Australia

Australian media targets universities in new anti-China campaign

By Oscar Grenfell, 23 September 2017

The corporate press is reviving hysterical accusations of “Chinese influence” in Australia, this time targeting university research projects and international students.

Australian establishment endorses Trump’s fascistic UN speech

By James Cogan, 21 September 2017

The Turnbull government is stepping forward to serve as an international mouthpiece for Washington.

Australia: Two Ipswich meatworks to close, destroying hundreds of jobs

By Gary Alvernia, 21 September 2017

The state Labor government and the meatworkers' union are working to ensure there is no organised opposition to the devastating closures.

University of Sydney union conceals political issues in one-day strike

By our reporters, 21 September 2017

Just days after the 24-hour stoppage, the NTEU struck a retrograde deal with management that will help it impose the government’s cuts.

Australian government’s “media reform” boosts conglomerates

By Oscar Grenfell, 20 September 2017

The new legislation removes any, even nominal, impediment to the further concentration of media ownership within a handful of powerful corporations.

Oppose the NTEU sellout at University of Sydney! For a unified struggle of all university workers across Australia!

By the Socialist Equality Party (Australia), 20 September 2017

The union is organising retrograde agreements across the university sector.

Australia launches three-month naval tour, directed against China

By Mike Head, 18 September 2017

The mission is unmistakably designed to reinforce the aggressive anti-Chinese drive by Washington.

Australia: New “learning precinct” ties public schools to business

By David Cohen, 18 September 2017

The project has little to do with the quality of education; its priority is the Victorian state government’s relationship with the financial and corporate elites.

Water contamination widespread across regional Australia

By John Harris, 16 September 2017

In the past five years, more than 100,000 people have been issued with boil-water alerts.

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

16 September 2017

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

Australia: Socialist Alternative supports nationalist witch-hunt over dual citizenship

By Oscar Grenfell, 15 September 2017

The pseudo-left organisation welcomed the anti-democratic campaign targeting parliamentarians accused of holding an “allegiance to a foreign power.”

Australian television program highlights flammable cladding crisis

By Paul Bartizan, 14 September 2017

Australian authorities have known of the dangers of the widely-used aluminium composite panel cladding for more than a decade.

More warnings of Australian property market crash

By Oscar Grenfell, 14 September 2017

With signs that the housing market could implode, millions of working people already face a mortgage debt crisis.

Western Australian budget slashes thousands of public sector jobs

By Oscar Grenfell, 13 September 2017

Labor’s budget exposes the fraud of its posturing as an opponent of social inequality and as a party of “working people.”

More Australian troops to be sent to the Philippines

By Mike Head, 12 September 2017

Australia’s involvement in the bogus “war against terrorism” in the Philippines is part of its commitment to Washington’s aggressive military build-up and actions in Asia.

Australia: Turnbull government expands “cashless welfare card”

By Richard Phillips, 12 September 2017

The punitive social welfare system is part of an escalating bi-partisan assault on the most vulnerable sections of society.

Australian High Court sanctions deportations of Sri Lankan refugees

By Mike Head, 11 September 2017

The ruling is an indictment of the last Greens-backed Australian Labor government.

Australian High Court permits bogus postal vote on marriage equality

By Mike Head, 8 September 2017

The judges averted an immediate political crisis and gave the go-ahead for an unprecedented plebiscite on an elementary legal and democratic right.

Australian state government and health union shut down pathology strike

By Jason Quill and Oscar Grenfell, 7 September 2017

The Health Services Union welcomed the Victorian Labor government’s application for the federal Fair Work Commission to ban the stoppage.

Australian parliament overshadowed by Korean war crisis and disqualification of MPs

By Mike Head, 6 September 2017

The parliamentary proceedings pointed to the close connection between the danger of war and the reactionary drive to ensure the undivided loyalty of all members of parliament.

The dual citizenship furore in the Australian parliament: What is at stake for the working class?

By the Socialist Equality Party (Australia), 6 September 2017

The citizenship crisis is an attempt to suppress anti-war sentiment and class tensions by promoting nationalism and patriotism.

Australian governments knew about the dangers of airforce fire-fighting foam for decades

By Patrick Davies, 6 September 2017

The chemicals which are used in fire-fighting foam have been found at dangerous levels in water supplies near Royal Australian Air Force bases.

Australia: Socialist Alternative conference seeks new political trap for rising discontent

By Oscar Grenfell, 5 September 2017

The pseudo-left outfit signaled it will deepen its collaboration with Labor and the trade unions amid a crisis of the entire political establishment.

Australian government strips asylum seekers of all housing and welfare payments

By Max Newman, 4 September 2017

The government’s actions have provoked widespread outrage, with thousands of people offering sanctuary to the refugees.

Australia: National Tertiary Education Union attempts to suppress struggle against job cuts at Western Sydney University

By our correspondent, 4 September 2017

The jobs of around 150 professional staff will be destroyed and all security employees retrenched, while other devastating cuts are being prepared.

The rise of “edu-business” in Australian public schools

By Erika Zimmer, 2 September 2017

In 2011, in his characteristically crude and cynical manner, Rupert Murdoch spelled out the agenda that now underlies the provision of so-called “public education” in Australia.

University of Sydney union branch stages protest strike over wages and conditions

By our reporters, 2 September 2017

The NTEU is trying to channel workers’ anger as a bargaining chip to seal another regressive enterprise agreement with the management.

Australian government urges universities to tear up staff conditions

By Mike Head, 1 September 2017

The tertiary education trade unions will use this week’s Fair Work Commission ruling to intensify their work to stifle all resistance by increasingly discontented university workers.

Australian reports show declining incomes and soaring debt

By Eric Ludlow and Oscar Grenfell, 31 August 2017

The ongoing property boom is forcing young people to live at home with their parents for longer, while creating a debt crisis for millions of working people.

Australian government offers to send troops to the Philippines

By Mike Head, 30 August 2017

Confronting a deepening political crisis at home, Malcolm Turnbull is seeking to don the mantle of a wartime prime minister.

Australian property bubble fuelling mortgage stress

By Oscar Grenfell, 30 August 2017

The divergence between soaring property prices and stagnating wages, along with a massive increase in debt, has sparked fears of a housing market crash.

Flammable cladding: Australian governments continue the political whitewash

By Paul Bartizan, 26 August 2017

Government officials feign concern while issuing empty promises to try to politically deflect widespread concerns by residents and workers about at-risk buildings.

Turnbull government defends reported killing of Australian children in Syria

By Mike Head, 25 August 2017

If proven, it would be the first known case of the government facilitating the targeted assassination of Australian citizens since the “war on terrorism” was launched.

Australian history curator Laila Ellmoos discusses 1917: The Great Strike with the WSWS

By Richard Phillips and Cheryl Crisp, 25 August 2017

“It was a complex strike, but the volume and power of these numbers was extraordinary.”

Pine Gap base automatically involves Australia in US wars

By Mike Head, 24 August 2017

Secret documents show the facility’s role has increasingly shifted from spying to providing “real-time” data for military operations.

Australian High Court sanctions illegal detention of refugees in Papua New Guinea

By Max Newman and Mike Head, 24 August 2017

The judges rejected a challenge to incarceration on Manus Island despite the PNG Supreme Court last year ruling it was an unconstitutional deprivation of liberty.

1917: The Great Strike—an engrossing exhibition about mass walkouts in wartime Australia

By Elle Chapman and Richard Phillips, 24 August 2017

The exhibition is a useful antidote to the government’s glorification of Australian involvement in World War I and shows that the home-front was dominated by intense class battles.

Australia’s 1967 referendum, fifty years on

By Richard Phillips, 23 August 2017

In 1967 millions of Australians voted to change the constitution, in the hope that it would bring an end to the nearly two centuries of brutal oppression of the country’s Aboriginal population.

Papua New Guinea government deploys troops to quell opposition

By Oscar Grenfell, 22 August 2017

The government is expanding the military and police presence in the Highlands region to crackdown on opposition to an election that was dominated by accusations of fraud.

Young doctor suicides point to deteriorating conditions in Australia’s health system

By Ed Ballesteros, 22 August 2017

The ostensible concern of governments for the well-being of health professionals is belied by funding cuts that have stretched public hospitals to breaking point.

Australia’s refugee detention regime claims its fifth victim on Manus Island

By Max Newman, 19 August 2017

Hamid Shamshiripour’s story is one of immense psychological suffering, as well as abuse at the hands of guards, overseen by the Australian government.

Right-wing Australian senator stages anti-Muslim “stunt” in federal parliament

By Oscar Grenfell, 19 August 2017

Labor and Liberal-National MPs, who incessantly promote xenophobic nationalism, feigned moral outrage over Pauline Hanson entering parliament wearing a burka.

Another Australian cabinet minister faces disqualification

By Mike Head, 18 August 2017

A furore over dual citizenship of members of parliament is now throwing into doubt the survival of the Liberal-National Coalition government.

Australia: New laws force an end to Sydney tent city protest

By Virginia Browne and Richard Phillips, 17 August 2017

Police have been given specific powers to arrest homeless people in Sydney, Australia’s largest and least affordable city.

Australian Greens leaders air recriminations on TV

By Oscar Grenfell, 17 August 2017

The “Four Corners” episode indicates that the conflicts within the Greens, driven by the party’s declining support, may be heading toward a split.

Australian deputy prime minister facing disqualification as dual citizen

By Mike Head, 15 August 2017

The loss of the deputy prime minister’s vote would leave the Liberal-National government without a majority in the House of Representatives.

Australia: Life expectancy gap between rich and poor almost 20 years

By John Mackay, 14 August 2017

The staggering differences in health quality and life expectancy are a direct effect of widening social inequality.

Australian government commits to a US-led war on North Korea

By Mike Head, 12 August 2017

If the US triggers a war against North Korea, Australia will be involved immediately in a conflagration that could rapidly draw in China, a major nuclear power.

Opioid-related deaths soaring in Australia

By Margaret Rees, 11 August 2017

New research points to a rapidly growing number of fatalities, far outstripping heroin overdose deaths.

Australian government orders sham postal “survey” on same-sex marriage

By Mike Head, 11 August 2017

A fraud on every level, the non-binding postal vote has nothing to do with the long-overdue recognition of the basic legal and democratic rights of all couples.

An anti-democratic witch-hunt in Australia over dual citizenship

By Mike Head, 10 August 2017

Question marks are being placed over the basic democratic rights of millions of people who were born overseas or had a parent born overseas.

Australian government threatens police violence to remove Manus Island refugees

By Max Newman, 9 August 2017

Asylum seekers detained in Papua New Guinea are being physically forced to move to an insecure temporary transit centre.

Australian government staves off crisis over marriage equality

By Mike Head, 8 August 2017

The divisions over same-sex marriage are bound up with deeper rifts wracking the fragile government and the entire parliamentary establishment.

Charges against Australian “terror” suspects only raise new questions

By Mike Head, 5 August 2017

The laying of charges came as the government was increasingly under pressure to justify the police anti-terror raids and the subsequent turmoil created in Australian airports.

Australian unions, pseudo-left sign up to Labor’s re-election campaign

By Oscar Grenfell, 5 August 2017

Underlying the unions campaign is fear in ruling circles that widespread disaffection over social inequality threatens the stability of the parliamentary set-up.

Leaked transcripts provide ugly picture of Trump and Australian prime minister

By Mike Head, 4 August 2017

The phone calls displayed Trump’s thuggishness and readiness to bully other countries, including supposed allies, in line with his “America First” agenda.

Contradictions mount in latest Australian terrorism scare

By Mike Head, 3 August 2017

The release of one of the detained men without charge raises further questions about lurid claims of a supposed “aeroplane plot.”

Government, media stoke fear following latest terrorist allegations in Australia

By Mike Head, 1 August 2017

If the men being held for interrogation are ultimately charged with conspiracy or other terrorist-related offences, it will be virtually impossible for them to receive a fair trial.

“You have to be rich to have a voice”

SEP meeting attendees speak on the Grenfell Tower tragedy

By our reporters, 1 August 2017

Workers and young people spoke out about the parallels between the fire in London and unsafe building practices in Australia.

Australia: Official figures continue to cloak jobs crisis

By Terry Cook, 1 August 2017

The official employment report for June shows there is little to celebrate for the tens of thousands of people engaged in a daily search for work.

Meetings in Australia and New Zealand discuss international significance of Grenfell Tower disaster

By our reporters, 1 August 2017

Speakers outlined the parallels between the fire in London, and the gutting of building safety regulations in Australia by successive Labor and Liberal-National governments.

Terrorist plot allegedly prevented in Australia

By James Cogan, 31 July 2017

It is necessary for people to keep a grip on their critical faculties and their adherence to the fundamental democratic principle: innocent until proven guilty.

Australian government implements far-reaching restructure of intelligence agencies

By Mike Head, 31 July 2017

The state apparatus is being prepared to repress political disaffection over deepening social inequality, austerity and the drive to war.

Australian police kill mentally-ill man at Sydney’s main train station

By Oscar Grenfell, 29 July 2017

Police shot a suicidal individual four times in the head and chest, even though he was holding only a pair of scissors.

Murdoch media widens citizenship witch-hunt in Australian parliament

By Mike Head, 28 July 2017

The “MP fiasco” is intensifying the political instability produced by the growing collapse of popular support for the major parties.

Conflicts in Australian Greens driven by decline in support

By Oscar Grenfell, 28 July 2017

The integration of the Greens into the official political establishment is dispelling illusions that the party is any alternative to Labor and the Liberal-Nationals.

Australian inquiry into dangerous building products: An exercise in political damage control

By Richard Phillips, 27 July 2017

Safety and building engineers condemn deregulation, privatisation of building inspection and government cost-cutting.

Bipartisan push in Australia for four-year parliaments

By Mike Head, 27 July 2017

This is a bid to shore up the political establishment and strengthen its capacity to impose deeply unpopular policies.

The Australian Education Union’s 2017 campaign of misinformation and censorship

By Susan Allan and Linda Tenenbaum, 26 July 2017

Union officials concealed that the EBA contains the adoption of measures proposed in the “Bracks Review,” which escalate the pro-market agenda now underpinning public education.

Hundreds of thousands of Australian dwellings unoccupied as housing crisis deepens

By Oscar Grenfell, 24 July 2017

The 2016 census found that just 31 percent of the population owned a home outright, a 10 percent decline over the past 25 years.

Australia: Anger grows over fire at Melbourne recycling plant

By Will Morrrow, 22 July 2017

Firefighting services have been called to the plant nine times in the last five years—four times this year, three times in 2015 and once in both 2012 and 2013.

Disqualification threats hang over Australian MPs

By Mike Head, 22 July 2017

A witch hunt has been launched to identify every member of parliament who was born overseas or might have dual citizenship.

Australian governments continue to cover-up unsafe buildings

By Richard Phillips, 20 July 2017

Five weeks after the Grenfell Tower fire, only a handful of flammable-clad buildings have been identified and nothing has been done to prevent a potential disaster.

Australian government to establish a “security” super-ministry

By Mike Head, 20 July 2017

Prime Minister Turnbull’s announcement represents another major step toward creating a police-state apparatus.

Australian government seeks new military call-out powers

By Mike Head, 19 July 2017

The changes will mean that heavily-armed troops can be mobilised to suppress social and political unrest.

Two Greens senators in Australia resign over dual citizenship

By Oscar Grenfell, 19 July 2017

The sudden departure of the two deputy leaders of the Greens underscores the deepening crisis of the party and the entire parliamentary set-up.

Local residents speak out over toxic recycling plant

By our reporters, 17 July 2017

Coolaroo and Dallas residents in Melbourne’s northern suburbs spoke to World Socialist Web Site reporters, denouncing government and environmental protection authorities over their response to the SKM Recycling plant fire last Thursday.

Australian government shuts off power to refugees imprisoned on Manus Island

By Max Newman, 17 July 2017

Parts of the camp have been demolished and the Internet facility was taken away, leaving mobile phones as the only connection for detainees to the outside world.

Australia: Hundreds evacuated after toxic blaze at Melbourne recycling plant

By Will Marshall, 17 July 2017

The SKM fire is a product of the systematic gutting of environmental health and safety regulations, as well as town planning and construction guidelines.

Australian unions isolate miners facing attacks on pay and conditions

By Terry Cook, 15 July 2017

The Construction Forestry Mining and Energy Union has restricted the Glencore workers to token stoppages.

Australian cricket pay dispute escalates

By Oscar Grenfell, 15 July 2017

Cricketing administrators are seeking to boost their control over billions of dollars of broadcasting and online streaming revenue.

Australian prime minister’s London speech highlights political turmoil

By Mike Head, 14 July 2017

Malcolm Turnbull’s July 10 address was an obvious bid to rebuke his predecessor Tony Abbott, underscoring the rifts tearing apart the Liberal Party.

Leaked reports expose Australian war crimes in Afghanistan

By Mike Head, 13 July 2017

The atrocities, only partly revealed by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, underscore the inherently criminal character of the US-led Afghanistan war.

Australian building experts discuss the Grenfell Tower fire

By our reporters, 12 July 2017

“Fire safety is more important than the façade of a building,” building inspector says.

Australia: Unanswered questions over police killing of Melbourne teenager

By Will Morrow, 12 July 2017

Australia’s intelligence agency ASIO appears to have been in communication with Numan Haider before police shot him.

Australian government summarily deports more Sri Lankan refugees

By Max Newman, 11 July 2017

Six asylum seekers were captured by the Australian Navy and forcibly deported to face possible torture and imprisonment.

More Australian workers killed in preventable workplace incidents

By Terry Cook, 11 July 2017

The number of industry-related fatalities this year is on track to match or exceed the grim toll in 2016 when 178 workers were killed.

Australia: Lacrosse apartment residents speak out over Grenfell Tower disaster

By Paul Bartizan, 10 July 2017

Almost three years after Melbourne’s Lacrosse apartment block caught fire, the building’s flammable cladding remains in place.

High Court challenge imperils Australian government

By Mike Head, 10 July 2017

A disqualification of Assistant Health Minister David Gillespie, a National Party MP, could reduce the government to minority status.

Rifts widen in the Australian Greens

By James Cogan, 8 July 2017

Underlying the divisions is the fact that the Greens have evolved over the past two decades into the party of “green” business.

Australian Labor and union leaders seek to head off workers’ discontent

By Mike Head, 7 July 2017

Speeches at last week’s ACTU 90th anniversary dinner signal desperate efforts to promote the return of another pro-business Labor government.

Australian government lines up behind US threats to North Korea and China

By Mike Head, 6 July 2017

Canberra’s statement closely echoed Washington’s assertions that North Korea now constitutes a threat to the entire world.

Studies reveal stark health divide in Australia

By John Mackay, 6 July 2017

People in working class areas die younger and have almost double the rates of poor health compared to residents of wealthier suburbs.

Public meetings in Australia and New Zealand

The Grenfell Tower disaster: A crime against the working class

5 July 2017

Homes, schools, hospitals and other public buildings must be made safe. The criminals in high places must be brought to justice.

US Studies Centre touts significance of US-Australian investment ties

By Oscar Grenfell, 4 July 2017

The Sydney University think-tank launched a new project amid intense pressure by Washington on Canberra not to turn away from the US alliance.

Australian workers and youth speak out on Grenfell Tower tragedy

By our reporters, 3 July 2017

Those who spoke to the WSWS drew parallels between the London fire and the undermining of building regulations in Australia.

Australian government ministers make last-minute apology in terrorism contempt case

By Mike Head, 1 July 2017

If the ministers had not retracted their comments, they could have been prosecuted for contempt of court, endangering the Turnbull government’s survival.

Australian unions help impose cuts to federal pay and conditions

By Terry Cook, 1 July 2017

The unions’ aim was to wear down workers’ resistance and retain their own position at the negotiating table.

Australian Education Union pushes through pro-market workplace agreement in Victoria

By Susan Allan and Linda Tenenbaum, 1 July 2017

Endorsement of the agreement opens the way for an acceleration of the destructive pro-market agenda that has created a systemic crisis in public education.

Infighting re-erupts in Australian government

By Mike Head, 30 June 2017

The factional warfare is a symptom of a deeper political crisis, which has seen governments, both Liberal-National and Labor, fall in rapid succession since 2007.