Australia

Australia awards $50 billion submarine contract to France

By James Cogan, 28 April 2016

The contract also serves the US and Australian aim of drawing France more closely into the strategic planning for war with China.

Anzac Day celebrations in Australia aimed at suppressing anti-war sentiment

By Oscar Grenfell, 28 April 2016

This year’s Anzac events gave centre stage to military veterans from Australia’s more recent neo-colonial interventions in Vietnam, East Timor, Iraq and Afghanistan.

Sacked Australian reporter continues to challenge Anzac myths

By Richard Phillips, 28 April 2016

Former SBS sports journalist Scott McIntyre posted a series of tweets on Monday opposing the promotion of militarism and war.

PNG court declares Australian refugee detention camp illegal

By Mike Head, 28 April 2016

Papua New Guinea’s Supreme Court ruling exposes the unlawful character of the Australian policy of incarcerating asylum seekers on remote islands.

Australia: Another dubious “Anzac Day terror plot”

By Mike Head, 27 April 2016

Unsubstantiated claims of ISIS-inspired plots are being utilised to justify attacks on democratic rights and drum up pro-war jingoism.

Successful IYSSE meetings in Australia and New Zealand against the drive to war

By the International Youth and Students for Social Equality (Australia), 27 April 2016

Students participated in lively discussions on the principles outlined in the ICFI’s historic statement, “Socialism and the Fight Against War.”

Increasing suicide rate in Australia highlights social crisis

By Mary Beadnell, 26 April 2016

Steep increases in the numbers of people taking their own lives point to deteriorating economic and social conditions.

Australian media demands austerity offensive via “double dissolution” election

By Mike Head, 21 April 2016

The corporate media’s concerns reflect the conundrum that has wracked governments over the past decade: how to impose deep cuts to living standards on a hostile electorate.

Australian government to call an extraordinary “double dissolution” election

By Mike Head, 19 April 2016

Amid a worsening economic situation, the government is under intense pressure from big business to break the parliamentary logjam and impose its austerity agenda.

Moody’s warns Australian government of credit downgrade

By Mike Head, 18 April 2016

The warning highlights the crisis of the Coalition government which is under mounting pressure to implement deeply unpopular austerity measures.

Australian prime minister skirts controversy in China

By James Cogan, 16 April 2016

Turnbull carefully avoided any contentious public remarks on the US-China confrontation in the South China Sea.

Police attack student protests in Sydney and Melbourne

By Oscar Grenfell, 16 April 2016

The violent actions of the police against a handful of student protesters are a warning of the preparations for a broader crackdown on any opposition to austerity cuts and war.

Australia’s prime minister to make state visit to China

By James Cogan, 13 April 2016

Despite the hype about exciting economic opportunities in China, Turnbull faces fraught issues on trade and Australia’s involvement in the US military buildup in Asia.

Australian Labor Party’s populist call for an inquiry into the banks

By Mike Head, 13 April 2016

Behind the populist façade, the Labor opposition is trying to convince the corporate elite that it would be better able to contain public discontent and shore up the financial industry.

Oppose the drive to war, austerity and the assault on democratic rights!

Build the International Youth and Students for Social Equality!

By the International Youth and Students for Social Equality (Australia), 13 April 2016

The National Union of Students has called rallies to promote the lie that the election of a Labor government will halt the assault on higher education.

Oppose the political ban on the IYSSE at University of Melbourne!

For democratic and political rights on campus!

By the International Youth and Students for Social Equality (Australia), 12 April 2016

The IYSSE calls on students, staff, academics and all workers and youth opposed to the assault on democratic rights to support our campaign against political censorship at the University of Melbourne.

Major Australian companies implicated in Panama Papers

By Mike Head, 11 April 2016

Australia’s corporate elite is heavily involved in using offshore shell companies to minimise taxes and avoid scrutiny of their business operations.

Black lung disease reemerges in Australian coal mines

By Richard Phillips, 11 April 2016

Increased workloads, inadequate mine ventilation and low dust-testing standards have produced a sudden jump in the number of coal miners suffering from black lung.

CSIS report argues for strong US-Japan-Australia alliance against China

By Peter Symonds, 9 April 2016

The Washington think tank’s proposed “federated defence” is nothing but a system of military alliances to prepare for war with China—akin to the alliances that preceded the previous two world wars.

Australia: Socialist Alternative conference endorses US-led Syrian war and Syriza’s betrayal in Greece

By Oscar Grenfell, 9 April 2016

Like their counterparts internationally, Socialist Alternative responded to the global financial crisis of 2008 by junking even nominal opposition to imperialist war.

Thousands of jobs threatened by Australian steel company collapse

By Mike Head, 8 April 2016

Steelworkers in Australia, like those around the world, are being made to pay for a colossal breakdown in the world capitalist economy.

Australian government uses “war on terror” to end airport strikes

By Terry Cook, 8 April 2016

The ban on strike action by Immigration and Border Protection employees has set a precedent that will be used against other sections of the working class.

Concern over Australian banks’ stability if housing bubble bursts

By Nick Beams, 7 April 2016

The official position is that the Australian housing market is sound but it is becoming increasingly clear that this view is not shared internationally.

Australian government crisis intensifies over austerity agenda

By Mike Head, 5 April 2016

Prime Minister Turnbull’s new slogan—“We must live within our means!”—signifies that working class people must be made to pay for the worsening economic situation.

Australia: State electricity workers vote for industrial action

By Terry Cook, 5 April 2016

Essential Energy wants to axe agreements covering hundreds of workers to begin sackings and further slash working conditions.

Australian political crisis deepens with humiliating defeat of PM’s state taxing plan

By Mike Head, 2 April 2016

Just 48 hours after floating a plan to restructure the Australian federation, Prime Minister Turnbull was forced to “withdraw” the proposal.

Australian government in disarray over spending cuts

By Mike Head, 1 April 2016

In his latest twist, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull is seeking to shift the blame for devastating and deeply unpopular cuts onto state and territory governments.

Australian prime minister lurches from one crisis to the next

By Peter Symonds, 31 March 2016

Just a week after his move to bring on an early “double dissolution” election, Malcolm Turnbull has announced a new tax plan that could sow the seeds for a fracturing of the Australian federation.

Australian Labor leader makes a cynical populist pitch

By Peter Symonds, 30 March 2016

Opposition leader Bill Shorten is preparing for this year’s election with false promises on “jobs, education and health” to obscure Labor’s commitment to austerity.

Australia: Pacific Islanders suffer slave-like conditions in fruit industry

By Paul Bartizan, 30 March 2016

The super-exploitation of Pacific Islanders who have no democratic rights under the Seasonal Workers Program is to be extended throughout the agricultural industry.

Australia: Socialist Alternative hails downing of Russian jet in Syria

By Oscar Grenfell, 29 March 2016

The declaration that Turkey’s flagrant act of war was “a small victory for humanity” underscores the pseudo-lefts’ support for imperialist provocations, including those that threaten to trigger world war.

Large protests in East Timor over ongoing Australian oil theft

By Patrick Kelly, 26 March 2016

The demonstration was among the largest in East Timor since the former Portuguese colony and Indonesian territory received formal independence in 2002.

Corporate elites maintain pressure on Australian prime minister

By Nick Beams, 25 March 2016

The Australian economy’s “transition” from the China-induced mining boom has been described as an “internal devaluation,” involving major attacks on wages and social conditions.

Australia: Socialist Alternative and the US “pivot to Asia”

By Oscar Grenfell, 25 March 2016

Socialist Alternative’s response to the Defense White Paper is aimed at obscuring Australia’s central role in the US drive to war against China.

Australian PM treads a fine line on foreign policy

By Peter Symonds, 24 March 2016

With an early election looming, Turnbull used his Lowy Lecture to spin his vision of bright economic opportunities in Asia, while seeking to answer critics’ demands for a tougher stance against China.

Socialism and the Fight Against War

IYSSE meetings in Australia and New Zealand—Build an International Movement of the Working Class and Youth Against Imperialism!

24 March 2016

The International Youth and Students for Social Equality (IYSSE) is holding meetings in Australia and New Zealand to alert students, youth and workers to the threat of a Third World War.

Public sector union cancels strike action at Australian airports

By Richard Phillips, 24 March 2016

The CPSU is anxious to prevent the pent-up anger among its members, after years of job cuts, wage freezes and the erosion of working conditions, from erupting out of its control.

Hundreds of refugees in Australia face return to offshore camps

By Max Newman, 23 March 2016

Asylum seekers who have been receiving medical treatment in Australia are threatened with being sent back to Nauru or Manus Island.

Australian government threatens a “double dissolution” election

By Mike Head, 22 March 2016

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull is trying to break through a political crisis that has increasingly engulfed the government and the parliamentary system itself.

Australian nickel refinery workers sacked without entitlements

By Terry Cook, 21 March 2016

Mining magnate Clive Palmer is making the Queensland refinery workers pay for the collapse of the mining boom.

Australian youth and workers denounce media and government racist hysteria

By our reporters, 21 March 2016

The continuing campaign against African youth by the media and political establishment has prompted a reaction amongst young people in working-class areas of Melbourne.

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

19 March 2016

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

Australia: Fairfax journalists strike over job cuts

By Richard Phillips, 18 March 2016

The latest attack is part of a decade-long process of job destruction and restructuring at Fairfax Media.

Australian journalists condemn the axing of more Fairfax jobs

By our reporters, 18 March 2016

Striking editorial staff speak out against the latest attack on jobs and conditions by one of Australia’s largest media corporations.

Anti-protest laws attack democratic rights in Australia

By Mike Head, 18 March 2016

New laws in three states impose draconian punishments for allegedly disrupting or hindering business operations.

Australian Greens join government in ramming through Senate voting changes

By Mike Head, 17 March 2016

In the machinations over the electoral laws, the Greens have stepped forward, not just to assist the government, but to try to shore up the parliamentary system itself.

Australian media whips up fear campaign against African youth

By Richard Phillips, 16 March 2016

The state Labor government has seized on police clashes with youth in Melbourne on Saturday to demand greater police powers to “smash gang violence.”

Build the International Youth and Students for Social Equality!

A socialist program to fight the Coalition-Labor-Greens assault on education in Australia

By the International Youth and Students for Social Equality (Australia), 16 March 2016

The IYSSE is fighting for the development of an independent, socialist movement of the working class in opposition to the assault on education and the gutting of social spending.

Australian primary teachers resign in protest at standardised, assessment-based education

By Susan Allan and Linda Tenenbaum, 14 March 2016

The two teachers decided to go public, hoping to encourage other teachers to speak out about the escalating education crisis.

Australia: Despite deaths, no youth mental facility in Brisbane

By Declan O’Malley, 14 March 2016

The official inquiry is an attempt to cover up the refusal of successive state and federal governments to provide adequate mental health services.

US reignites controversy over Chinese lease of Australian port

By Peter Symonds, 12 March 2016

The Australian government is already feeling the heat from Washington for failing to carry out a military intrusion into Chinese-claimed waters in the South China Sea.

Arrium demands Australian mine workers take pay cuts

By Terry Cook, 12 March 2016

Under the threat of closure, steelmaker Arrium is working with the unions to impose a 10 percent wage cut in its iron ore mines.

Growing concerns about Australia’s housing bubble

By Mike Head, 11 March 2016

Australia’s economy has so far avoided a recession, largely because of debt-fuelled household spending, based on steep rises in house prices.

US Air Force to boost presence in northern Australian bases

By Peter Symonds, 9 March 2016

Citing Chinese “militarisation” of the South China Sea, the US Pacific Air Forces commander insisted that the US had to maintain “a credible combat power” in Asia.

Australian government wracked by rifts over US military demands and austerity

By Mike Head, 9 March 2016

Sharp divisions within the political establishment lie behind recriminations within the Turnbull government.

Australia: Labor Party, teacher unions prepare further assault on public education

By Patrick Kelly and Frank Gaglioti, 9 March 2016

The Labor and union campaign for a new “Gonski” school funding model is a fraud from start to finish.

Fiji cyclone: Australian and New Zealand military mobilised for “humanitarian” relief

By Richard Phillips, 8 March 2016

While thousands of Fijians desperately need assistance, Canberra and Wellington have seized on the disaster to advance their own geo-strategic interests.

Leaked Australian document reveals plans for mass surveillance of immigrants

By Max Newman, 7 March 2016

The Australian government is preparing continuous monitoring of immigrants and more severe visa and citizenship tests to block access to permanent residence.

Australia: Qantas reaps record profits by slashing jobs and wages

By Terry Cook, 5 March 2016

Deep cuts have been imposed on the airline’s workers through a combination of intimidation and the collaboration of the trade unions.

IYSSE campaigns against war at universities in Australia and New Zealand

By our reporters, 5 March 2016

The IYSSE’s campaign initiated a serious discussion among broad layers of students about the socialist and internationalist alternative to the preparations for World War Three.

Australian university students denounce the drive to war and austerity

By our reporters, 5 March 2016

During university Orientation Week events in Australia and New Zealand over the past two weeks, the International Youth and Students for Social Equality campaigned at seven campuses in opposition to the drive to war and the related assault on the social and democratic rights of the working class.

Australia: Job cuts threaten Sydney water safety

By Richard Phillips, 4 March 2016

The elimination of vital jobs wipes out decades of expertise and imperils the quality of water for Sydney’s 4.5 million residents.

Australian Greens cover up Defence White Paper plans for war on China

By Mike Head, 3 March 2016

The Greens, who once postured as an anti-war party, have sent another signal of their readiness to support the US-led military build-up against China.

Ex-Australian PM calls for “freedom of navigation” challenge to China

By Peter Symonds, 2 March 2016

Abbott’s comments are part of growing demands for the Australian government to mount a military intrusion into Chinese-claimed territory in the South China Sea.

Australian Greens back government’s Senate voting “reforms”

By Oscar Grenfell, 2 March 2016

The legislation is aimed at shoring-up the political establishment and clearing out the Senate to push through the sweeping austerity measures demanded by big business.

The Australian Defence White Paper and the drive to war

By James Cogan, 1 March 2016

The militarist agenda spelled out in the White Paper is incompatible with the democratic and social rights of the working class.

Australian feminists deride public sympathy for family murder-suicide victims

By Patrick Kelly and Linda Tenenbaum, 29 February 2016

Public grief and sympathy provoked anger from feminist commentators, providing a revealing glimpse into the political role of identity politics.

Hundreds of Australian climate-change science jobs to be axed

By Perla Astudillo and Richard Philips, 25 February 2016

The CSIRO cuts are a major setback for scientific investigation into ocean temperatures, greenhouse gas levels and other climate-change issues.

Australian media use US admiral’s comments to push for confrontation with China

By James Cogan, 24 February 2016

The aim was to lend an air of urgency to a decision by the Australian government to order a military response to alleged Chinese “expansionism” in the South China Sea.

Australia: BlueScope Steel profits leap on back of union-imposed job cuts

By Terry Cook, 23 February 2016

After the AWU and other unions helped impose savage cost cutting, the Australian steel manufacturer doubled its profits.

Australian health care rallies promote election of Labor and Greens

By Zac Hambides, 23 February 2016

Not one of the speakers mentioned the cutting of health spending by the last Labor government, kept in office by the Greens.

Arrium threatens to close Whyalla steelworks in South Australia

By Oscar Grenfell, 22 February 2016

The Australian Workers Union, working hand in hand with the company, is preparing to impose another round of job cuts and attacks on working conditions.

Labor Party steps up demands for Australia to “stand up” to China

By James Cogan, 20 February 2016

Labor is serving as the catspaw of the US military establishment and seeking to dramatically ratchet up military tensions with Beijing.

Global volatility triggers concerns about Australian banks

By Mike Head, 20 February 2016

The ongoing collapse of commodity prices has placed question marks over the exposure of the banks to losses in the resources sector.

Australian union escalates nationalist campaign over shipping layoffs

By Oscar Grenfell, 19 February 2016

The Maritime Union of Australia is seeking to divide workers along national lines and obscure its own role in facilitating the job destruction.

Australian foreign minister echoes US demands against China

By James Cogan, 18 February 2016

Bishop’s visit to Japan and China underscored Australia’s role as a key partner of Washington’s aggressive “pivot to Asia.”

Australia’s “Closing the Gap” fraud: Indigenous conditions worsen

By Mary Beadnell, 18 February 2016

Deteriorating social conditions are hitting the entire working class, with Aborigines among the most vulnerable and disadvantaged.

Australian ministerial reshuffle underscores political impasse

By Mike Head, 17 February 2016

Amid deteriorating economic conditions, Prime Minister Turnbull is under mounting criticism by the corporate elite.

Australian government-union conspiracy to sack “underperforming” teachers

By Richard Phillips, 15 February 2016

The unions have torn up teachers’ hard-won struggle for job security by implementing new anti-democratic inspection regimes and streamlined sacking procedures.

Australian government refuses to help children trapped in Syria

By Mike Head, 13 February 2016

The government’s reaction to the plight of these six Australian children displays its true contempt for the millions of victims of the predatory US-led war in Iraq and Syria.

New wave of job cuts in Australia as global slump deepens

By John Harris, 12 February 2016

The mining and resources sector is now in headlong decline, and the fallout is spreading throughout the economy, including the retail sector.

Australian shipbuilding workers sacked in takeover deal

By Terry Cook, 11 February 2016

Forgacs workers were escorted off the job following the completion of a takeover by Civmec, as part of a sweeping restructuring of the industry.

Human Rights Watch underscores Australia’s abuses of refugees

By Max Newman, 10 February 2016

The report documents Australia’s stripping of asylum seekers of basic democratic rights and the build-up of repressive police powers.

Australian establishment condemns government’s retreat over increased consumption tax

By James Cogan, 10 February 2016

Raising the GST is viewed in corporate circles as the most rapid means of shifting more of the tax burden onto the working class.

Australia’s High Court backs indefinite offshore detention

By Mike Head, 9 February 2016

The ruling sets a new global benchmark for the incarceration of innocent and desperate people in what amounts to Guantanamo Bay-style legal black holes.

Australian public hospitals face growing funding crisis

By Mike Head, 8 February 2016

According to the AMA’s annual hospital report card, waiting times lengthened in 2014–15 and funding shortfalls will worsen in 2017 when the latest cutbacks come into effect.

Australia: Sydney city council locks out community theatre group

By Richard Phillips, 8 February 2016

Closure of the inner-western Sydney Archway 1 theatre and exhibition space takes place amid ongoing federal and state government cuts to the arts.

Australia: Thousands protest High Court ruling upholding offshore refugee detention

By our reporters, 6 February 2016

The demonstrations expressed widespread revulsion at the persecution of asylum seekers, but the organisers promoted Labor and the Greens.

Australian High Court sanctions indefinite offshore detention of refugees

By Mike Head, 4 February 2016

The decision sets a new global benchmark for the incarceration of men, women and children in conditions that amount to torture.

The Pentagon’s CSIS report and Australia’s role in the escalating war drive against China

By the Socialist Equality Party (Australia), 3 February 2016

Washington’s entire anti-China strategy has received the unconditional backing of successive governments in Canberra.

Doctor challenges Australian government over refugee conditions on Nauru

By Max Newman, 2 February 2016

A paediatrics professor who worked in Nauru has condemned the indefinite detention of asylum seekers as torture, defying the police-state secrecy provisions of the Border Force Act.

Pressure mounts on Australian government to challenge China in South China Sea

By Peter Symonds, 2 February 2016

“Freedom of navigation” is the threadbare pretext used to disguise US-led preparations for war with China.

Australian teenager arrested for documents “connected” to terrorism

By Mike Head, 1 February 2016

The vague charges underscore the increasingly repressive sweep of Australia’s “anti-terrorism” laws.

Australian state government plans to privatise public housing

By Terry Cook, 30 January 2016

The New South Wales government’s blueprint will provide a bonanza for property developers and finance houses.

Former army chief named “Australian of the Year”

By Oscar Grenfell, 29 January 2016

The award is part of a broader campaign to normalise military involvement in political life, under conditions of escalating militarism and war.

Australian Treasury head demands deep spending cuts

By Mike Head, 29 January 2016

Fraser’s speech is part of a mounting ideological offensive by the financial and corporate elite to combat public hostility to the austerity agenda.

Australian maritime union isolates and betrays Portland seamen

By Oscar Grenfell, 27 January 2016

The Maritime Union of Australia’s “Our Coast. Our Jobs” campaign divides workers and obscures the union’s role as the enforcer of sweeping cuts demanded by big business.

Australian Dulux workers return to work but job cuts loom

By Mike Head, 26 January 2016

Together with the other trade unions, United Voice is seeking to contain the growing anger among workers over the mounting destruction of jobs.

Australia “central” to US plans for war with China

By James Cogan, 26 January 2016

The CSIS report demands a build-up of the Australia military, as well as US bases across the north of the continent.