure failures exacerbate Australian heatwave conditions

By Frank Gaglioti, 13 February 2017

The February heatwave is among the hottest ever recorded in southeastern Australian cities and towns, where most of the country’s people live.

Australian Paper workers voting on union wage-cutting deal

By our reporters, 13 February 2017

The CFMEU is seeking to suppress opposition to the agreement, which cuts wages by 5 percent and creates a new tier of lower-paid workers.

Australian government reintroduces sweeping welfare cuts

By Mike Head, 11 February 2017

By resuscitating previously blocked budget cuts, Turnbull’s government is intensifying the assault on welfare entitlements.

Australia to bankroll 2018 APEC summit in Papua New Guinea

By John Braddock, 10 February 2017

Security and defence analysts claim that if the summit is jeopardised, China will take advantage at the expense of Canberra and Washington.

Australian government welfare staff may strike over pay dispute and “debt recovery”

By Oscar Grenfell, 10 February 2017

The public sector union is seeking to channel workers behind impotent appeals to the government.

Right-wing senator’s defection intensifies rifts in Australian government

By Mike Head, 9 February 2017

While Bernardi’s split is not, by itself, an immediate threat to the ruling Coalition’s one-seat majority in the lower house, it points to broader processes tearing apart the government.

Pro-Trump Australian senator splits from Coalition government

By James Cogan, 7 February 2017

In Bernardi’s resignation statement, he highlighted the deepening crisis of the two-party political establishment.

Greens and pseudo-lefts promote Australian nationalism at anti-Trump protests

By our reporters, 6 February 2017

While the demonstrators were animated by opposition to the persecution of refugees and the rise of militarism, protest organisers called for an “independent” Australian foreign policy.

Australian protesters speak on war dangers and Trump immigration ban

By our reporters, 6 February 2017

Protesters were animated by opposition to the persecution of refugees, the eruption of militarism and war and the growth of far-right movements around the world.

Australian coalition government faces defections

By Mike Head, 6 February 2017

The ruling Liberal-National Coalition is riven with divisions on foreign and domestic policy that have only been intensified by the advent of the Trump administration.

Trump browbeats Australian “ally”

By Mike Head, 4 February 2017

Just two weeks in office, Trump’s aggressive “America First” economic nationalism and militarism are sending political shockwaves around the world.

Australian prime minister’s speech points to growing political crisis

By Mike Head, 4 February 2017

Donald Trump’s election as US president has sent shockwaves through the parliamentary elite and accelerated the global turn to trade war and war.

Trump dresses down Australian prime minister

By Mike Head, 3 February 2017

Trump’s bullying treatment of Turnbull has thrown the Australian government and the media into turmoil.

Australian Greens put forward nationalist trap for anti-Trump sentiment

By Oscar Grenfell, 3 February 2017

The Greens are cynically invoking Trump’s immigration ban to advocate a more “independent” foreign policy for the Australian ruling elite.

Pauline Hanson’s One Nation seeks power in Australian states

By Mike Head, 2 February 2017

Hanson is cynically exploiting the widespread political disaffection with the establishment parties which are responsible for making deep inroads into the living standards of working people.

Recriminations in Australian Greens threaten split

By Oscar Grenfell, 1 February 2017

Sections of the Greens are calling for an anti-establishment posture, in order to prevent the party being bypassed by a developing movement of workers and young people.

Australian prime minister defends Trump’s anti-immigrant bans

By Mike Head, 31 January 2017

In the face of global outrage over Trump’s measures, Turnbull undertook to strengthen relations with the new US administration.

Australian state Labor government threatens violence against detained youth

By Eric Ludlow and Patrick Kelly, 31 January 2017

Adult prison guards will be deployed to two youth detention centres as part of a crackdown on alleged child rioters.

Australian college closure highlights sham practices in private education sector

By Robert Campion, 30 January 2017

Profit-making colleges with dubious records have received millions of dollars in public funding under a scheme introduced by the former Labor government.

Human Rights Watch again condemns Australia’s inhuman treatment of refugees

By Max Newman, 28 January 2017

The HRW report points to the rapidly escalating erosion of basic legal and democratic rights in Australia which continues despite previous such reports.

Industrial court endorses sacking of Australian miners after union betrayal

By Oscar Grenfell, 27 January 2017

The ruling was one of a series of interventions by the Fair Work Commission into industrial disputes that underscore its role as an apparatus of the corporate elite.

Australia: Union hails “cooperation” with Alcoa after government subsidy

By Frank Gaglioti and Will Morrow, 26 January 2017

The federal and state handouts will depend on Alcoa and the Australian Workers Union cutting workers’ wages and conditions.

Australian government defies public outcry on welfare debt assault

By Margaret Rees, 25 January 2017

Despite leaks of damning information by public sector workers, the Turnbull government is ratchetting up its attack on welfare recipients.

Australian state government’s “law and order” response to Melbourne car killings

By Patrick Kelly, 24 January 2017

While unable to connect the Bourke Street incident to the bogus “war on terror,” the Victorian Labor government has used it to prepare far more stringent bail laws.

Australia: Parmalat lockout in bid to slash conditions

By Will Morrow, 24 January 2017

The lockout of 65 Parmalat workers is part of a corporate onslaught on the wages and conditions of manufacturing workers nationally.

Anti-Trump demonstrations across Australia

By our reporters, 23 January 2017

While the organisers promoted Hillary Clinton and gender politics, many of the attendees voiced concerns about the rise of militarism, the erosion of democratic rights and the growth of the far-right.

Australian state premier’s sudden resignation highlights political instability

By Mike Head, 21 January 2017

While Mike Baird claimed to be resigning for family reasons, he sent a barbed political message to Prime Minister Turnbull.

Australia: Latrobe Valley residents denounce corporate onslaught

By our correspondents, 21 January 2017

WSWS reporters spoke to workers about the escalating attacks on jobs and wages, and existing high levels of unemployment and poverty in the region.

Australian government reshuffled again under mounting corporate pressure

By Mike Head, 20 January 2017

Prime Minister Turnbull’s fourth cabinet reshuffle in 16 months underscores the Liberal-National government’s instability.

Carers cut off services under Australian disability scheme

By Max Newman, 20 January 2017

Carers of people with a disability are being denied support programs under the National Disability Insurance Scheme.

Australian report highlights collapse of union membership

By Oscar Grenfell, 19 January 2017

The Roy Morgan data shows that membership is lowest among young people and the most impoverished sections of the working class.

Australia: Melbourne homeless speak out against police harassment

By our reporters, 18 January 2017

Large contingents of police have used “move on” powers to shift groups of homeless people from busy areas of the city popular with tourists, including Flinders Street station.

Japan and Australia strengthen ties ahead of Trump’s inauguration

By Peter Symonds, 17 January 2017

In pursuing aggressive “America First” trade measures, Trump threatens the economic interests not only of China but also of close allies such as Australia and Japan.

Union seeks to impose wage cuts on Australian Paper workers

By Chris Sadlier, 17 January 2017

The union and management are invoking the threat of an imminent plant closure to bludgeon workers into accepting the deal.

Teenager killed on Australian building site

By Virginia Browne, 17 January 2017

The tragedy is one of a growing number of fatalities in the construction industry as builders, with union complicity, maximise profits by cutting basic health and safety.

Former Australian prime minister denounces Trump over China

By James Cogan, 16 January 2017

Paul Keating stated that a Trump administration threatened to “involve Australia in war with China.”

Australia: Latrobe Valley power workers, residents denounce wage and job cuts

By our reporters, 16 January 2017

The latest measures are part of a decades-long assault on energy workers in the Latrobe Valley and nationally with the collaboration of the unions.

Report reveals, for the first time, extent of wealth inequality in Australia

By Mike Head, 16 January 2017

Contrary to the myth of Australia as an egalitarian society, it is among the most unequal industrialised countries in the world.

Millions of disabled Australians to be denied national insurance support

By Max Newman, 14 January 2017

The National Disability Insurance Scheme will deny adequate assistance to many in need, even those with severe mental illnesses.

“Left” Greens faction formed in Australia amid growing discontent

By James Cogan, 14 January 2017

The motivation for the faction’s formation is concern over the fall of support for the Greens.

Industrial court endorses massive pay cuts at Australian power station

By Oscar Grenfell, 13 January 2017

The industrial tribunal’s ruling clears the way for pay cuts of 30–65 percent, a precedent that will be used against other workers.

Pensions cut for 330,000 Australian retirees

By Will Morrow, 13 January 2017

The cuts are the thin edge of the wedge of a far-reaching assault on the democratic right to a secure retirement.

Record climate warming recorded in Australia for 2016

By Patrick Kelly, 12 January 2017

The Australian Bureau of Meteorology detailed several record-breaking temperature anomalies caused by global climate change.

Australian government agrees to negotiate East Timor maritime border

By Patrick Kelly, 11 January 2017

The announcement represents a significant tactical shift by Australian imperialism.

Trump and China fears overshadow fragile Australian economy

By Mike Head, 11 January 2017

Conflict between the US, led by the protectionist Trump, and China, Australian capitalism’s largest export market, could have catastrophic consequences for an already contracting economy.

“Kindy boot camp” enrolments proliferating in Australia

By Perla Astudillo, 10 January 2017

Increasing numbers of parents are feeling pressured to organise tutoring for their young children in “kindy boot camps” where they undergo structured learning and constant testing.

Australian government intensifies welfare “debt” crackdown

By Oscar Grenfell, 9 January 2017

The government is dispatching thousands of “debt notices” demanding that current and former welfare recipients repay hundreds, and sometimes thousands, of dollars.

Indonesian military suspends “cooperation” with Australia

By James Cogan, 6 January 2017

The incident sheds light on the deep concerns in the Indonesian military over the prospect of the country becoming embroiled in a confrontation between China and the US.

Job losses continue in Australia amid stalling economic growth

By Terry Cook, 6 January 2017

Mounting levels of unemployment and underemployment underscore the fraud of the government’s claim that its policies would deliver “jobs and growth.”

Disability services privatised and targeted for more cuts in Australia’s public schools

By Susan Allan, 5 January 2017

An already under-funded scheme for providing disability services to public school children in the state of Victoria is to be targeted for further cuts.

Australian state Labor government announces unprecedented police buildup

By Kurt Brown and Patrick Kelly, 4 January 2017

An additional 3,100 police officers will be recruited, expanding the size of the force by 20 percent.

Australia’s “border protection” regime claims another victim

By Max Newman, 3 January 2017

Faysal Ishak Ahmed, a 27-year-old asylum seeker from Sudan, died after suffering a seizure and collapsing in an Australian-controlled detention centre.

Soaring prison populations highlight social crisis in Australia

By Robert Campion, 31 December 2016

There has been virtually no media coverage of the spiralling trend, because it raises serious questions about the rising level of social inequality.

Arms maker Lockheed Martin opens University of Melbourne research centre

By Eric Ludlow and Will Morrow, 30 December 2016

In recent years, Melbourne has been transformed into a regional hub for US and Australian military research and development.

Great Barrier Reef suffering worst-ever coral bleaching

By Bryan Dyne, 30 December 2016

Global warming has caused the worst destruction of corals ever recorded on Australia’s Great Barrier Reef.

Australia: Political instability deepens as Liberal Party faces potential split

By Linda Tenenbaum, 29 December 2016

Returning from a three-month stint in the US, where he fraternised with Trump supporters, right-wing Liberal backbencher Cory Bernardi is testing the waters for a new far-right party.

Australia: Video reveals agonising death of Aboriginal woman in custody

By Zac Hambides, 29 December 2016

Although racism undoubtedly plays a role in the cruel treatment of indigenous people by the police, Dhu’s death points to the high rate of deaths for all prisoners.

Australian government exploits “Christmas terror plot”

By Will Morrow, 24 December 2016

Although the circumstances of the police raids remain unclear, the political establishment and media are using the events to foment an atmosphere of crisis.

Australia: Sacked brewery workers return after union “productivity” deal

By Chris Sadlier, 24 December 2016

The unions have repeatedly boasted of their role in boosting productivity and profitability at the CUB plant.

Pauline Hanson launches bids to join Australia’s political establishment

By Mike Head, 23 December 2016

Hanson’s political program is directed at supporting big business, while blaming immigrants, foreigners, welfare recipients and “the Chinese” for social devastation.

Trump’s election fuels foreign policy debate in Australia

By Peter Symonds, 22 December 2016

The disputes centre on the basic dilemma facing the ruling class: how to balance between China, Australia’s largest export market, and the US, its longstanding strategic partner.

Professor Marmot’s lectures in Australia chart extent of health inequality

By Cheryl Crisp, 21 December 2016

The lectures establish the connection between social inequality, the living and working conditions of the poor, and the deterioration in their health outcomes.

Global agencies demand deeper budget cuts in Australia

By Mike Head, 20 December 2016

An air of unreality hung over the government’s budget update because of the worldwide uncertainty in the wake of the election of Donald Trump as US president.

Australian politician jailed in bid to restore “confidence” in political establishment

By Mike Head, 19 December 2016

While the media commentary surrounding Eddie Obeid’s jailing has focused narrowly on “corruption,” the public disaffection and political instability go far deeper.

Australia: Testimony details abuse in youth detention centres

By Oscar Grenfell, 17 December 2016

Royal commission evidence, including testimony by Dylan Voller, who was repeatedly assaulted, shows that youth detention abuses were the result of government policy.

Corporate tax-dodging in Australia costs billions

By Mike Head, 16 December 2016

More than a third of the largest companies operating in Australia paid no tax in 2014-15 and multinational tax evasion cost an estimated $4.8 billion.

An exposure of high-stakes testing in Australia’s public schools

Beautiful Failures by Lucy Clark

By Karen Holland, 15 December 2016

Probing more deeply the causes of her daughter’s crippling anxiety during the last two years of school, Clark found a general consensus that “education is broken.”

Australian government threatens to jail “overpaid” welfare recipients

By Margaret Rees, 13 December 2016

Under the banner of “welfare fraud,” the government is seeking another pretext for gutting the entire welfare system.

Australia: Intense discussions about Trump victory at SEP meetings

By our reporters, 13 December 2016

The strong response to the SEP meetings demonstrates a significant politicisation among new layers of workers and youth.

Workers and youth in Australia speak about US election and SEP program

By our reporters, 13 December 2016

Those attending the SEP meetings voiced their concerns about Trump’s extreme-right political agenda and the social and political issues confronting workers in the US and internationally.

Economic contraction intensifies pressure on Australian government

By Mike Head, 9 December 2016

The worst downturn since 2008 is part of a longer-term decline in Australia’s commodity export-dependent economy.

Australia: NSW Teachers Federation pushes through new agreement in anti-democratic meetings

By our reporters, 9 December 2016

Socialist Equality Party supporters challenged the union’s refusal to circulate the deal before forcing teachers to vote on it.

Inquest evidence shows Australian government was responsible for asylum seeker’s death

By Max Newman, 8 December 2016

The medical evidence makes clear that Hamid Kehazaei died as a direct consequence of the refugee detention regime imposed by successive Australian governments.

Australia: Industrial tribunal backs the sacking of striking German Creek miners

By Terry Cook, 8 December 2016

A Fair Work Commission ruling, allowing Anglo American to dismiss workers involved in “protected” strike action, sets a dangerous precedent.

Australia: Thunderstorm-related deaths expose impact of health cuts

By Kurt Brown, 7 December 2016

Melbourne, a city of more than three million people, ran out of ambulances as thousands of people suffered potentially fatal thunderstorm-related asthma.

Australia: NSW Teachers Federation holds stop work meetings across the state

Demand the right to read the agreement before voting on it! Abolish NAPLAN, TIP, inspectors and other regressive measures!

By the Socialist Equality Party, 7 December 2016

The SEP calls all NSW public school teachers to demand that the full 2017–2019 Salaries and Conditions agreement be circulated well in advance of any vote.

Australia: Fair Work Commission backs mass sackings at Essential Energy

By Terry Cook, 6 December 2016

The Electrical Trades Union handed the dispute over to the industrial tribunal and is wholly responsible for the outcome.

Australia: State Labor government moves to ban Esso strike

By Oscar Grenfell, 5 December 2016

The unions are working with the government and the industrial tribunal to prevent a stoppage by their members.

Australia: NSW Teachers Federation calls meetings to ram through government deal

Demand the new agreement be circulated immediately! Delay the meetings to December 15!

By the Socialist Equality Party, 5 December 2016

The union has called stop-work meetings on December 8, for 50,000 public school teachers to vote on an agreement that they have neither read nor discussed.

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.