Oceania

SEP candidate speaks with high school teachers

By Zac Hambides, 30 June 2012

“In education, there is a concerted drive by all governments to smash up the public school system and promote a privatised, user-pays model.”

Many feared dead in Australian refugee disaster

By Oliver Campbell, 23 June 2012

The refugee boat’s sinking is the latest in a series of tragedies that flows directly from the Australian government’s “border protection” policy.

Australian and US governments “playing word games”

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange speaks from Ecuadorian embassy

By Richard Phillips, 22 June 2012

Assange refuted US government denials of a Grand Jury indictment against him and denounced the Australian government’s so-called consular support.

New Zealand signs NATO partnership deal

By John Braddock, 22 June 2012

The agreement establishes the formal basis for NZ troops to operate as part of future NATO-led wars.

Oppose the exploitation of international students

By Patrick O’Connor and SEP candidate for Melbourne, 22 June 2012

The conditions of international students in Melbourne and throughout Australia testify to the contempt of the major parties for the conditions of youth.

Oppose the Ford Australia shutdown

By Patrick O’Connor and SEP candidate for Melbourne, 16 June 2012

The company is attempting to make workers bear the brunt of its sweeping restructuring as part of the ongoing reorganisation of the international auto industry.

Australian government’s culpability in refugee boat disaster—Part 2

By Patrick O’Connor, 16 June 2012

On October 3 2009, Customs and Border Protection waited nearly four hours before alerting rescue authorities that a refugee boat with 108 people on board was sinking.

British court rejects WikiLeaks editor’s final extradition appeal

By Mike Head, 15 June 2012

As a result of yesterday’s UK Supreme Court ruling, Julian Assange could be forcibly removed to Sweden as early as June 28.

Australia: GDP growth obscures economic contradictions

By Alex Messenger, 15 June 2012

Australia’s skewed and unstable economic growth is dependent on continuing high global demand, especially from China, for its minerals.

Australian government’s culpability in refugee boat disaster—Part 1

By Patrick O’Connor, 15 June 2012

On October 3 2009, Australian Customs and Border Protection waited nearly four hours before alerting rescue authorities that a refugee boat carrying 108 people was sinking.

Socialist Equality Party (Australia) launches Melbourne by-election campaign

By Socialist Equality Party, 15 June 2012

Our campaign provides workers and young people with a revolutionary alternative to the political program and parties of big business and finance capital

Australia: Victorian teachers strike over pay and conditions

By our reporters, 8 June 2012

Angered by the state government’s regressive demands, record numbers of teachers stopped work yesterday.

New Zealand police attack protest against education budget cuts

By Tom Peters, 8 June 2012

The allowance cuts and increased loan repayments will create even more financial distress for students and graduates.

Australia: School teachers to strike in Victoria

By Frank Gaglioti and Patrick O’Connor, 6 June 2012

About 20,000 primary and secondary public school teachers in Victoria are expected to strike tomorrow.

Australia: New disability scheme to cut long-term costs

By Alex Messenger, 6 June 2012

Under the guise of helping the disabled, the NDIS involves a massive rationalisation of existing services designed to drive many off pensions and into work.

Australian government backs US campaign against Syria

By Peter Symonds, 2 June 2012

The Labor government’s expulsion of two Syrian diplomats set the stage for similar actions by the US and its European allies.

Further political turmoil in Papua New Guinea

By Patrick O’Connor, 2 June 2012

The illegal Australian-backed government has engaged in further desperate manoeuvres and authoritarian measures to remain in office.

SEP public meetings in Australia

Defend WikiLeaks’ editor Julian Assange

2 June 2012

Democratic rights cannot be defended through the decayed façade of parliament or the reactionary Labor and trade union apparatuses.

SEP meetings oppose US-Australia war preparations against China

By our reporters, 30 May 2012

Well-attended public meetings in Australia and New Zealand discussed the US military build-up against China and the necessity for a socialist program to oppose militarism and war.

Youth and workers discuss US-Australia confrontation with China

By our reporters, 30 May 2012

Public meeting participants comment on the SEP’s perspective and the dangers of war.

Papua New Guinean government arrests chief justice

By Patrick O’Connor, 25 May 2012

The attempted prosecution of the chief justice on sedition charges is in retaliation for the Supreme Court’s recent confirmation that the O’Neill government remains in power illegally.

Thomson scandal exposes decay of Australian “labour movement”

By Peter Symonds, 19 May 2012

The affair has provided a glimpse into the fetid world of high-paid Labor and union careerists scrambling for positions and power, divorced from and utterly contemptuous of the working class.

Australian foreign minister rebuked in Beijing over US military deal

By Patrick O’Connor, 17 May 2012

The terse diplomatic discussions have underscored the tensions in East Asia that are being generated by the Obama administration’s provocative “pivot” to the region.

New Zealand “Not for Sale” campaign promotes anti-Chinese sentiment

By John Braddock, 17 May 2012

The campaign is designed to divert popular opposition to the government’s privatisation and austerity agenda behind the Labour Party and Greens as well as the aggressive US stance against China.

Vanuatu government expels Australian police

By Patrick O’Connor, 14 May 2012

The move was in retaliation for the highly provocative arrest of one of Prime Minister Sato Kilman’s secretaries in Sydney airport.

Australian car component plant reopens after union-imposed layoffs

By Margaret Rees, 12 May 2012

The Australian Manufacturing Workers Union last month orchestrated the restructuring of the bankrupt APV Automotive Components plant in Melbourne.

Australia: Public sector layoffs, spending cuts in Victorian budget

By Tania Baptist, 7 May 2012

The sackings, which will mark the first compulsory public sector redundancies in the state since the 1990s, form part of a $2.9 billion cut to public spending in Victoria.

Australian Labor government on notice to deliver austerity budget

By Peter Symonds, 7 May 2012

If the Gillard government fails to deliver a budget surplus, or does so by fudging the figures, the political triggers already exist for bringing it down.

Australia to acquire new submarine fleet

By James Cogan, 5 May 2012

Canberra is under pressure from Washington to boost the Australian armed forces so as to be able to make a significant contribution in the event of a US military confrontation with Beijing.

Australia: In advance of budget, Opposition MP demands end to “age of entitlement”

By Patrick O’Connor, 5 May 2012

Hockey bluntly elaborated what has, until now, largely been the subject of behind closed doors discussion in ruling circles—that all welfare programs and public services have to be abolished.

Australian transport firm collapses and locks out 1,000 workers

By Zac Hambides, 4 May 2012

Australian transport company First Fleet went into receivership this week, locking out or dismissing hundreds of employees and contractors.

Australia: Elderly to pay much more for care

By Alex Messenger, 28 April 2012

Far from the “increased funding” promoted by the media, the changes will reduce the government’s contribution to the funding of home care from 84 percent to 76 percent.

Australia: Anzac Day and the promotion of militarism

By Patrick O’Connor, 27 April 2012

More and more openly, the occasion is being used to justify current military interventions by Australian imperialism and to prepare the ground for new ones.

New Zealand meat workers lockout enters eighth week

By John Braddock, 21 April 2012

The lockouts by Affco are part of a wider employer offensive across major industries to gut the wages and conditions of workers.

Australian government announces accelerated troop withdrawal from Afghanistan

By James Cogan, 20 April 2012

The timetable for Australian troop withdrawals is linked to the unconditional alignment of the Gillard government with the US “pivot” to maintain American dominance in the Asian region.

Australian Greens cover for Labor government in Julian Assange witch hunt

By Patrick O’Connor, 20 April 2012

The remarks of Greens Senator Scott Ludlam laid bare the duplicitous role played by his party throughout the Assange affair.

Assange lawyer delayed while flying to Australia

By Mike Head, 20 April 2012

The incident raises fresh questions about the Australian government’s close involvement in the Obama administration’s global operation to railroad Assange to jail.

Amid signs of slump, Australian PM reiterates “tough” budget pledge

By Mike Head, 16 April 2012

To meet its target, the Gillard government must slash spending more than any previous post-war Australian government, deepening the domestic downturn and social distress.

Australia: BHP mine closure signals new corporate offensive

By Richard Phillips, 16 April 2012

BHP Billiton Mitsubishi will axe its Norwich Park mine in central Queensland, sacking 500 full-time workers and 900 contractors.

US Marines begin operations in northern Australia

By James Cogan, 14 April 2012

The first unit of American marines to be stationed in the city of Darwin has arrived, and preparations for the US military’s use of Australian bases are proceeding apace.

Australian car components plant shut down

By Chris Sadlier, 13 April 2012

APV went into receivership after claiming that it had insufficient funds to meet payroll and other operating costs.

Papua New Guinea government attempts to postpone election

By Patrick O’Connor, 11 April 2012

Thousands of people protested yesterday in the capital Port Moresby against the government’s bid to delay national elections scheduled for June.

Fiji again devastated by floods

By Mike Head, 11 April 2012

Seven people are confirmed dead, and an estimated 14,000 people have been forced to abandon their homes.

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

7 April 2012

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

Australia: Coal companies provoke new miners’ walkouts in Queensland

By Richard Phillips, 31 March 2012

Bowen Basin coal miners struck on Tuesday following provocative new roster demands by the BHP-Billiton Mitsubishi Alliance.

Australia: University of Sydney job cuts temporarily postponed

By Mark Church, 31 March 2012

Planned cuts to academic staff and programs at a major Australian university have only been suspended by agreement with the academics’ trade union, giving the management greater time to wear down staff resistance.

Australian government pledges to slash billions from budget

By Patrick O’Connor, 30 March 2012

Labor’s budget preparations are centrally directed towards satisfying the demands of the international financial markets.

Australian government bars Chinese telco on “security” grounds

By Patrick O’Connor, 28 March 2012

The decision is consistent with the Gillard’s lockstep loyalty to Obama’s aggressive drive to maintain US dominance in the Asia Pacific against the challenge posed by China.

Papua New Guinea government moves against judiciary

By Patrick O’Connor, 27 March 2012

The O’Neill government is attempting to consolidate power by suppressing its opponents within the judiciary.

New evidence emerges on Brazilian student’s death in Sydney

By Mike Head, 24 March 2012

Police used a taser, a potentially lethal weapon, on Laudisio Curtis even though he posed no threat to the officers or anyone else.

Australian mining magnate accuses CIA of funding environment groups

By Patrick O’Connor, 23 March 2012

The rather strange episode served to highlight an important political development—the emergence of an outspoken wing of the corporate elite, hostile to Washington’s provocative moves against Beijing.

Australia: Queensland flood inquiry report a political coverup

By Richard Phillips, 21 March 2012

Mainstream media coverage of the Queensland flood inquiry has praised its report and ignored its refusal to indict the state Labor government.

Australian mining tax passed through Senate

By Patrick O’Connor, 21 March 2012

The passage of the tax was accompanied by false claims from senior ministers that it would benefit working people.

Australian police Taser attack kills Brazilian student

By Zac Hambides, 21 March 2012

All the evidence indicates that police used potentially lethal force against an innocent young man, Roberto Laudisio Curti.

Australian nurses’ union imposes real wage cut

By Patrick O’Connor, 17 March 2012

The overriding priority of the union has been to prevent the nurses’ dispute from becoming a political struggle against the state and federal governments.

Australia: Labor faces electoral rout in Queensland

By Mike Head, 16 March 2012

After nearly two decades in office in Queensland, there is deep hostility among working people to Labor’s record, both state and federal.

“The attacks on us are extraordinarily revealing”

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange speaks with WSWS

By Richard Phillips, 16 March 2012

Julian Assange discusses his British court appeal against extradition to Sweden and the ongoing attacks on WikiLeaks, freedom of the press and other basic rights.

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

10 March 2012

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

Political instability to continue with installation of new Australian foreign minister

By James Cogan, 3 March 2012

Bob Carr’s elevation guarantees that divisions over foreign policy will continue to wrack the highest echelons of the government.

Australian government dismisses call to boost school funding

By Will Marshall, 3 March 2012

According to the Gonski report, Australia has one of the most inequitable education systems in the OECD.

The Australian’s foreign editor and Labor’s leadership crisis

By Patrick O’Connor, 2 March 2012

Greg Sheridan’s column can only be understood as an attempt to obscure the issues involved in the 2010 coup and the termination of Rudd’s tenure as foreign minister.

US ambassador suggests nuclear submarine sale to Australia

By Oliver Campbell, 29 February 2012

Whether the sale eventuates or not, Bleich’s comments underscore the extent to which Australian capitalism has been drawn into a maelstrom of geo-political tensions.

Australian government torn apart by US-China tensions

By Peter Symonds, 25 February 2012

The present fracturing of the Labor Party is bound up with powerful geo-political rivalries centred on the Obama administration’s growing confrontation with China.

Deepening job cuts expose Australian Labor’s “new economy”

By Mark Church, 25 February 2012

The first two months of 2012 have seen growing job losses in Australia, revealing the real nature of the Labor government’s restructuring drive.

Fair Work Australia imposes no-strike bans on Victorian nurses

By Richard Phillips, 25 February 2012

As soon as nurses began industrial action to defend wages, jobs and patient-nurse ratios, the Gillard government’s workplace tribunal declared their action illegal.

New Zealand moves to broaden economic ties with China

By John Braddock, 18 February 2012

The efforts to establish closer relations with China will not have gone unnoticed in Washington and Canberra.

Alcoa Australia threatens to axe Geelong smelter

By Will Morrow, 18 February 2012

Alcoa Australia is preparing to shut its Point Henry plant or use the closure threat to impose another round of attacks on jobs and conditions.

Australian mining magnate buys controlling interest in Fairfax Media

By Richard Phillips, 17 February 2012

Gina Rinehart’s media investments are aimed at promoting her own self-interest and securing greater political influence for the mining industry.

Job losses accelerate as interest rates rise in Australia

By Alex Messenger, 17 February 2012

A Reserve Bank decision not to cut interest rates has intensified the pressure on employers to shut down operations, lower their labour costs and squeeze more from smaller workforces.

Australian government instability points to worsening political crisis

By Mike Head, 10 February 2012

The volatile political situation has deep roots, inseparably bound up with the US-backed removal of Rudd as prime minister in 2010.

US war provocations against Syria

By Alex Lantier, 6 February 2012

Washington and its imperialist allies in Europe are escalating preparations for a full-scale military intervention in Syria.

Australian intelligence agencies prepare for political upheaval

By Mike Head, 6 February 2012

The review warned the Gillard government that the tumultuous events of 2011 had revealed how difficult it was for intelligence agencies to anticipate the collapse of seemingly stable political orders.

New wave of job losses in Australia

By Alex Messenger, 6 February 2012

Backed by the Gillard government, the corporate elite is using the economic crisis to carry through wholesale cost-cutting to match the austerity measures being imposed on workers internationally.

Over 100 feared dead in Papua New Guinea ferry disaster

By Oliver Campbell, 4 February 2012

Lax safety standards and overcrowding appear to have contributed to the loss of life.

Australian defence review prepares for war with China

By James Cogan, 4 February 2012

The Gillard government is thrusting Australia into the frontline of a potential war for dominance in the Asian region.

Australia: New flood evidence delays Queensland election

By Richard Phillips, 1 February 2012

Having ruled Queensland almost continuously for the past 20 years, the Labor Party faces a landslide election defeat, with deep-seated opposition on a range of issues.

Flooding in Fiji kills seven, leaves thousands homeless

By Will Morrow, 1 February 2012

More than 3,500 people were forced to flee their homes last week to makeshift evacuation centres established in schools, military bases and government buildings.

Papua New Guinea: Dozens dead and missing in landslide

By Oliver Campbell, 28 January 2012

Local residents said blasting related to Exxon-Mobil’s nearby liquefied natural gas project may have contributed to the disaster.

Military mutiny in Papua New Guinea

By Patrick O’Connor, 27 January 2012

The unresolved constitutional crisis reflects the intensifying rivalry between the US and China that is fuelling instability throughout the Asia-Pacific.

Australian government loses support of independent MP

By Patrick O’Connor, 24 January 2012

Having lost the support of Andrew Wilkie, reducing its effective parliamentary majority to just one seat, Prime Minister Julia Gillard’s minority Labor government has become even more precarious.

Australian government car subsidies spark rift in corporate circles

By Terry Cook and Patrick O’Connor, 24 January 2012

The Labor government’s assistance is premised on continuing restructuring measures, coordinated with the trade unions, involving mass layoffs.

New Zealand judge defers bail decision on Megaupload arrests

By John Braddock, 24 January 2012

As part of a global campaign by the US government, the Megaupload associates face extradition proceedings on copyright charges.

Australian mental health workers maintain bans over wages and conditions

By Susan Allan, 19 January 2012

Mental health services are in profound crisis, following decades of chronic underfunding by successive governments at state and federal levels.

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

14 January 2012

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

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

7 January 2012

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

Fijian military government announces end to emergency laws

By Will Morrow, 6 January 2012

The decision was cautiously welcomed by the US and Australia, signalling a possible rapprochement between the regional powers and the military junta.

New Zealand: Occupy Auckland evicted from city square

By John Braddock, 31 December 2011

The legal crackdown is a significant attack on basic democratic rights.

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

24 December 2011

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

PNG constitutional crisis: O’Neill consolidates as PM

By Zac Hambides, 21 December 2011

O’Neill now has the support of the state apparatus, including the military and police, and the governor general, in addition to his parliamentary majority.

PNG crisis eases as Australia hints at military intervention

By Zac Hambides, 17 December 2011

Canberra’s preoccupation with the events in PNG is driven by deep concerns about growing Chinese involvement in what it has regarded as “its backyard.”

Fijian junta imposes draconian anti-union laws

By Will Morrow, 17 December 2011

Commodore Frank Bainimarama’s military regime has deepened its assault on the working class, seeking to lure foreign investment.

Papua New Guinea locked in constitutional crisis

By Zac Hambides, 15 December 2011

The impasse in Port Moresby reflects the political volatility being created throughout the Asia-Pacific region by the Washington’s aggressive drive to counter Chinese influence.

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

10 December 2011

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

Obama’s visit prompts rancorous Australian foreign policy debate

By Peter Symonds, 9 December 2011

The critics represent a dissident, rather beleaguered faction of the political establishment that regards support for Obama’s anti-China policy as suicidal for Australian capitalism.

New Zealand: Pike River Coal charged over miners’ deaths

By Tom Peters, 9 December 2011

Pike River Coal, its CEO Peter Whittall and contractor VLI Drilling Ltd have been charged by the Department of Labour for safety breaches at the Pike River mine, where 29 men died in an explosion last year.

Australian unions commit to Labor’s austerity program

By Mike Head, 7 December 2011

Throughout the set-piece “debates” at the ALP national conference, the union representatives made clear their determination to bolster the deeply unpopular Labor government and implement its pro-business agenda.

Australia: Nurses’ union announces sham “community campaign”

By Will Morrow, 3 December 2011

Having shut down industrial action by Victorian nurses, the union is promoting a campaign of isolated hospital rallies in order to demoralise nurses while it prepares a sell-out agreement.

Australian government slashes spending as global crisis deepens

By Mike Head, 30 November 2011

Treasurer Wayne Swan made clear the government’s acceptance of the dictates of the banks and finance houses that are imposing austerity measures on governments across Europe.

An exchange on the union’s role in the Australian nurses’ dispute

By Patrick O’Connor, 30 November 2011

The WSWS replies to a letter that reflects the current thinking of many nurses who are determined to defend staffing and pay, but do not yet understand the union’s role in facilitating the Victorian government’s agenda.

Australian government “delivers” on mining tax

By Mike Head, 26 November 2011

The Minerals Resource Rent Tax delivers the immense concessions that Julia Gillard pledged to the big mining companies in June 2010, just after she was installed as prime minister.