Australia

Australian brewery still operating as unions isolate sacked workers

By Frank Gaglioti and Chris Sinnema, 24 September 2016

The trade unions have opposed any unified industrial and political action to win reinstatement of the Carlton & United Breweries maintenance workers.

Australia: Thousands more jobs being destroyed

By Terry Cook, 24 September 2016

Better-paying jobs are being eliminated throughout mining-related and manufacturing industries.

Australian aircraft involved in provocative US-led airstrike in Syria

By Peter Symonds, 22 September 2016

Canberra is so enmeshed in Washington’s proxy war in the Middle East that it could find itself on the frontline of a conflict with Russia.

Australia: Socialist Alternative conference promotes racial politics and the unions

By Oscar Grenfell, 22 September 2016

The pseudo-left SAlt pushes various forms of identity politics, to cut across and suppress growing opposition to social inequality, the escalating assault on democratic rights, and war.

More than a million Australians live in poor housing

By John Harris, 21 September 2016

Many families live in precarious conditions and their children are more likely to have long-term health issues.

Australian government launches far-reaching assault on welfare

By Mike Head, 21 September 2016

The government is trying to put new window dressing on measures designed to coerce some of the poorest layers of the working class into low paid jobs.

Australia, Japan press US congress to ratify TPP

By Peter Symonds, 20 September 2016

The repeated references to the TPP’s “strategic” dimension underline its connection to the US military build-up in the Asia Pacific against China.

Australian political establishment embraces Pauline Hanson’s One Nation

By Mike Head, 16 September 2016

Hanson’s first Senate speech, which was given wall-to-wall media coverage, focused on vilifying Muslims, China and welfare recipients.

US ambassador backs campaign against “Chinese influence” in Australia

By Peter Symonds, 15 September 2016

Berry’s intervention confirms American involvement in the anti-Beijing crusade, and highlights US determination to ensure Canberra’s support for its war drive against China.

Australia: Labor Party helps government slash welfare

By Mike Head, 14 September 2016

The Coalition-Labor pact sends a wider signal to the financial elite: Labor will try to shore up the fragile political establishment and deliver the austerity measures demanded by business.

BHP Billiton demands Australian coal miners accept three-year wage freeze

By Oscar Grenfell, 14 September 2016

The company’s move is part of a broader offensive against the jobs and working conditions of workers.

The witch-hunt against Chinese influence in Australia

By Peter Symonds, 14 September 2016

The campaign against politicians, commentators and businessmen not fully supportive of the US “pivot” against China is a warning of the advanced character of war preparations in Asia.

Australia: Juvenile prison abuse exposed in Queensland

By Erin Cooke, 13 September 2016

Media reports have revealed a state Labor government coverup of the violent mistreatment of teenage detainees.

Australian government exploits attack by mentally-ill man to whip up terrorism scare

By Mike Head, 12 September 2016

Prime Minister Turnbull equated the stabbing incident to the 9/11 mass terrorist attacks in the US, which were used to proclaim an endless “war on terror.”

Australian public sector union holds farcical protests amid one-day strike

By our reporters, 12 September 2016

The protests were aimed at appealing to the Liberal-National coalition government and preventing any serious political discussion among public sector workers.

Turnbull government expands Australian military powers at home and abroad

By our correspondent, 12 September 2016

The twin measures underscore the close connection between escalating militarism and domestic police-military repression.

Few Syrian refugees yet to arrive in Australia

By Max Newman, 10 September 2016

Less than 2,000 Syrian and Iraqi asylum seekers have been allowed entry since the government’s promise to protect 12,000 people nearly a year ago.

Australian senator falls victim to anti-China witch-hunt

By Mike Head, 9 September 2016

Dastyari’s removal sends a wider message to the parliamentary elite that no dissent will be tolerated to the bipartisan policy of backing Washington.

Australian Greens signal pro-business agenda in portfolio appointments

By Oscar Grenfell, 9 September 2016

Greens leader Richard Di Natale installed senators with “fiscally conservative” credentials to key frontbench posts.

Tens of thousands of Australian public sector workers set to strike

By Oscar Grenfell, 8 September 2016

The union is seeking to corral opposition to attacks on wages and conditions behind the Labor Party.

Australian government dismisses international law in The Hague over Timorese oil theft

By Patrick Kelly, 8 September 2016

While demanding Beijing abides by a recent South China Sea ruling, Canberra has rejected the court’s jurisdiction in its disputes with East Timor in the Timor Sea.

Knives out for Australian PM Malcolm Turnbull

By James Cogan, 7 September 2016

The political atmosphere resembles that before the June 2010 political coup that removed Labor leader Kevin Rudd.

Deteriorating Australian economy adds to pressure on Turnbull

By Mike Head, 7 September 2016

The corporate discontent with the prime minister’s performance is mounting amid falling business investment and stagnant retail sales.

Australia: Opponents of war with China labelled “rats, flies, mosquitoes and sparrows”

By James Cogan, 6 September 2016

The language provides an ominous warning of the chauvinism and hysteria that is set to engulf Australian politics.

Intelligence agencies reportedly question Australian PM’s “stance” on China

By James Cogan, 5 September 2016

The question mark over Turnbull’s allegiance to the US alliance and anti-China agenda has been raised under conditions in which he holds office by a thread.

Australian supermarket chain sheds hardware stores and jobs

By John Roberts, 5 September 2016

The closure by Woolworths of Masters and Home Timber and Hardware stores reflects the impact of slump and deflation on the retail industry.

Australian government shaken by defeats in parliament

By Mike Head, 2 September 2016

Last night’s chaotic scenes underscore the ongoing instability of the political establishment.

Australian Labor senator branded a “Manchurian candidate”

By James Cogan, 2 September 2016

Payments accepted by Dastyari have been linked with political positions he advanced on China’s territorial claims in the South China Sea.

Students denounce Sydney College of the Arts merger

By our reporters, 1 September 2016

Sydney College of the Arts students and staff are continuing their protests against the University of Sydney administration’s attempts to transfer the highly-regarded fine arts tertiary institution onto another campus. Students spoke to WSWS reporters about the impact on their studies and their artistic work.

Australian establishment discusses prospect of US-China war

By James Cogan, 1 September 2016

ASPI began with the question “under what circumstances would Australia join in a war against China?”

Australia: Students occupy Sydney College of the Arts

By our reporters, 1 September 2016

The ongoing protest coincided with a march on parliament by National Art School students and staff opposing merger plans at their facility.

New Australian government seeks to impose deep cuts

By Mike Head, 31 August 2016

The prime minister appealed for all parliamentarians to unite behind a program of austerity, military spending and expanded powers for the security forces.

Ruling party wiped out in Australia’s Northern Territory election

By Mike Head, 30 August 2016

The result is a barometer of broader trends wracking Australia’s political establishment, driven by disaffection and economic slump.

Australia: Arrium steelworkers reject 10 percent pay cut

By John Roberts, 29 August 2016

From the outset, the union had no intention of waging any struggle to mobilise workers to oppose the cost cutting and fight the threat of closure.

Former detention centre workers condemn Australia’s brutal refugee regime

By Max Newman, 29 August 2016

More than 100 ex-staff members have risked lengthy jail sentences to protest against the treatment of asylum seekers incarcerated on remote Pacific islands.

Bipartisan bidding war on budget cuts in Australia

By Mike Head, 26 August 2016

Labor is proposing a united front with the government in order to carry through multi-billion dollar cuts to public health, education and welfare.

Australian “Heart Maps” reveal class divide

By Cheryl Crisp, 26 August 2016

The heart disease maps expose a health gulf between the wealthiest areas of the country and the poorest.

French shipbuilder DCNS hit by massive data leak on Scorpene submarine

By Kumaran Ira, 25 August 2016

The leak has raised concerns about whether DCNS’ multi-billion dollar plans to build submarines for Australia could also be compromised.

Mining giant’s record loss highlights Australian economy’s reversal

By Mike Head, 24 August 2016

BHP Billiton’s plight underscores the depth of the world slump and the particular vulnerability of Australian capitalism.

Hanoi scales back Australian attempt to commemorate Vietnam War battle

By John Roberts and James Cogan, 24 August 2016

The actions of the Vietnamese authorities were greeted with arrogant indignation by the Australian government.

Mounting calls for Australian universities to slash enrolments

By Oscar Grenfell, 23 August 2016

The corporate elite is calling for universities to be subordinated ever-more directly to the immediate profit needs of big business.

Australian government seizes on NAPLAN test scores to justify budget cuts

By Patrick Kelly, 22 August 2016

The NAPLAN scores are being used to prepare the ground for new austerity measures for public schools and attacks on teachers’ conditions.

Decades-long cover-up of “black lung” among Australian miners

By Oscar Grenfell, 20 August 2016

Reports of cases pre-date the official rediscovery of the disease in Queensland last year.

Full-time jobs and wages falling in Australia

By Mike Head, 20 August 2016

Part-time work is becoming the “new normal” for growing layers of workers, with devastating consequences for living standards.

Australian prime minister appeals for bipartisan budget cuts

By Mike Head, 19 August 2016

There is mounting concern in ruling circles that Turnbull’s government has failed to impose the required austerity agenda.

Australia: Greens select former military intelligence officer as parliamentarian

By Oscar Grenfell, 18 August 2016

The result of the selection contest underscored that the Greens have dispensed with any, even nominal, opposition to militarism and war.

Australian university releases plans on arts college closure

By Elle Chapman and Richard Phillips, 18 August 2016

Under the plan, academic and professional staff positions will be slashed by 60 percent, or about 50 full and part-time jobs, and various specialised courses eliminated.

Australia becoming “geopolitical flashpoint” amid sharpening US-China rivalry

By Peter Symonds, 17 August 2016

The Financial Times comment underscores the dilemma facing the Australian ruling class as its strategic ally, the US, confronts its largest trading partner, China.

Leaked files reveal brutal regime in Australia’s Nauru refugee camp

By Max Newman, 16 August 2016

The government and Labor opposition remain committed to punitive “offshore” detention as a means of deterring refugees from trying to reach Australia.

Latest Australian “terrorism” arrests set dangerous precedents

By Mike Head, 16 August 2016

Amid rising social and class tensions, the “anti-terrorism” powers are being prepared for use against the working class.

Border and immigration workers strike at Australian airports and ports

By Terry Cook, 15 August 2016

Over 100,000 public sector workers have had no pay increase for three years.

Warnings from Australian political establishment about Donald Trump

By Oscar Grenfell, 13 August 2016

The Australian ruling elite fears that Trump could disrupt the US alliance, which has been the cornerstone of its foreign policy since World War II.

Australian government blocks Chinese bids for electricity grid

By Mike Head, 13 August 2016

The decision highlights the dilemma facing the Australian ruling elite, which depends heavily on China economically but relies on the US militarily.

Australian central bank chief insists on “difficult” budget cuts

By Mike Head, 12 August 2016

The Reserve Bank governor said politicians had to move more swiftly to impose the burden of the post-2008 crisis on the working class.

Australia’s “education revolution” sends university staff casualisation soaring

By our reporters, 11 August 2016

Universities are cutting costs, boosting class sizes and increasingly relying on poorly-paid and highly insecure casual teachers.

Australian government faces “test” over Chinese bid for electricity grid

By Mike Head, 10 August 2016

Sharp differences have erupted over the Turnbull government’s looming decision on whether to permit State Grid to operate Sydney’s electricity supply.

Tragic death of baby in Australian hospital

By Richard Phillips, 10 August 2016

The New South Wales government has responded to an entirely preventable hospital accident by going into damage control.

Australia: Top police claim no operational role in Sydney siege

By Richard Phillips, 9 August 2016

This self-serving assertion is part of ongoing efforts at the coroner’s inquest to prevent any exposure of the official lies about the “ISIS terror attack.”

Report documents human rights violations in Australian refugee camps

By Max Newman, 8 August 2016

A report targets Ferrovial, a global infrastructure giant, which currently holds the Australian government contract to run the detention centres on Nauru and Manus Island.

Senate result underscores Australian government’s instability

By Mike Head, 6 August 2016

The outcome highlights how far the election backfired for the government and the entire parliamentary establishment.

Amnesty report denounces Australia’s “cruel” refugee regime on Nauru

By Mike Head, 5 August 2016

The Australian government has set a brutal model for countries around the world to punish and bar entry to millions of desperate refugees.

Systemic abuses in Australia’s juvenile prisons: The class issues

By Mike Head, 4 August 2016

Concerted efforts are being made to divert the outrage over the Northern Territory abuses behind claims that the violence can be attributed solely to racism.

Australian Workers Union pushes pay cuts for Arrium employees

By Richard Phillips, 3 August 2016

The union is seeking to blackmail Whyalla workers, by declaring that if they reject the enterprise agreement, Arrium’s steel plant and nearby mines will be closed.

China issues warning to Australia over South China Sea

By Peter Symonds, 2 August 2016

The state-owned Global Times newspaper suggested that Australia would be “an ideal target for China to warn and strike” if it intruded in South China Sea disputes.

Australian government appoints indigenous bureaucrat to juvenile detention inquiry

By Mike Head, 2 August 2016

The revamp is a bid to head off the widespread hostility to the royal commission by putting an Aboriginal face on the inquiry, whose assigned task is to whitewash the abuses.

Protests denounce violent abuses in Australian juvenile jails

By our reporters, 1 August 2016

Rally organisers, from Warriors of the Aboriginal Resistance, channeled the deeply-felt anger and disgust into divisive black nationalism.

Australian youth and workers speak out against torture of juvenile prisoners

By our correspondents, 1 August 2016

Rally participants interviewed by the WSWS voiced disgust at the abuse revelations and hostility to the proposed royal commission, saying it was another official coverup.

Australian PM sinks Rudd’s bid for UN secretary general

By Peter Symonds, 30 July 2016

The fracas this week over former Prime Minister Rudd has not only highlighted deep divisions in the Coalition government, but also raises a question about Washington’s hand in events.

Chasing Asylum: Exposing Australia’s brutal refugee-detention regime

By Richard Phillips, 29 July 2016

The feature-length documentary is a harrowing account of the systematic cruelty and de-humanisation of asylum-seekers in Australia’s offshore detention centres.

Bipartisan backing in Australia for indefinite detention of “terrorist” prisoners

By Mike Head, 28 July 2016

Turnbull’s unstable government has quickly seized on recent terrorist attacks in Europe, the Middle East and the US as a pretext for further police-state measures.

Children systematically abused in Australian juvenile prison

By Terry Cook, 27 July 2016

There is widespread outrage over the revelations, which include footage similar to the images of hooding and torture that emerged from the US-run Abu Ghraib facility in Iraq

SEP Australia holds Third National Congress

By the Socialist Equality Party Australia, 27 July 2016

The Congress provided the political grounding for the campaign conducted by the SEP in the July 2 Australian federal election.

The Socialist Equality Party and the fight to build an international anti-war movement

27 July 2016

The following resolution was adopted at the Third National Congress of the SEP (Australia), which took place in Sydney from April 24 to 26, 2016.

Post-election rifts intensify in Australian Greens

By Mike Head, 26 July 2016

Founding party leader Bob Brown publicly called for the ousting of the Greens’ executive in New South Wales.

Australian artists and students speak out against closure of fine arts college

By our reporters, 26 July 2016

Many within the arts community have denounced the plans to amalgamate Sydney’s three main arts colleges into one “super-campus.”

SEP public meetings review political lessons of Australian election

By our reporters, 26 July 2016

Explosive political developments in the past weeks have vindicated the analysis and perspective fought for by the SEP in the July 2 federal election.

Australian workers and youth voice interest in SEP’s perspective

By our reporters, 26 July 2016

Attendees speak about their concerns over US plans for war against China and the government’s austerity agenda.

Take up the fight against war, austerity and dictatorship!

Build the IYSSE on Australian campuses and schools!

By the International Youth and Students for Social Equality (Australia), 25 July 2016

Developments since the Australian federal election have underscored the preparations by the ruling elite for war with China and authoritarian forms of rule.

US vice president’s trip triggers debate on US-China conflict

By Mike Head and James Cogan, 23 July 2016

A full-scale US assault on China would almost certainly escalate into a nuclear war, in which millions would die.

Jobs losses continue in Australia as slump deepens

By Terry Cook, 23 July 2016

The job cuts further highlight the impact of falling commodity prices and declining demand in China and throughout Asia.

US vice-president makes menacing warning to China

By Peter Symonds, 21 July 2016

Biden’s speech in Sydney made clear that the US will not tolerate any equivocation by Canberra and other regional allies in supporting its war preparations in the Indo-Pacific.

In Australia, US vice president issues belligerent challenge to China

By Mike Head, 20 July 2016

Biden’s trip to Australia came in the immediate aftermath of the arbitration court decision in The Hague declaring illegal Chinese land reclamation activities in the South China Sea.

Australian students and staff oppose closure of fine arts college

By Elle Chapman, 20 July 2016

The plans to close the Sydney College of the Arts are part of a pro-business restructure of the University of Sydney, and a broader attack on the arts.

Australian prime minister reshuffles his ministry

By Mike Head, 19 July 2016

Turnbull is attempting to address the two acute pressures bearing down on his government—from Washington and the financial markets.

Fractured Australian government under intense US and economic pressure

By Mike Head, 15 July 2016

Even before Prime Minister Turnbull names his ministry, the government is wracked by recriminations and rifts.

Australia: BlueScope suing steel union over one-day strike

By Oscar Grenfell, 15 July 2016

The legal action against the Australian Workers Union is aimed at intimidating steelworkers hostile to the conditions imposed by the company-union deal last year.

Following South China Sea ruling, Australian Labor Party again demands military action

By James Cogan, 14 July 2016

Australia’s central role in the US preparations for war with China has proceeded despite the misgivings of sections of the ruling elite.

Pauline Hanson’s One Nation returns to Australian parliament

By Mike Head, 14 July 2016

By posturing as an anti-elite candidate, Hanson exploits the social crisis caused by successive Labor and Coalition governments.

SEP’s 2016 election campaign in Australia furthers fight for international anti-war movement

By the Socialist Equality Party (Australia), 12 July 2016

At the centre of the campaign was the development of political analysis to clarify workers and young people on the necessity for a socialist and internationalist perspective.

Coalition parties to form unstable government in Australia

By James Cogan, 11 July 2016

After the political and media establishment did everything possible during the election to prevent any debate on the rising danger of war, that issue is set to erupt.

Australian parliamentarian calls for Iraqi war crimes trial

By James Cogan, 9 July 2016

Andrew Wilkie declared that he would like to see an international court to hear the “pretty compelling case” against George Bush, Tony Blair and John Howard for war crimes.

Australian election outcome heightens divisions within the Greens

By Oscar Grenfell, 9 July 2016

Poor election results by the Greens have provoked bitter recriminations in the party's ranks.

SEP public meetings: The Australian election crisis and the way forward for the working class

9 July 2016

The SEP will explain the socialist and internationalist program that workers must take up in order to fight for their class interests. The meeting in Sydney will be live-streamed on Facebook.

Financial markets intervene in Australia’s political turmoil

By Mike Head, 8 July 2016

Standard & Poor’s has decreed that the next government must “forcefully” impose severe cuts to social spending and other austerity measures.

Australian election crisis fuels rifts in governing Coalition

By Mike Head, 7 July 2016

Even if Turnbull is able to form a government, the result will be an unstable administration, wracked by divisions.

Australia: Brewery maintenance workers rally to defend jobs, wages

By Frank Gaglioti, 7 July 2016

The unions organised the rally to place pressure on company executives to collaborate with them in driving down workers’ wages and conditions.

Australian voters speak on Brexit and the political issues facing the working class

By our reporters, 7 July 2016

The remarks of workers and young people underscored the widespread hostility towards the political establishment.

The political issues posed by the Australian election crisis

By Socialist Equality Party (Australia), 6 July 2016

The ruling elites, whether in Australia or around the world, cannot return to the stable and predictable parliamentary forms through which they governed in the past.