Australia and South Pacific

Australian senator warns of war with China

By Oscar Grenfell, 25 April 2017

Nick Xenophon’s remarks last week made clear that Australia is on the frontlines of the US confrontation with China.

Thousands join March for Science demonstrations in Australia

By our reporters, 24 April 2017

In contrast to the concerns of protestors, rally organisers sought to sow illusions about pressuring governments to withdraw their attacks on science.

More warnings about the Australian housing market

By Oscar Grenfell, 22 April 2017

Credit ratings agencies have said the property market, built on a mountain of debt, is among the most susceptible in the world to an economic shock.

SEP (Australia) and IYSSE public meetings

Stop the drive to world war! For peace, equality and socialism!

22 April 2017

The meetings will outline the socialist and internationalist perspective required to prevent the descent of the global capitalist system into a catastrophic third world war.

Australia: After ABC program, Labor calls for investigation into One Nation

By Cheryl Crisp, 21 April 2017

The “Four Corners” program could signal a turn by the media and political establishment against Hanson and her right-wing party.

The political issues in the fight to reject the Victorian teachers’ EBA

By the Socialist Equality Party (Australia), 21 April 2017

The most detrimental, long-term aspect of the workplace agreement is that it includes sweeping commitments by the teachers' union to enforce a “performance-ranking” system.

Turnbull government announces anti-immigrant “Australia first” policies

By Oscar Grenfell, 20 April 2017

The abolition of 457 visas for foreign workers and the tightening of citizenship requirements are aimed at diverting mounting social discontent in a xenophobic direction.

Papua New Guinea soldiers attack refugees in Australian-run prison camp

By Max Newman, 18 April 2017

At least three asylum seekers were injured by armed soldiers who assaulted the refugee detention centre on Papua New Guinea’s Manus Island.

How the AEU is attempting to push through a sell-out of Victorian teachers

By Susan Allan, 17 April 2017

If the agreement is such a “significant gain” then why is there no framework or democratic process where teachers can discuss, debate, and seek clarification on its contents?

Australian worker challenges union-company wage-cutting deal

By Oscar Grenfell, 15 April 2017

The agreement struck between the SDA and Coles saved the supermarket giant tens of millions of dollars.

Australian academics witch-hunted for challenging US lies on Syria attack

By Mike Head, 14 April 2017

The media campaign, designed to silence public discussion about the latest US aggression, is a flagrant attack on the basic democratic right of free speech.

The Coming War on China: A pacifist appeal

By Richard Phillips, 14 April 2017

Pilger’s documentary exposes something of Washington’s escalating war plans against China but suggests that protests can prevent a nuclear conflagration.

Australian prime minister visits India to boost strategic ties

By Mike Head, 13 April 2017

The outcomes were in line with the ongoing push by Washington for US allies throughout the region to strengthen their military relations with each other.

Australia: Victorian teachers denounce union-backed agreement

By our reporters, 13 April 2017

The AEU has sought to suppress discussion of its latest sell-out, while falsely claiming it is a “victory” for teachers.

Australian pseudo-left promotes fraudulent posturing of new union head

By Oscar Grenfell, 13 April 2017

The pseudo-left have hailed the attempts by new ACTU head Sally McManus to rebuild the influence of the unions, in order to head-off mounting discontent.

Australia’s role in US plans for war on North Korea

By James Cogan, 12 April 2017

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has publicly endorsed Washington’s bellicose rhetoric against the Pyongyang regime.

Australian PM accused of interfering in Papua New Guinea election

By John Braddock, 12 April 2017

Turnbull’s trip was undoubtedly motivated by concern over Australia’s commercial and strategic interests.

Australian government revokes Palestinian activist’s visa

By Oscar Grenfell, 11 April 2017

The anti-democratic move is part of a broader campaign to suppress opposition to the escalating US-led war in the Middle East.

Australian workers and youth speak out against US strike on Syria

By our reporters, 10 April 2017

The anti-war sentiments of ordinary people stand in sharp contrast to the militarist positions of Labor, the Liberal-Nationals and the corporate media.

Australian establishment backs US strike on Syria

By James Cogan, 10 April 2017

The line-up behind Washington by the government and opposition Labor Party has been replicated across the media.

Mounting concerns over Australian housing bubble

By Oscar Grenfell, 8 April 2017

Underlying the fears of a crash is the divergence between soaring house prices and stagnant or declining incomes.

Papua New Guinea government intensifies military operations at ExxonMobil plant

By John Braddock, 7 April 2017

The police and military operation against villagers living near the ExxonMobil plant is aimed at suppressing increasingly explosive social unrest.

Australian flood crisis continues as questions mount over government preparations

By Oscar Grenfell, 6 April 2017

Governments at all levels have resisted calls for the construction of levees around the most flood-prone cities, on the grounds that they are too expensive.

Australian teachers’ agreement: The reality behind union “victory” claims

By Susan Allan, 6 April 2017

On every key issue the teachers’ union and the Victorian Labor government have worked together to entrench and deepen the assault on the public education system.

Australia: Labor and unions facilitate Hazelwood power station closure

By Frank Gaglioti, 5 April 2017

The shutdown will exacerbate the social crisis in Victoria’s Latrobe Valley, which has already been hit by decades of job cuts in the energy sector.

Australian opposition parties block extradition treaty with China

By James Cogan, 3 April 2017

With shameless cynicism, China is labelled both a totalitarian state and a threat to the US-dominated global rules-based order.

East coast of Australia hit by catastrophic floods

By Oscar Grenfell, 3 April 2017

At least five people have perished in the disaster, with fears that the death toll will rise over the coming days.

Thousands of Australian asylum seekers face deportation

By Max Newman, 31 March 2017

Refugees living in limbo inside Australia have been given less than 60 days to complete visa applications.

Australian workers and youth speak out against Maruti Suzuki frame-up

By our reporters, 31 March 2017

Many of those who spoke to SEP campaigners signed the petition demanding the release of the victimised Indian car workers.

Australian Education Union agrees to sell-out deal with Victorian state Labor government

By Susan Allan, 30 March 2017

Teacher union claims of a “great win for our members” are a fraud.

China makes overtures amid strategic uncertainty in Australia

By James Cogan, 29 March 2017

Behind the scenes, frank exchanges undoubtedly occurred on Canberra’s stance towards growing tensions between China, its largest trading partner, and the US, its strategic ally.

Widespread damage after Cyclone Debbie batters north-east Australia

By Oscar Grenfell, 29 March 2017

The impact of the category four cyclone appears to have been exacerbated by houses not equipped to cope with a storm of that magnitude.

Australian government withdraws “omnibus” bill but cuts childcare

By Mike Head, 28 March 2017

Last week’s childcare package manoeuvre represents an intensification of the crisis of Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s government.

Australian private health insurance premiums soaring

By Michelle Stevens, 28 March 2017

Many working class people are now being forced to consider dropping their coverage, intensifying the healthcare crisis.

Australia: Worker killed at Sydney harbour building site

By Virginia Browne, 27 March 2017

Twenty-nine workers, including 7 in the construction industry were killed in industrial accidents during the period between January 1-March 1 this year.

Beryl Hood: 29 November 1938–21 March 2017

By Mike Head, 25 March 2017

A Trotskyist for four decades, Comrade Beryl was a fine and steadfast representative of the most advanced layers of the working class, attracted, above all, to internationalism.

ANZAC Heroes: Promoting war to children

By Sam Price and Tom Peters, 24 March 2017

A New Zealand government-funded children’s book glorifies Australian and New Zealand involvement in World War I and II.

Report documents extent of US-Australia economic ties

By Nick Beams, 23 March 2017

A recent paper argues that any shift by Australia away from its foreign policy alignment with the US could have potentially dire economic consequences.

New Australian union head feigns concern for workers’ rights

By Will Morrow, 22 March 2017

McManus’s elevation is part of the unions’ preparations to try and divert rising working-class anger behind the return of a Labor government in 2019.

Australia: Education Department head calls for police in schools amid anti-Muslim witch-hunt

By our reporters, 21 March 2017

The media and government authorities are continuing to use unsubstantiated allegations of “Islamic extremism” in schools to whip-up an atmosphere of right-wing hysteria.

Australia’s energy crisis exposes market failure

By Mike Head, 21 March 2017

The privatised electricity market—dominated by profiteering power generation, distribution and retailing companies—is creating an economic and social disaster.

Australian Labor’s “self-managing schools,” seven years on

By Erika Zimmer, 21 March 2017

The devolution agenda is deepening the education gap between advantaged and disadvantaged, working class students, paving the way for US-style for-profit “charter schools.”

Former Australian ambassador calls for foreign policy turn toward China

By James Cogan, 20 March 2017

FitzGerald’s proposals reveal the impotence of the Australian ruling elite in the face of the decline in America’s global dominance.

Australian Labor Party and unions assist closure of Hazelwood power plant

By Paul Bartizan and Oscar Grenfell, 20 March 2017

The state Labor government’s union-backed worker transfer scheme will not defend a single job.

Foreign minister warns US to guarantee Australian interests

By James Cogan, 17 March 2017

Washington now looms as the greatest risk to Australian trade interests and the so-called rules-based order.

Australian media directs anti-Muslim witch-hunt at primary school children

By Oscar Grenfell, 17 March 2017

The hysterical campaign, alleging that 10-year-olds are dangerous Islamic “radicals,” is based entirely on the dubious claims of an anonymous woman whose comments are shot through with racism.

Australian public hospitals relying on private patients

By Gary Alvernia, 16 March 2017

Funding cuts initiated by the last federal Labor government have forced hospitals to double the number of private patient services since 2008.

Australian government imposes phonics test on six-year-olds

By David Cohen, 15 March 2017

The new measures are aimed at extending the impact of the former Labor government’s NAPLAN testing regime and further undermining public education.

Australian media witch-hunts school principal removed for opposing anti-radicalisation program

By our reporters, 14 March 2017

There is growing opposition among teachers, students and parents to the anti-democratic dismissal of the school principal, and the police spying programs that he allegedly opposed.

Trump hails Australia’s draconian immigration regime

By Max Newman, 13 March 2017

The “Australian model” combines cruelty toward refugees, with a “points-based” program that discriminates in favour of employers and the wealthy.

Huge anti-government swing in Western Australian election

By Mike Head, 13 March 2017

The result indicates an intensification of the political volatility that has ousted one government after another around the country over the past decade.

Australian union’s bogus campaign against penalty rate cut

By our reporters, 11 March 2017

The construction unions held rallies as part of an effort to channel workers’ anger behind the election of another pro-business Labor government.

Australian school principal removed for allegedly resisting “anti-radicalisation” program

By Mike Head, 9 March 2017

Under the government plan, teachers are required to become informants on their students.

Australia: Young workers speak out against penalty rate cuts

By our reporters, 9 March 2017

Many young people are already deprived of weekend penalty wages, as a result of company-union wage-cutting deals.

Australian maritime union signs 13-year no-strike pledge with energy multinational

By Oscar Grenfell, 8 March 2017

The union has promised to suppress industrial action at the Ichthys pipeline project in northern Australia.

Australian pseudo-left forum promotes nationalism

By Will Morrow, 7 March 2017

Speakers from Socialist Alternative and Socialist Alliance shared the platform with two academics, both of whom are avowed nationalists.

Australia: Three homeless people killed in arson attack

By Chris Sadlier, 7 March 2017

The tragedy is the outcome of growing unemployment and poverty, lack of affordable housing and inadequate welfare and mental health care facilities.

Australian government beset by turmoil

By Mike Head, 6 March 2017

The future of the Turnbull government is being increasingly called into question, reflecting a protracted crisis of the political establishment.

Australian government flags “foreign policy reset” in response to Trump

By James Cogan, 4 March 2017

The Trump administration’s “America First” agenda has produced consternation within the political and strategic establishment.

Discontent and political volatility dominate Western Australian election

By Mike Head, 4 March 2017

Because of Labor’s pro-business record, the WA election has become a testing ground for Pauline Hanson’s anti-immigrant One Nation party.

Australian growth up but wages fall

By Nick Beams, 3 March 2017

Australia’s gross domestic product rose by 1.1 percent in the fourth quarter but there are doubts such growth can be sustained.

Australian unions and Labor Party launch bogus campaign over penalty rate cuts

By Oscar Grenfell, 2 March 2017

The Labor politicians and trade union bureaucrats are the ones most responsible for this historic cut in penalty rates.

Rifts tearing Australian government apart

By Mike Head, 1 March 2017

The political brawling points to the immense popular disaffection with both the main establishment parties, the ruling Liberal-National Coalition and Labor.

Australian union pushes through pay cut at paper mill

By Chris Sadlier, 28 February 2017

The CFMEU did everything it could to bully the workforce into accepting a 5 percent pay cut and the establishment of a two-tier wage system.

Australia: SEP meetings discuss Trump, war and the political tasks facing workers and youth

By our correspondents, 28 February 2017

The meetings attracted university students, workers, professionals and retirees seeking in-depth discussion about the Trump presidency and the dangerous shift in world politics.

SEP meeting attendees speak on Trump and the threat of war

By our reporters, 28 February 2017

Workers and young people who attended the meetings spoke about the dangers of a nuclear conflict, the developing political radicalization in the US and internationally, and the need for a socialist movement of the working class.

Netanyahu receives effusive official welcome in Australia

By Mike Head, 27 February 2017

The Australian government and financial elite feted Netanyahu, whose government is accelerating illegal Jewish settlements in the occupied West Bank.

Australian youth pushed into unpaid “work experience”

By Robert Campion, 27 February 2017

Almost 60 percent of young people have been compelled to do unpaid labour, amid mounting unemployment and job insecurity.

Ongoing investment plunge in Australia

By Mike Head, 25 February 2017

The slump has serious implications for jobs, economic growth and the government’s large budget deficit.

Australian industrial tribunal slashes workers’ wages

By Oscar Grenfell, 24 February 2017

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

US officials accuse China of building missile bases in South China Sea

By Mike Head, 23 February 2017

Media reports have declared the latest claims to be “an early test of US President Donald Trump.”

Australian tabloid vilifies Muslim immigrants and welfare recipients

By Max Newman, 23 February 2017

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

Australian governments’ decade-long cultural wrecking operation

By Richard Phillips and Linda Tenenbaum, 22 February 2017

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

Australian state Labor government strengthens draconian anti-association laws

By Erin Cooke, 21 February 2017

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

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

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

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

Australian stripped of citizenship, setting dangerous precedent

By Mike Head, 18 February 2017

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

Australian housing among the world’s most unaffordable

By John Harris, 17 February 2017

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

Australian government faces deep budget crisis

By Mike Head, 16 February 2017

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

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

By Mike Head, 15 February 2017

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

Australian disability workers strike against privatisation

By our reporters, 15 February 2017

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

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

By Mike Head, 14 February 2017

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

Australian Paper workers voting on union wage-cutting deal

By our reporters, 13 February 2017

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

Australian government reintroduces sweeping welfare cuts

By Mike Head, 11 February 2017

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

Australia to bankroll 2018 APEC summit in Papua New Guinea

By John Braddock, 10 February 2017

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

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

By Oscar Grenfell, 10 February 2017

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

Chinese foreign minister warns against war with the US

By Peter Symonds, 9 February 2017

Trump’s top adviser Steve Bannon declared last March there was “no doubt” that the US would go to war with China over the South China Sea in “five to ten years.”

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

By Mike Head, 9 February 2017

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

Pro-Trump Australian senator splits from Coalition government

By James Cogan, 7 February 2017

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

Australian protesters speak on war dangers and Trump immigration ban

By our reporters, 6 February 2017

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

Australian coalition government faces defections

By Mike Head, 6 February 2017

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

Trump browbeats Australian “ally”

By Mike Head, 4 February 2017

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

Australian prime minister’s speech points to growing political crisis

By Mike Head, 4 February 2017

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

Trump dresses down Australian prime minister

By Mike Head, 3 February 2017

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

Australian Greens put forward nationalist trap for anti-Trump sentiment

By Oscar Grenfell, 3 February 2017

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

Pauline Hanson’s One Nation seeks power in Australian states

By Mike Head, 2 February 2017

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

Recriminations in Australian Greens threaten split

By Oscar Grenfell, 1 February 2017

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

Australian prime minister defends Trump’s anti-immigrant bans

By Mike Head, 31 January 2017

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

Australian state Labor government threatens violence against detained youth

By Eric Ludlow and Patrick Kelly, 31 January 2017

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

Australian college closure highlights sham practices in private education sector

By Robert Campion, 30 January 2017

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

Industrial court endorses sacking of Australian miners after union betrayal

By Oscar Grenfell, 27 January 2017

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