Australia and South Pacific

Australian university moves to sack academic critical of Israeli and US wars

By Oscar Grenfell, 11 December 2018

The University of Sydney’s suspension of Tim Anderson is aimed at intimidating students and academics opposed to escalating militarism and war.

Australia: Thousands protest climate change and new Adani coal mine

By our reporters, 10 December 2018

The environmental groups that organised the rally are seeking to subordinate an emerging movement of young people to the very parties responsible for environmental destruction.

Teachers strike in South Australia and Tasmania

By Oscar Grenfell, 8 December 2018

The Australian Education Union is seeking to divide the struggles and push through sell-out enterprise agreements in both states.

80th anniversary of the Fourth International celebrated in Melbourne with public lecture

By our reporters, 8 December 2018

David North, chairman of the World Socialist Web Site international editorial board and the Socialist Equality Party (US), will speak tomorrow in Wellington, New Zealand.

Ecuadorian president hints again at moves to renege on Julian Assange’s asylum

By James Cogan, 7 December 2018

The fight for the freedom of Assange is a matter of fundamental political principle.

More warnings of an Australian property market crash

By Oscar Grenfell, 7 December 2018

Sydney’s house prices registered their sharpest monthly decline in 14 years, accompanied by rising mortgage stress and indications of a broader economic slowdown.

The Guardian attack on Assange exposed as politically-motivated fabrication

By James Cogan, 6 December 2018

The lack of any case against WikiLeaks explains the scurrilous allegations by the Guardian newspaper last week.

Australian government to impose encryption-cracking bill with Labor’s support

By Mike Head, 6 December 2018

The anti-democratic legislation hands extraordinary powers to the spy and police forces, setting a global precedent for accessing computers and encrypted private data.

Australian government censors university research funding

By Mike Head, 5 December 2018

As well as vetoing peer-reviewed research grants, the government has imposed a more stringent “national interest” test.

Australia’s governing Liberal Party wracked by factional conflicts

By Oscar Grenfell, 4 December 2018

The public recriminations between Prime Minister Scott Morrison and his predecessor Malcolm Turnbull underscore the depth of the divisions within the Liberal Party.

Australia: Newcastle participants in high school climate strike speak out

By our reporters, 3 December 2018

IYSSE campaigners stressed that the danger of climate change could only be resolved through the socialist re-organisation of the world.

“Well-paid journalists have become gormless cyphers of the propaganda of war”

John Pilger discusses his “The Power of the Documentary” film festival

By Richard Phillips, 3 December 2018

Veteran journalist and filmmaker John Pilger spoke with the WSWS last week about his film festival and the political issues confronting serious journalists today.

Australian Labor Party helps disintegrating government impose repressive laws

By Mike Head, 1 December 2018

Labor is working hand-in-glove with the Liberal-National Coalition to push through a series of draconian laws.

Thousands of Australian high school students join climate change strike

By our correspondents, 1 December 2018

The rallies showed the growing politicisation of a generation that has grown up amid continuous war, growing inequality and worsening environmental destruction.

New Zealand teachers’ struggle at a crossroads

By Tom Peters, 1 December 2018

Teachers are determined to fight, but the unions are attempting to suppress their struggle by promoting illusions in the Labour-led government.

Attentive audience at David North’s Sydney launch of The Heritage We Defend

By our reporter, 1 December 2018

David North explained the relevance of the history of the Fourth International for today’s worldwide eruption of struggles by the working class and young people.

India: Contract health workers remain on strike in Bihar; South Australian teachers strike over pay and conditions

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

1 December 2018

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

Thousands forced to flee “catastrophic” fire event in Australia

By Mike Head, 30 November 2018

Residents in central Queensland were shocked and often caught unawares as flames as high as 20 metres suddenly loomed over their homes.

Baby’s death on Australia’s Gold Coast points to worsening social conditions

By Gary Alvernia, 29 November 2018

The discovery of a dead baby at Surfers Paradise is a tragic expression of intensifying poverty, social inequality, underfunding of public services and government indifference.

Australian government announces early budget

By Mike Head, 28 November 2018

As the government tears itself apart, the prime minister is engaged in a desperate bid to hold onto office until May, 2019, the latest possible date for the next election.

Australian prime minister denounces students’ climate-change protests

By Oscar Grenfell, 28 November 2018

Scott Morrison’s comments expressed the acute fear of the ruling establishment that students and young people are beginning to enter into political struggle.

SEP meeting and livestream on December 16: What next in the fight to free Julian Assange?

By the Socialist Equality Party (Australia), 28 November 2018

The meeting will discuss the Socialist Equality Party’s political perspective to mobilise and lead the defence of Julian Assange.

Australian parliamentary inquiry discusses intensifying internet censorship

By Oscar Grenfell, 27 November 2018

The hearing pointed to the political establishment seeking to suppress mounting opposition to war, austerity and authoritarianism.

Labor re-elected with increased majority in Australian state of Victoria

By James Cogan, 26 November 2018

The outcome in Victoria has plunged the Liberal Party nationally into bitter infighting.

Australian government accelerates anti-democratic “foreign influence” register

By Mike Head, 26 November 2018

The legislation is aimed at criminalising opposition to Australia’s central role in the US-led preparations for war with China.

Australia: World War I centenary “celebrations” end with stepped-up militaristic propaganda

By Richard Phillips, 26 November 2018

The ongoing barrage of patriotic and pro-war rhetoric is aimed at conditioning young people for future imperialist wars.

Australia: Youth speak out against environmental destruction, poverty and war

By our reporters, 24 November 2018

Geelong high school students joined one of many planned “walk-outs for climate action.”

Australian parliament to pass expanded laws to call out the military to suppress domestic unrest

By Mike Head, 23 November 2018

The bill is another warning of plans to suppress growing discontent and political disaffection.

Australia: Riot police tear-gas youth at Don Dale juvenile prison

By Martin Scott, 23 November 2018

The Northern Territory facility, repeatedly deemed unfit for children, has been the scene of years of state-sanctioned abuse and violence.

Fascist group exposed in youth wing of Australia’s National Party

By Oscar Grenfell, 22 November 2018

The “alt-right” elements gained entry into one of the capitalist elite’s main parties under conditions of a shift to the right by the entire political establishment.

To stem climate change, capitalism must be ended

By the IYSSE (Australia), 22 November 2018

The following statement will be distributed at high school “walk-outs for climate change” across Australia.

At APEC, PM puts Australia on frontline of US confrontation with China

By Peter Symonds, 21 November 2018

Australian Prime Minister Morrison lined up with US Vice President Pence at the recent APEC meeting, as China’s policies were denounced across the board.

Bipartisan push to ramp up police powers after Australia’s latest “terror” attack

By Mike Head, 21 November 2018

Amid another anti-Muslim scare campaign, the Labor Party defended its “fine record of bipartisanship on national security.”

Australian establishment collaborates in US vendetta against Julian Assange

By James Cogan, 20 November 2018

The sealed US charges underscore the danger facing Assange and the perfidy of those who support his persecution.

Australian pseudo-left group Victorian Socialists promote Greens, Labor

By Patrick O’Connor, 20 November 2018

In the state election, the Victorian Socialists are trying to channel the emerging shift to the left among workers and youth back behind the parliamentary apparatus.

Australian Greens pursue right-wing coalition government with Labor in Victoria

By Patrick O’Connor, 19 November 2018

Resting upon a wealthy, upper-middle class base, the Greens are determined to extend their influence within the political establishment.

Anti-Chinese campaign escalates in New Zealand

By Tom Peters, 17 November 2018

The media and the Labour Party-led government have painted Chinese investment in the Pacific as a threat to New Zealand.

Defend Julian Assange against US charges!

By James Cogan, 17 November 2018

The relentless persecution of Assange is intended to intimidate and silence all critical and independent journalists and media organisations, as well as would-be whistleblowers.

Indian chrome miners strike over safety; Western Australian mine workers walkout over “wage theft”

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

17 November 2018

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

Fiji First Party retains power in sham election

By John Braddock, 16 November 2018

The election, marked by widespread voter abstention, was a contest between two parties run by former military coup leaders.

Australian teacher unions’ phoney campaign against NAPLAN

By Erika Zimmer, 16 November 2018

The teacher unions have no principled opposition to the high-stakes testing agenda, while Australian teachers have opposed it from the start.

Geoffrey Rush’s lawyer slams “gutter journalism” in Sydney defamation trial

By Linda Tenenbaum and Richard Phillips, 15 November 2018

Bruce McClintock SC likened the methods of the Daily Telegraph to those of newspapers published by Lords Rothermere and Beaverbrook, as described by British Prime Minister Stanley Baldwin in 1931.

Ex-Australian Labor Party leader joins far-right anti-immigrant One Nation

By Mike Head, 13 November 2018

The Hanson-Latham union is another stark example of the intense efforts being made to push the entire parliamentary establishment further in a Trump-style direction.

Australia: Welfare cut leaves asylum seekers facing destitution

By Max Newman, 13 November 2018

A new report shows that nearly 80 percent of those cut off benefits are at risk of homelessness.

Australia: Alleged terror attacker “known to police and intelligence agencies”

By Patrick O’Connor, 12 November 2018

The deranged actions of an individual in need of psychological treatment were seized upon by the media and politicians to whip up resentment against immigrants, particularly Muslims.

New Zealand rail union enforces another pro-company pay deal

By our correspondent, 10 November 2018

In 2016, the Labour Party-dominated Greater Wellington Regional Council privatised the region's commuter rail service, to save $NZ100 million over 15 years at the expense of jobs, wages and conditions.

Thousands of Indian contract workers remain on strike; 29,000 New Zealand primary school teachers to take national strike action

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

10 November 2018

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

Ousted Australian prime minister denounces right-wing “coup”

By Mike Head, 9 November 2018

Turnbull refused to provide any explanation for his removal, but accused “the right” of seeking to destroy the Liberal Party.

David North in conversation with Nick Beams

Book launch of The Heritage We Defend in Sydney, Australia

9 November 2018

Australian prime minister dismisses renewed calls to defend Julian Assange

By Mike Head, 8 November 2018

Morrison’s remarks are the first direct statement by the government of its support for the drive by the US government to get its hands on the WikiLeaks publisher.

Government declares child refugees will not remain in Australia

By Max Newman, 8 November 2018

The government’s promise to evacuate detained children from Nauru is a ploy to placate the public outcry over their barbaric treatment.

Papua New Guinea: Thousands strike over extravagant APEC spending

By John Braddock, 7 November 2018

Workers in the impoverished Pacific island country held a one-day protest against the government’s purchase of 43 luxury cars for the APEC summit.

Judge rejects push by Daily Telegraph to amend its defence in Geoffrey Rush defamation suit

By Linda Tenenbaum, 6 November 2018

Justice Wigney sharply warned that the presence of a previously unheard of witness would “egregiously prejudice Mr Rush.”

Australian union officials use Newcastle rally to whitewash their betrayals

By Terry Cook, 6 November 2018

Speakers presented a series of sell-outs and regressive enterprise agreements as “victories.”

Australian workers at union rally oppose attacks on conditions, criticise Labor Party

By Terry Cook, 6 November 2018

Workers at the October 30 Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU) “Change the Rules” rally in Newcastle spoke to Socialist Equality Party (SEP) members about the destruction of working conditions that both Liberal-National and Labor-led governments have enforced.

Australia: Morrison-Turnbull clash points to sharp foreign policy tensions

By Mike Head, 5 November 2018

The eruption of open conflict underscores the pressures and rifts behind Turnbull’s ouster as prime minister on August 24.

New Zealand: Bus union ends Wellington strike

By Tom Peters, 3 November 2018

The transport unions have sought to divide and demoralise workers and subordinate them to the Labour Party-led government.

Australian Labor Party leader outlines militarist foreign policy

By Oscar Grenfell, 2 November 2018

Bill Shorten pledged an expansion of Australian military and economic activities in the Pacific, aimed at countering China’s growing influence in the region.

Australia declares China a threat to military-related university research and infrastructure

By Mike Head, 1 November 2018

A report by the government-funded Australian Strategic Policy Institute alleges that Chinese military-linked researchers are working “undercover” in US and allied universities.

New Zealand teachers’ union moves to call off strikes

By John Braddock, 31 October 2018

In order to quash rolling strikes due next month, the primary teachers’ union has joined with the Ministry of Education to seek urgent facilitation to end a long-running pay dispute.

Watch: Two Hundred Years Since the Birth of Karl Marx

By Nick Beams, 31 October 2018

This lecture was delivered by Nick Beams, a member of the international editorial board of the World Socialist Web Site, at several Australian universities during September and October 2018.

Nick Beams delivers successful lectures on the contemporary relevance of Karl Marx at Australian universities

By our reporters, 31 October 2018

Beams’ lectures were the only events on Australian university campuses outlining the revolutionary perspective of Karl Marx, two hundred years after his birth.

Australia: Victorian Labor government promotes bogus community contest

By Jason Quill and David Cohen, 30 October 2018

“Pick My Project” saw proposals pitted against one another, with the “winners” and “losers” determined via an online ballot.

Spy and police chiefs demand passage of Australian encryption access law

By Mike Head, 29 October 2018

The heads of the “security” apparatus spoke on behalf of the US-led “Five Eyes” intelligence network, which conducts mass monitoring of the world’s population.

Geoffrey Rush defamation trial against Murdoch media begins in Sydney

By Linda Tenenbaum, 27 October 2018

Over the past nearly 50 years, Rush has won numerous awards, including the “Triple Crown;” helped establish the Australian Academy of Cinema, Theatre and Acting Arts; and in 2014 received an Order of Australia for Service to the Arts.

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

Strikes in India, Bangladesh and Pakistan

27 October 2018

The stoppages are part of an emerging movement of the working class the Indian sub-continent.

Australia: Tasmanian public sector workers strike over wages and conditions

By Oscar Grenfell, 26 October 2018

The stoppage reflected a growing militancy among workers, but the unions are desperately seeking to channel anger behind the Labor Party.

Tensions continues to wrack Australian government after by-election defeat

By Mike Head, 25 October 2018

The parliamentary set-up in Australia, as in other countries, is being torn asunder by economic, geo-strategic and class tensions.

Australian workers at mass rallies speak on growing inequality, denounce Labor

By our reporters, 24 October 2018

“I know Fair Work laws were brought in by Labor. We elected them and then they kicked us in the teeth.”

Australia: Victorian Labor government makes election pitch to big business

By David Cohen, 24 October 2018

The state Labor government has cut corporate tax rates, slashed social spending and presided over a major build-up of the police force.

Australian government suffers major defeat in Wentworth by-election

By Oscar Grenfell, 22 October 2018

The swing against the Liberal candidate was the largest ever against a government candidate in a federal by-election.

The political issues posed by the Australian Council of Trade Unions’ “Change the Rules” campaign

By the Socialist Equality Party (Australia), 22 October 2018

The very “Fair Work Australia” industrial legislation the unions claim to be fighting to change were imposed with their support.

New Zealand opposition in crisis over links to Chinese businessman

By Tom Peters, 20 October 2018

Allegations that the National Party leader failed to disclose a donation have been seized on by the media and NZ First Party to ramp up the nationalist anti-China campaign.

Nauru expels another doctor amid growing protests over Australia’s refugee detention centres

By Oscar Grenfell, 20 October 2018

International rights organisations and thousands of doctors have condemned the persecution of refugees.

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

Police attack striking workers in India and Bangladesh

20 October 2018

Police opened fire on garment workers demanding unpaid wages in Bangladesh, while Indian authorities attacked protesting health workers.

Australian government backs far-right “OK to be white” motion in Senate

By Mike Head, 19 October 2018

The government’s embrace of the slogan, long championed by alt-right and neo-Nazi groups, has a far-reaching significance.

Meetings in Australia and New Zealand to celebrate the 80th anniversary of the Fourth International

19 October 2018

The meetings will take place in Sydney on Sunday, December 2, in Melbourne on Thursday, December 6, and in Wellington, New Zealand on Sunday, December 9.

Australia: Horse-racing lobby forces Sydney Opera House to advertise $13 million horse race

By Richard Phillips, 18 October 2018

Racing industry, media and government bullying of Opera House management was angrily rejected by tens of thousands of Sydney residents.

Australia backs Trump as US ramps up anti-China drive

By Peter Symonds, 17 October 2018

There is an intense discussion in Australian think tanks and military and intelligence circles over the need to accelerate preparations for regional and global war.

Australian housing market slumps toward potential crash

By James Cogan, 17 October 2018

Many borrowers face becoming “mortgage prisoners,” condemned to paying off loans greater than the value of their homes.

Australian Labor Party leader vows to cut taxes for the rich

By Mike Head, 16 October 2018

The handouts to business and high-income households demonstrate the fraud of Labor’s claims to be tackling “fairness.”

Australia: Hutchison pushes cuts to waterfront workers’ wages and conditions

By Terry Cook, 16 October 2018

The Maritime Union of Australia has cleared the way for the latest attacks by collaborating in the destruction of jobs, wages and conditions for decades.

Ecuador to partially restore Julian Assange’s access to communications and visitors

By James Cogan, 15 October 2018

Ecuador’s decision does not end the danger Assange faces or his effective imprisonment inside the small embassy building in London.

New Zealand to fine travellers who refuse to unlock electronic devices at border

By Tom Peters, 15 October 2018

Under a new law, anyone entering New Zealand can be fined $5,000 for refusing to provide passwords and encryption keys, enabling Customs agents to search their electronic devices.

Australian government flags forcing new immigrants to live in designated zones

By Mike Head, 13 October 2018

The scapegoating of immigrants underscores the wholesale lurch to the right within the political establishment signalled by Prime Minister Morrison’s installation.

Indian sanitation workers union shuts down month-long strike; Western Australian bus drivers strike over pay

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

13 October 2018

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

Australian encryption bill becomes a global test case for surveillance

By Mike Head, 10 October 2018

Internet service providers would be compelled to facilitate the cracking of encryption codes.

Australian union prepares sellout after ending Alcoa strike

By Terry Cook, 9 October 2018

Alcoa’s “job security” promise, touted by the union to end an indefinite strike at the company’s Western Australian operations, is worthless.

Sharp rise in child protection interventions in Australia

By Michelle Stevens, 8 October 2018

The statistics point to a deepening social crisis, particularly in working class and rural areas, with the worst impact on indigenous families.

US envoy to Australia reveals joint bid to block Huawei in Papua New Guinea

By Mike Head, 8 October 2018

Sharing a land border with Indonesia, PNG is the most populous, strategically-located and resource-rich state in the southern Pacific.

Australian government hands private schools another $4.6 billion

By David Cohen, 6 October 2018

The latest windfall will accelerate the gulf between well-resourced private schools and cash-starved public schools in one of the world’s most unequal education systems.

Indian police arrest 600 striking Yamaha workers; Pakistan teachers, municipal employees and other workers demonstrate for unpaid wages

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

6 October 2018

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Australian banks downgraded as concerns mount over falling property prices

By Mike Head, 5 October 2018

The loss of “unquestionably strong” status is another indicator of a potential property and financial crash, with devastating consequences.

Australian academics union tries to impose another sellout agreement at University of Melbourne

By Patrick O’Connor, 3 October 2018

On virtually every substantive issue concerning staff wages and working conditions, the NTEU made significant concessions in line with the management’s requirements.

Australia: “Terror case” against university employee falls apart

By Erika Zimmer, 2 October 2018

Nizamdeen, a 25 year-old business analyst, was released on bail after the prosecution admitted it could not link him to their main piece of “evidence.”

More than eight hundred dead after earthquakes and tsunami strike Indonesia

By John Braddock, 1 October 2018

Fourteen years after the 2004 tsunami killed up to 230,000 people, governments throughout the region and internationally have done nothing to prevent a similar mass tragedy.

Julian Assange appoints new WikiLeaks’ editor-in-chief

By Patrick O’Connor, 1 October 2018

Kristinn Hrafnsson’s appointment is testament to WikiLeaks’ invaluable contribution to genuine journalism.

Senior management implodes after exposure of government interference at Australia’s state-funded media

By Richard Phillips, 1 October 2018

Australian Broadcasting Corporation chairman Justin Milne demanded senior journalists be sacked in order to curry favour with the federal government.

New Zealand primary teachers reject sellout pay offer

By Tom Peters, 29 September 2018

The Labour Party-NZ First government’s offer of a meagre 3 percent per year for three years, with no measures to address the staffing crisis, was resoundingly rejected by primary school teachers.

India police attack striking auto workers in Tamil Nadu; New Zealand bus drivers walkout

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

29 September 2018

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