Australia

Australia high court ruling imposes greater restrictions on industrial action

By Terry Cook, 16 December 2017

The court decision is another means for banning industrial action and imposing heavy fines and penalties on workers seeking to defend their wages and conditions.

Construction worker killed in horrific incident at Australian gas project

By John Harris, 15 December 2017

The tragic death at the INPEX gas project was not an aberration but the result of increasing company productivity demands ratified by the unions.

Beijing warns against Australia’s anti-China campaign

By Oscar Grenfell, 15 December 2017

The Chinese regime is fearful that the Australian government’s draconian “foreign interference” legislation could be used as a precedent by the US and its allies.

Australian Labor senator resigns amid anti-China witch-hunt

By Oscar Grenfell, 13 December 2017

Dastyari was denounced as a “double agent” for his dealings with Chinese businessmen in a McCarthyite campaign spearheaded by the establishment media and intelligence agencies.

Australian union imposes cost-cutting deal on Hunter Valley miners

By Terry Cook, 13 December 2017

Construction Forestry Mining and Energy Union agreements with Glencore in New South Wales will allow the international mining giant to further boost its profits.

Anti-China witch-hunt in Australia escalates

By Peter Symonds, 11 December 2017

The campaign is being driven by the Australian intelligence agencies—backed to the hilt by Washington—amid the growing danger of a US war against North Korea and China.

Australian workers, actors, filmmakers oppose the “trial by media” of Geoffrey Rush

By our reporters, 11 December 2017

“Don’t make the mistake of thinking that this kind of thing only happens to celebrities.”

Australian maritime union maintains picket at Victorian port

By Will Morrow, 9 December 2017

The MUA’s real concern is to advance itself as an industrial police force for the company against the workers.

Australian actor Geoffrey Rush fights back, suing Daily Telegraph for defamation

By Richard Phillips and Linda Tenenbaum, 9 December 2017

Many in the industry are deeply opposed to this new McCarthyism and they are starting to speak out.

Stephen Sewell denounces media witch-hunt against Geoffrey Rush

By Richard Phillips, 9 December 2017

The Australian screen writer, playwright and novelist draws out the dangerous political implications of the trial by media persecution of Geoffrey Rush.

Australia: Lowest consumer spending since global financial crisis

By Nick Beams, 8 December 2017

Consumption spending is being dragged down by historically low wage growth, rising energy costs and high debt levels.

China condemns Australian “anti-China hysteria and paranoia”

By Peter Symonds, 7 December 2017

The Chinese embassy statement followed the announcement of new legislation expanding treason and espionage laws and outlawing “foreign interference” in Australian politics.

Underpayment of international students and backpackers commonplace in Australia

By George Morley, 7 December 2017

Thousands of young people temporarily working in Australia are paid less than the official minimum wage and a small but significant minority work under slave-like conditions.

Australia: Socialist Equality Party holds successful meetings on Russian Revolution

By our correspondents, 7 December 2017

SEP National Secretary James Cogan told the Melbourne meeting that the Russian Revolution was the most progressive social and political event of the 20th century

Workers and youth discuss the Russian Revolution at SEP meetings

By our reporters, 7 December 2017

“People can’t afford to live in today’s world, and this is something that needs to be changed… fighting for socialism is not a lifestyle, it’s a fight for survival.”

Australian government foreshadows draconian anti-foreign interference laws

By Peter Symonds, 6 December 2017

The new laws are aimed at criminalising anti-war opposition as Australia integrates into the US military build-up in Asia and its drive to war against North Korea and China.

Australian foreign policy White Paper underscores danger of war

By Peter Symonds, 5 December 2017

The document reflects the rising anxieties in ruling circles over the breakdown of the post-World War II order and the emergence of “a more competitive and contested world.”

Anti-China witch-hunt against Australian senator reveals extensive US-backed surveillance

By Mike Head, 5 December 2017

Extensive intelligence leaks are feeding a far-reaching media and political campaign, under pressure from Washington, to suppress alleged Chinese influence in Australia.

Acclaimed Australian actor Geoffrey Rush becomes the latest witch-hunt victim

By James Cogan, 2 December 2017

The Murdoch media is circulating unsubstantiated allegations, made by an unidentified individual, in an attempt to destroy Rush’s career.

Intelligence agency involved in latest Australian “terror” scare

By Richard Phillips, 2 December 2017

ASIO’s involvement raises questions about the long record of the police and intelligence agencies seeking to recruit and manipulate vulnerable young men.

Australian banking inquiry backflip intensifies political crisis

By Mike Head, 1 December 2017

The royal commission is an attempt to divert back into official channels widespread public hostility toward the rapacious operations of the banks and finance houses.

Behind the anti-China witch-hunt against Australian senator

By Peter Symonds, 30 November 2017

The denunciations of Sam Dastyari are aimed at intimidating all anti-war opposition as the US intensifies its war drive against North Korea and China.

Queensland election shocks intensify breakup of Australian political establishment

By Mike Head, 29 November 2017

The results indicate an acceleration in the fragmentation of support for the two-party setup that held together the official political framework for decades.

Queensland election: Another blow to Australia’s two-party system

By Mike Head, 27 November 2017

More than 30 years of attacks on working class jobs, living conditions and basic services, have led to deep political disaffection.

Queensland voters voice disgust and discuss socialism

By our correspondents, 27 November 2017

At voting stations in working class Inala, people spoke about the conditions they face and their distrust in the political system.

Australian government supports brutal assault on Manus Island refugees

By Max Newman, 27 November 2017

Turnbull’s government openly backed the violent eviction from the Australian-controlled detention camp, as part of its message to asylum seekers globally.

Downward pressure on Australian wages becoming the “new normal”

By Nick Beams, 25 November 2017

Continued slow growth in wages has been a “distinguishing feature” of the Australian economy in the past few years, according to the governor of the Reserve Bank of Australia.

Australia: Union negotiates cost-cutting deal at Streets ice-cream

By Richard Phillips, 25 November 2017

Streets workers must reject the latest union-company deal which opens the way for increased productivity and even higher profits for the giant Unilever-owned corporation.

Australian government oversees police attacks on Manus Island refugees

By Oscar Grenfell, 24 November 2017

One of the asylum-seekers reported that yesterday’s violent incursion by Papua New Guinea state forces was directed by a representative of the Australian Federal Police.

Queensland election highlights political crisis across Australia

By Mike Head, 24 November 2017

The seething hostility to the two “major” parties is the product of decades of mounting attacks on the jobs, living standards and basic services of the working class.

Australian Greens use dual citizenship witch-hunt to cement right-wing credentials

By Oscar Grenfell, 23 November 2017

The Greens have been the chief proponents of a nationalist campaign in recent months demanding that parliamentarians hold “undivided allegiance” to the Australian state.

Besieged Australian government postpones parliament

By Mike Head, 22 November 2017

The present turmoil is another milestone in the breakdown of the two-party system that has prevailed since World War II.

Australian wage growth continues downward trend

By Nick Beams, 20 November 2017

Real wages in Australia are now only 0.1 percent above where they were more than four years ago and there is no end in sight to the worsening situation.

Australian mining union imposes 25 percent pay cut at Griffin Coal

By Terry Cook, 20 November 2017

The CFMEU struck a sell-out deal which includes sweeping wage reductions and the gutting of conditions, despite significant opposition from workers.

Australia: Liberals strike Queensland election deal with One Nation

By Mike Head, 18 November 2017

Popular hostility toward the traditional ruling parties, the Coalition and Labor, has reached such heights that both are increasingly unable to form majority governments.

The global processes behind the parliamentary crisis in Australia

By James Cogan, 17 November 2017

The witch-hunt against “dual citizens” in parliament is part of a calculated attempt to create a war-time political atmosphere.

Australian unions push another sell-out agreement at Western Sydney University

By our correspondents, 17 November 2017

The NTEU is attempting to impose another retrograde enterprise deal that will assist management to deepen cuts to jobs and conditions.

After Yes vote for same-sex marriage, Australian government moves to entrench discrimination

By Mike Head, 16 November 2017

For all the proclamations of a “democratic triumph,” the exercise set a reactionary precedent for plebiscites on fundamental democratic rights.

The Gonski “needs-based” school funding fraud in Australia

Part 2: The “socio-economic status” racket

By David Cohen and Linda Tenenbaum, 16 November 2017

Gonski’s funding formula obliterates any significant distinction between public, Catholic and corporate schools.

Trump’s Asia tour leaves region on brink of trade war and military conflict

By James Cogan, 15 November 2017

President Trump’s bellicose rhetoric, on both North Korea and trade, cannot obscure the fact that his trip marks a new nadir in the strategic position of US imperialism.

Doctor describes “shameful” medical neglect at Australian refugee prison camp

By Max Newman, 15 November 2017

Asylum seekers detained in Nauru are “wilfully coming to medical harm” at the Australian government’s orders.

The Gonski “needs-based” school funding fraud in Australia

Part 1: Accelerating the corporatisation of schools

By David Cohen and Linda Tenenbaum, 15 November 2017

David Gonski is among the most trusted lieutenants of the corporate, financial and political elites.

Citizenship witch-hunt escalates after Australian government loses majority

By James Cogan, 13 November 2017

In a McCarthyite process, every member of parliament now has 18 days to prove they are not entitled to dual citizenship.

National Australia Bank to eliminate 6,000 jobs

By John Harris, 13 November 2017

The gutting of bank jobs and services has accelerated since the Keating Labor government began the privatisation of the Commonwealth Bank in 1991.

Australian government gives green light for violence against refugees at Manus Island

By Oscar Grenfell, 11 November 2017

The entire Australian political establishment is responsible for the desperate plight of the 600 men in the detention camp.

MP disqualification crisis engulfs Australian government

By Mike Head, 10 November 2017

A full-scale McCarthyite witch-hunt is underway, with every MP being required to prove their citizenship “purity.”

Australian contract company continues assault on maintenance workers

By Terry Cook, 9 November 2017

The unions are isolating 200 workers confronting UGL’s attempts to tear up existing wages and conditions.

Australia: Queensland Labor backflips on support for Adani mine

By Mike Head, 8 November 2017

Labor’s long record of support for corporate giants like Adani has opened the door for the reactionary One Nation party to prey upon social devastation and discontent.

Complaints soar against Australian government’s welfare agency

By Mike Head, 7 November 2017

Millions of welfare recipients were unable to contact Centrelink, the agency that administers their payments, causing enormous frustration and anger.

Australia: Thousands protest persecution of refugees on Manus Island

By Oscar Grenfell, 6 November 2017

Rally organisers sought to divert widespread anger over the dire plight of 600 refugees behind impotent appeals to the Coalition government, and support for Labor’s re-election.

Families worse off under Australia’s privatised disability scheme

By Max Newman, 6 November 2017

Participants in the scheme must “buy” services from private operators, with their funds set by care plans imposed by a cost-cutting government agency.

Australian government starves refugees on Manus Island

By Oscar Grenfell, 4 November 2017

Contractors hired by the Liberal-National government emptied water tanks before leaving the facility Tuesday, while the Papua New Guinea navy is blocking emergency food deliveries.

More MPs face disqualification after Australian Senate president quits

By Mike Head, 2 November 2017

Parry’s resignation demonstrates that what has become, in effect, a nationalist purge of parliament, is far from over.

Australian rail union suspends industrial action in Pacific National dispute

By Terry Cook, 2 November 2017

The Rail, Tram and Bus Union called off all industrial action as it moved to broker another sell-out agreement.

Refugees on Manus Island face catastrophe at hands of Australian detention regime

By Oscar Grenfell, 1 November 2017

Asylum seekers have been left without food, water and electricity, and face the prospect of an armed assault by Papua New Guinea police and military personnel.

Early Queensland election points to political instability in Australia

By Mike Head, 31 October 2017

The snap poll could signal a new stage in the decay of the two-party system that has prevailed in Australia since World War II.

Australia: Possible Woolworths strikes spark warnings of a broader wages movement

By Oscar Grenfell, 31 October 2017

As many as 2,000 workers at four major warehouses are set to take industrial action over wages and conditions in the next two months.

High Court disqualifies five MPs, demanding “single-minded loyalty” to Australia

By Mike Head, 28 October 2017

The entire political establishment has immediately lined up behind the anti-democratic and deeply reactionary ruling.

Meeting in Sydney on December 17

100 years on: The significance of the 1917 Russian Revolution for today

28 October 2017

The Russian Revolution stands as irrefutable proof that the working class—providing it is guided by a genuine Marxist perspective and leadership—can overthrow the outmoded social relations of capitalism.

Australian troops sent to the Philippines despite end of Marawi siege

By Mike Head, 27 October 2017

Another far-reaching military commitment has been made without any parliamentary debate, let alone any approval by the Australian population.

Australian statistics show collapse in manufacturing, mounting jobs crisis

By Oscar Grenfell, 27 October 2017

Part-time and precarious employment accounts for an ever-greater proportion of the workforce.

Free, high quality public education is a social right! Join the Committee For Public Education!

By the Socialist Equality Party (Australia), 27 October 2017

Australia has one of the most unequal and privatised school systems in the world.

Australian government orders police raids on union offices

By Mike Head, 26 October 2017

Australia increasingly resembles a police state, with well-publicized raids carried out in pursuit of unstated political aims.

Australia: Social devastation looms over Latrobe Valley

By Michelle Stevens, 26 October 2017

Today’s widespread poverty, unemployment and social problems are the result of decades of job destruction imposed by successive governments, assisted by the trade unions.

Latrobe Valley residents: “The government is failing very badly”

By Michelle Stevens, 26 October 2017

”People are often embarrassed that they need help.”

Australian flu epidemic inundates public health services

By John Mackay, 25 October 2017

Emergency room visits reached record levels at the peak of the winter season in many major hospitals.

Australian spy agency promotes anti-China witch-hunt

By Oscar Grenfell, 24 October 2017

ASIO’s allegation that “foreign powers” are seeking to influence “public opinion” will be used to crackdown on opposition to US plans for war with China.

Australian government tries to force refugees from one prison camp to another

By Max Newman, 24 October 2017

“We explained over and over again that we would rather stay in the Manus prison without hope than face violence in Lorengau,” a refugee explained.

Australian Senate formally denounces commemorations of the Russian Revolution

By Nick Beams, 23 October 2017

A resolution introduced by right-wing Senator Cory Bernardi underscores the fear in ruling circles of the shift to the left among wide layers of the world’s population, especially young people.

Australian university union blocks debate at WSU stopwork rally

By our correspondents, 21 October 2017

Trade union enterprise agreements have been the vehicle for facilitating all the government-employer attacks on university staff and students.

Western Sydney University workers denounce cuts to jobs and conditions

By our correspondents, 21 October 2017

Academics and other campus workers condemn the worsening conditions for university staff and students.

South Korean media workers continue strike

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

21 October 2017

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

Political lessons of the Australian car industry closure

By Oscar Grenfell, 20 October 2017

The shutdowns are the end product of a decades-long restructuring of car manufacturing, spearheaded by Labor and the trade unions.

Australian military covered up dangers of toxic fire-fighting foam

By Patrick Davies, 19 October 2017

One Katherine resident, affected by the defence department’s poisoning of water supplies commented, “We’re collateral damage… it feels like our lives here really don’t matter.

The Australian marriage equality survey: An exercise in political division and diversion

By the Socialist Equality Party (Australia), 19 October 2017

The aim of both the Coalition government and the Labor Party opposition is to institutionalise the treatment of same sex couples as second-class citizens.

Australian university unions divide opposition to sell-out deals

By our correspondents, 18 October 2017

Far from opposing the combined government-university administration offensive, the two trade unions covering university staff are facilitating it.

Australian bank hearing reveals growing danger of interest-only housing loans

By Nick Beams, 17 October 2017

According to economics professor Richard Holden, the Australian housing market is “spookily similar” to the US before the sub-prime crisis.

Australia: Ipswich workers condemn hundreds of job losses

By our correspondents, 17 October 2017

“We vote the governments in to look after the people, but they are looking after the multinationals.”

Populist senator to resign from Australian parliament and contest state election

By Oscar Grenfell, 12 October 2017

Nick Xenophon is seeking to exploit mass hostility to the South Australian Labor government, which has overseen the dismantling of manufacturing in the state.

Australia deploys for war with North Korea and confrontation with China

By James Cogan, 11 October 2017

A flotilla of six Australian warships is making its way toward the Korean Peninsula and an Australian attack submarine is already in the area exercising with US and Japanese subs.

Australia: Questions emerge over another Aboriginal death in custody

By Oscar Grenfell, 9 October 2017

When Hatfield died, his lawyers were conducting a vigorous defence against robbery charges, to which he pled not guilty in the Armidale District Court.

Australian economy “going into a hole”

By Nick Beams, 7 October 2017

The record run of the Australian economy, 26 years without a recession, has “flattered to deceive,” as major economic problems come to the surface.

Australian governments unveil sweeping new police powers

By Mike Head, 6 October 2017

The latest measures clearly extend far beyond combatting purported terrorist threats, and severely erode the civil liberties of the entire population.

SEP Australia verifies “registered party” status once again

By our reporters, 5 October 2017

The electoral registration of the SEP is an expression of the base of political support that exists for the internationalist and socialist perspective of the ICFI.

Australian Greens demand disqualification of all “foreign” MPs

By Mike Head, 5 October 2017

The Greens insist that the ban should be applied even if parliamentarians unknowingly acquired foreign citizenship entitlements from their grandparents.

Toyota ends car production in Australia

By Will Marshall, 5 October 2017

Having imposed waves of sackings and cuts to conditions, the trade unions are enforcing the “orderly closure” of the Australian car industry.

Tamil refugee dies in Australian detention on Manus Island

By Oscar Grenfell, 4 October 2017

Rajeev Rajendran is the sixth refugee who has died on Manus Island, and the second in just two months.

Australia: Ipswich workers denounce elimination of hundreds of jobs

By our correspondents, 4 October 2017

The Queensland Labor government and the trade union are enforcing the closures, insisting that workers can find jobs elsewhere, despite the city’s high jobless rate.

Australian job figures cloak reality

By Terry Cook, 2 October 2017

High levels of unemployment, under-employment and casualisation are putting downward pressure on wages.

Australian university union pushes sellout deals across the country

By our correspondents, 30 September 2017

The National Tertiary Education Union used a national briefing to block debate and insist that members accept new enterprise agreements that further undermine jobs and conditions.

NTEU betrays staff at University of Sydney

By our correspondent, 30 September 2017

Despite considerable anger and bewilderment among the 450 staff members at a union branch meeting on September 21, the National Tertiary Education Union (NTEU) pushed through an initial vote for a major sellout of its members at the University of Sydney. The final vote was 301 for and 139 against, reflecting developing concern about the union’s role.

Few refugees leave Australian detention camps under US “swap” deal

By Max Newman, 29 September 2017

About 50 heavily-vetted detainees out of more than 2,000 are being transferred to unknown US locations.

Australian Labor leaders endorse Trump’s war drive against North Korea

By Mike Head, 28 September 2017

Labor leader Shorten in effect gave a pledge that a Labor government would continue Australia’s unconditional support for Washington in any war with North Korea.

Australia: Senate committee calls for flammable cladding ban

By Richard Phillips, 28 September 2017

The report obscures the fact that responsibility for compromising building safety rests with governments, Labor and Coalition, which have undermined the regulatory system over the past 20 years.

Australian government plans anti-democratic laws on pretext of Chinese “sub-espionage”

By Oscar Grenfell, 26 September 2017

The proposed legislation is aimed at criminalising opposition to the US-Australian plans for war against China.

Australian media targets universities in new anti-China campaign

By Oscar Grenfell, 23 September 2017

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

Australian establishment endorses Trump’s fascistic UN speech

By James Cogan, 21 September 2017

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

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

By Gary Alvernia, 21 September 2017

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

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

By our reporters, 21 September 2017

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

Australian government’s “media reform” boosts conglomerates

By Oscar Grenfell, 20 September 2017

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