Australia

Australian treasurer to target age pensioners and the poor

By Nick Beams, 24 April 2014

Hockey’s longer-term goal is to eviscerate the entire social welfare system in the name of “personal responsibility.”

SEP (Australia) Second National Congress: Greetings by David North

By David North, 24 April 2014

“The International Committee of the Fourth International is the product of more than six decades of political struggle against opportunism.”

Socialist Equality Party (Australia) holds Second National Congress

24 April 2014

The congress unanimously adopted two resolutions: “Australian imperialism and the Obama administration’s ‘pivot to Asia’” and “The social counter-revolution in Australia and the political tasks of the Socialist Equality Party.”

Australia to purchase more US fighter jets

By Mike Head, 24 April 2014

The F-35 Joint Strike Fighter package is designed to help satisfy the Obama administration’s demands for Canberra to increase military spending in order to confront China.

Australian government plans sweeping privatisation of higher education

By Mike Head, 22 April 2014

Labor’s pro-market funding system will be extended to private profit-making providers, allowing them to undercut the public universities.

Australian government scraps refugees’ rights to legal aid

By Alan Leigh, 19 April 2014

The denial of access to legal aid escalates the government’s drive to coerce asylum seekers to abandon their refugee applications.

Australia: Industry watchdog seizes construction workers’ property

By Terry Cook, 18 April 2014

The response of the trade unions to the seizure of CBI workers’ property has been to demonstrate their unwavering support for the draconian Fair Work laws.

Australian, New Zealand citizens killed by US drone strike in Yemen

By Tom Peters, 17 April 2014

Canberra and Wellington both indicated their approval for the extra-judicial assassinations, setting a dangerous new precedent for attacking legal and democratic rights.

More than a bottle of wine involved in ousting of Australian state premier

By Nick Beams, 17 April 2014

The scandal that led to NSW Premier O’Farrell’s sudden resignation is about effecting a further lurch to the right by governments at the state and federal level.

Australian PM pushes for free trade deal with China

By Peter Symonds, 15 April 2014

The trip was generally praised in the Australian media, simply because Abbott managed to avoid any diplomatic rows with Beijing.

Australian government to target pensions in budget

By Nick Beams, 14 April 2014

The Abbott government’s first budget will contain major attacks against pensioners, together with deep cuts in public spending.

Ex-Australian foreign minister voices concern about unconditional support for Israel and the US

By Mike Head, 14 April 2014

Carr’s The Diary of a Foreign Minister points to wider unease in ruling circles about Canberra’s “too-desperate” embrace of Washington.

Australia: Socialist Alliance holds bogus “defend Geelong jobs” rally

By Will Marshall, 12 April 2014

Far from being a fight to defend jobs, the rally was aimed at promoting the Labor Party and unions, which bear full responsibility for the devastation of cities like Geelong.

Australian treasurer calls for “a global age of responsibility”

By Mike Head, 11 April 2014

Australian Treasurer Joe Hockey outlined a fundamental assault on social spending in Australia and internationally, in line with the demands of the global financial elite.

Young workers super-exploited in Australian meat industry

By Keith Morgan, 10 April 2014

Young Asian workers on temporary visas are being systematically underpaid and mistreated.

Australia and Japan extend military ties

By Patrick O’Connor, 9 April 2014

The agreements underscore Japan and Australia’s active collaboration with Washington’s drive to militarily encircle and diplomatically isolate China.

Australian Senate vote points to acute political disaffection

By Mike Head, 8 April 2014

Amid an unprecedented mass abstention, just one in five voters cast a ballot for Labor.

Western Australian government cuts hospital beds and jobs

By Joe Lopez, 7 April 2014

Hundreds of public health jobs to be eliminated at hospitals in Perth, the state capital.

Oppose the use of SSAF to attack student political clubs!

Defend the democratic rights of Griffith University students!

By the International Youth and Students for Social Equality (Australia), 4 April 2014

Members of political clubs at the university are being denied rights enjoyed by all other students, and attempts are being made to restrict or even proscribe their activities.

Australian government reintroduces imperial honours system

By Patrick O’Connor, 31 March 2014

The government has revived the central elements of the old system of knights and dames as another means of glorifying the army and its commanders.

Australian student union’s “Day of Action” promotes Labor and the Greens

By our correspondents, 29 March 2014

That broad layers of the student population view the protest politics of the NUS as unserious was reflected in a low turnout.

Australian government instigates moves to quash PNG judge’s refugee inquiry

By Eduardo Ballesteros, 28 March 2014

The Papua New Guinea government, at Canberra’s behest, is blocking a judicial inquiry into abuses against refugees inside Australia’s detention camp on Manus Island.

“No section of public housing is safe”

Inner-Sydney tenants denounce government’s privatisation

By our reporters, 26 March 2014

Following the New South Wales Liberal government’s announcement that it was privatising all public housing in the area, WSWS reporters spoke with residents of Millers Point and The Rocks.

Australian government minister steps aside: A revealing episode

By Terry Cook, 26 March 2014

A corruption scandal sheds light on growing inequality and the aspirations of an upper middle class layer.

Australia: State government to sell off Sydney Harbour public housing

By Stephen Griffiths, 26 March 2014

The NSW government aims to drive low-paid workers and pensioners out of inner Sydney.

Christopher Boyce: “Snowden is a very brave man”

Former US intelligence contractor speaks on 1975 Australian coup

By Mike Head, 24 March 2014

Boyce, now 61, confirmed his previous statements that the CIA was centrally involved in the dismissal of the Whitlam government.

Australia: Mounting anger over coal mine fire health crisis

By Daniel Saul, 22 March 2014

The official response underscored the utter contempt for working class communities like Morwell and neighbouring towns.

Australian government joins US sanctions against Russia

By Mike Head, 21 March 2014

In announcing the sanctions, the Australian foreign minister specifically warned of a potential military confrontation.

Australia: Massive fire at Sydney’s Barangaroo building site

By Eduardo Ballesteros, 21 March 2014

A construction site blaze highlights the drastic deterioration of health and safety in Australian workplaces.

Australia: Ex-Labor minister urges sweeping attack on workers’ conditions

By Terry Cook, 19 March 2014

Martin Ferguson accused the Abbott government of being too “timid” on industrial relations “reform.”

Australian state elections point to deep discontent

By Mike Head, 18 March 2014

After years of implementing the agenda of the corporate elite, Labor’s votes fell to new lows in Tasmania and South Australia.

SEP holds meeting to oppose Australian car industry shutdown

By our reporters, 18 March 2014

Speakers outlined the need for the global unity of workers, and a socialist perspective, to fight the worldwide assault by the auto giants.

Australian feminists campaign to promote ex-PM Julia Gillard

By Patrick O’Connor and Peter Symonds, 18 March 2014

All the details of Gillard’s anti-working class policies were overlooked in her public appearances before crowds of adoring admirers.

Australian unions assist Qantas airways to sack workers

By Will Morrow, 15 March 2014

The Australian Council of Trade Unions immediately hailed the ASU agreement as a template for implementing all 5,000 Qantas job cuts.

Final two Australian state Labor governments face defeat

By Mike Head, 14 March 2014

Labor’s anti-working class program—severe public sector cuts, mass layoffs by major companies, and deteriorating social services—has fuelled deep popular hostility.

Australian refugee camp atrocity: The class issues

By Patrick O’Connor, 14 March 2014

The brutal treatment of refugees is a sharp warning of the police-state measures being prepared against the working class as a whole.

Australian government defies UN call to release refugee detainees

By Mike Head, 12 March 2014

The indefinite detention of refugees denied security clearances demonstrates the contempt for fundamental democratic rights within the Australian ruling elite.

Australian youth unemployment reaches “crisis point”

By Alan Leigh, 10 March 2014

Joblessness among young workers is comparable to levels across southern Europe, where governments have imposed savage austerity measures.

More evidence of Australian government responsibility for refugee camp assault

By Patrick O’Connor, 8 March 2014

After initially lying that no violence occurred within the Manus detention camp, Prime Minister Abbott and Immigration Minister Morrison are proceeding with an abject whitewash.

Ford Australia refuses to guarantee production until 2016

By Will Morrow, 8 March 2014

The threat of an imminent plant closure will be used to intimidate workers into accepting deeper attacks on wages and conditions.

Australian economy heads for slump and deepening inequality

By Mike Head, 7 March 2014

The two-decade mining boom is starting to collapse, yet the country’s richest people are enjoying soaring profits and share prices.

The assault on Qantas workers and the global airline crisis

By Patrick O’Connor, 7 March 2014

The only way that Qantas workers can defend their jobs and conditions is through a unified struggle with airline workers internationally against the global airline conglomerates.

Australia: Strong response to IYSSE campaign at University of Newcastle

By our correspondents, 7 March 2014

IYSSE members won support, campaigning against an attempted university ban on “political members” being invited onto the campus.

International court permits Australian seizure of Timor’s documents

By Mike Head, 6 March 2014

The ruling protects Australian spying operations in the Asia-Pacific and undermines East Timor’s legal challenge to an energy treaty with Australia.

Artists boycott Sydney biennale over Australia’s asylum seeker regime

By Richard Phillips, 6 March 2014

Australian and international artists protest over Canberra’s incarceration and brutal treatment of refugees.

Australian government backs Washington’s anti-Russian confrontation

By Peter Symonds, 5 March 2014

The entire Australian political and media establishment has lined up in lock-step behind the Obama administration’s intervention into the Ukraine crisis, its support of last month’s fascist-led putsch and its denunciations of Russian President Vladimir Putin for the dispatch of troops into Crimea.

Australian government signals breakup of Qantas airline

By Mike Head, 5 March 2014

Prime Minister Abbott made clear that Qantas must continue to axe workers’ jobs and conditions.

Australia: Aurizon coal train drivers locked out

By Terry Cook, 3 March 2014

Big business regards the dispute as an important test case for a wider corporate drive to slash wages and conditions throughout the mining and energy sectors.

Australian trade unions move to enforce Qantas layoffs, wage cuts

By Patrick O’Connor, 1 March 2014

The unions have no problem with making workers bear the cost of the Qantas crisis, but want to maintain their privileged position within the airline industry.

Australian regional brewery closure announced

By Joshua Newsham, 1 March 2014

In one shutdown after another, the unions have functioned on behalf of management to suppress any struggle to defend jobs.

Australian coal mine fire endangers working-class town

By Daniel Saul, 28 February 2014

Despite health warnings about the dangers of toxic smoke and ash, residents of Morwell have received virtually no assistance from the government or the corporate mine owners.

Australia: Qantas Airways to cut 5,000 jobs and impose wage freeze

By James Cogan, 27 February 2014

The job destruction flows directly from the cut-throat competition for market share and profits among rival transnational airline alliances since the 2008 global financial crisis.

Australia: Community services minister denounces public housing tenants

By Stephen Griffiths and Richard Phillips, 26 February 2014

New South Wales minister attacks residents, claiming they are responsible for conditions produced by decades of poverty, government cost-cutting and social neglect.

Australian government eyes purchase of Triton drone aircraft

By James Cogan, 25 February 2014

Triton drones would vastly expand the area of the Indian and Pacific Oceans under surveillance by the Australian military.

Australian “union corruption” inquiry targets workers

By Terry Cook, 25 February 2014

The Royal Commission witchhunt is part of a sweeping drive to dismantle working conditions.

Australian government changes its story on refugee camp killing

By Patrick O’Connor, 24 February 2014

The shifting official version of events is further evidence of a cover up of what initial witness accounts indicate was state sanctioned violence.

Oppose political discrimination at University of Newcastle

By the International Youth and Students for Social Equality in Australia, 24 February 2014

For the first time at any university, University of Newcastle Clubs and Societies is re-interpreting the Students Services and Amenities Fee legislation to justify proscribing political activities.

Australian government prepares cover-up of refugee detention camp atrocity

By Patrick O’Connor, 22 February 2014

Prime Minister Tony Abbott has effectively welcomed the killing of a 23-year-old refugee as a “deterrent” to others thinking about seeking asylum in Australia.

Job losses sweep through Australian economy

By Zac Hambides, 22 February 2014

The official unemployment rate in Australia has hit a ten-year high.

Socialist Equality Party campaigns against Toyota Australia shutdown

By our reporters, 22 February 2014

SEP campaigners met with a warm response from Toyota workers, many of whom bitterly denounced the union for its partnership with the company.

Australian state government closes disability support facilities

By Max Newman, 21 February 2014

The closure of Newcastle’s Stockton Centre exposes the purpose of the former Labor government’s National Disability Insurance Scheme.

Australian corporate profits soar at workers’ expense

By Mike Head, 20 February 2014

CEOs are being rewarded for slashing costs, along with the livelihoods of many thousands of people.

Alcoa Australia announces smelter closure, sacking 1,000 workers

By Patrick O’Connor, 19 February 2014

The Point Henry closure forms part of a ruthless global restructuring of the aluminium industry.

Jobs disaster looms in Australian car components industry

By James Cogan, 18 February 2014

At least 44,000 car component jobs are under threat.

Australia: Labor Party promoted at protest against Medicare cuts

By Oliver Campbell, 18 February 2014

The pseudo-left organisations that organised the rally are seeking to divert opposition to cuts to social spending behind the Labor Party, Greens, and trade unions.

Australian government woos Fijian military regime

By Patrick O’Connor, 18 February 2014

The normalisation of relations with the junta is aimed at undercutting Fiji’s ties with China.

Australian state government bolsters “move-on” police powers

By Daniel Saul, 17 February 2014

In an attack on democratic rights, police are to be given wide powers to bar people from areas or exclude them from protests and pickets.

Australia: Ten years since Aboriginal youth TJ Hickey killed in police chase

By Patrick O’Connor, 15 February 2014

None of the underlying social issues bound up with TJ’s life and death have been resolved in the last decade.

Australian Labor Party defends its “heartfelt” celebration of Ariel Sharon

By Patrick O’Connor, 14 February 2014

Deputy Labor Leader Tanya Plibersek denounced the insinuation that her praise for the Israeli war criminal was not genuine.

Australian car industry closure: A warning to workers internationally

By James Cogan, 13 February 2014

The situation facing car workers in Australia is a devastating historical verdict on all national programs and the profit system itself.

Australian documentary reveals Israeli torture of Palestinian youth

By Will Morrow, 13 February 2014

The policy is aimed at terrorising the Palestinian population and suppressing any opposition to the Israeli occupation.

Australian Labor Party and unions posture over Toyota closure

By Patrick O’Connor, 12 February 2014

The previous Labor government presided over the axing of more than 100,000 manufacturing jobs between 2007 and 2013, including in the car industry.

Following Ford and GM, Toyota Australia announces end of car production

By Patrick O’Connor, 11 February 2014

Unless the working class takes up a fight in defence of jobs against the closures, the entire auto industry in Australia will be wiped out.

Australian government to expand “work for the dole”

By Mark Church, 11 February 2014

By forcing the unemployed to perform demoralising work, the program seeks to humiliate, harass and coerce them into low-paid jobs.

Australian by-election reveals voter disaffection

By Mike Head, 10 February 2014

Amid a very low voter turnout, Labor suffered a further loss of votes in former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd’s electorate.

West Australian fires expose government failure to provide safe electricity supplies

By Zac Hambides, 10 February 2014

The state government blamed a major blaze on an 82-year-old widow who allegedly failed to maintain “private” power poles on her property.

Witch-hunt against Australian ABC escalates over refugee torture allegations

By Mike Head, 8 February 2014

The government and the corporate media are seeking to create an atmosphere of wartime-like censorship.

Refugee details punishment at sea by Australian navy

By Will Morrow, 8 February 2014

Sailors intentionally held the hands of asylum seekers over hot engine pipes as punishment for their protests against lack of access to the toilet.

Tragic death of homeless woman in Sydney

By Mark Church and Mike Head, 8 February 2014

Despite the concerns of local residents, Monika Chetty’s plight was ignored by authorities until she was found with fatal burns.

Ford Australia brings forward 300 job cuts

By James Cogan, 7 February 2014

The unions have moved immediately to suppress any opposition by bitter Ford workers.

Australian rich list: “A billionaire bounty”

By Will Morrow, 6 February 2014

The wealth of the top 50 Australians increased by 49 percent over the past three years.

Australian union leader backs government drive to lower wages

By Patrick O’Connor, 6 February 2014

Howes appealed for a new “Grand Compact” between unions, business and government.

Australian government SPC decision signals broad assault on wages and conditions

By Patrick O’Connor, 5 February 2014

The government has rejected calls for a subsidy for SPC and vilified workers for their “extraordinary” wages and conditions.

Australia Post workers face further restructuring and privatisation

By Keith Morgan, 5 February 2014

Whatever the Abbott government’s final plans, there will be another wholesale attack on jobs, wages and conditions, as well as the slashing of mail services.

Australian government inquiry calls for end to car industry subsidies

By Patrick O’Connor, 4 February 2014

Decisive layers within the ruling elite have concluded that most of the industry is “globally uncompetitive” and should be allowed to collapse.

Australian government joins international witch-hunt of Edward Snowden

By Patrick O’Connor, 3 February 2014

The attacks on Snowden by Abbott and Bishop demonstrate the utter servility of the Australian government to Washington.

Australia: New evidence of refugees being assaulted at sea

By Mark Church, 3 February 2014

Despite the Abbott government’s military secrecy, reports are starting to surface of asylum seekers being beaten, pepper-sprayed and handcuffed to force them back to Indonesia.

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

1 February 2014

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

Australian government seizes on union corruption claims to prepare assault on workers

By Terry Cook, 1 February 2014

The media witch hunt emerges amid incessant demands by the corporate elite for further draconian industrial relations measures.

Australian government refuses assistance to SPC fruit cannery

By Will Morrow, 1 February 2014

Prime Minister Tony Abbott made clear that the decision was part of a strategy to enforce restructuring throughout manufacturing.

Australian PM denounces Edward Snowden as a “traitor”

By Patrick O’Connor, 31 January 2014

Tony Abbott’s accusations against Snowden were made in the course of a McCarthy-style attack on the ABC.

Australian foreign minister declares US economic “best friend”

By Patrick O’Connor, 30 January 2014

The Abbott government has overtly aligned Australia with Washington’s “pivot” to Asia and preparations for military conflict with China.

Australian government intervenes against Toyota workers

By Will Morrow, 30 January 2014

The government is presenting its insistence that workers vote on Toyota’s cost-cutting demands under the fraudulent guise of giving them the “right” to choose.

Australia Day 2014 used to promote the military

By Will Morrow, 29 January 2014

In contrast to previous years, the official celebrations last Sunday took on a distinctly militarist tone.

Australia: Ex-military chief appointed governor-general

By Mike Head, 29 January 2014

The choice of former general Peter Cosgrove is bound up with the government’s plans for a four-year “celebration” of the centenary of World War I.

Falling Australian jobs growth points to deepening slump

By Terry Cook, 27 January 2014

Full-time jobs fell in 2013 for the first time since the 2008 crash, and jobs growth was the weakest since the 1991-92 recession.

Australian foreign minister slanders Edward Snowden

By Patrick O’Connor, 25 January 2014

Julie Bishop’s statements point to Australian imperialism’s role as the junior partner of the United States.

Australia: Glaring social inequality in Sydney

By Mark Church, 25 January 2014

A comparison between Mosman, on Sydney’s north shore, and the working class suburb of Liverpool provides a glimpse of Australia’s social polarisation.

Liverpool residents condemn Australia’s growing social divide

By our reporters, 25 January 2014

The WSWS interviewed people in Liverpool’s shopping mall about the increasingly obvious inequality in Sydney.