Australia

Australian spy agency raises new alarm about foreign “plot”

By Mike Head, 27 October 2020

This is not the first such lurid allegation by ASIO, accusing China of conspiring to take over Australia.

Australian environmental scientists face mounting censorship

By Frank Gaglioti, 27 October 2020

A report found that scientists in the government and private sectors are frequently compelled to modify their research and prevented from publicly-revealing their concerns.

Rally welcoming relaunch of WSWS

The pandemic has only accelerated the underlying contradictions of capitalism

By Cheryl Crisp, 27 October 2020

The remarks below were given by Cheryl Crisp, national secretary of the Socialist Equality Party of Australia.

Australia: New COVID-19 infections follow reopening of Melbourne schools

By Patrick Kelly, 26 October 2020

The infection clusters underscore the dangers of reopening schools amid continued community transmission of COVID-19.

Bangladeshi union shuts down port workers national strike; Assam rail workers demand festival allowance; Western Australian workers protest after worksite death

Workers Struggles: Asia and Australia

24 October 2020

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

Australia: University of Melbourne IYSSE holds successful AGM despite anti-democratic measures

By Our correspondent, 24 October 2020

Held amid a COVID-19 lockdown, the meeting reflected the growing radicalisation among youth and students.

Mounting evidence of systemic Australian war crimes in Afghanistan

By Mike Head, 24 October 2020

The atrocities flowed inevitably from the nature of the war—a brutal operation to crush all resistance to the US military occupation of the impoverished country.

Australian universities pseudo-left “network” postpones forum at NTEU’s behest

By Mike Head, 23 October 2020

The NHEAN is opposed to any action that would threaten the role of the unions that have presided over the destruction of 90,000 university jobs since March.

Australian corporate elite demands lifting of all coronavirus safety restrictions

By Oscar Grenfell, 22 October 2020

A hysterical campaign is underway, insisting that any public health measures are an unacceptable impost on the wealth and profits of the financial aristocracy.

Australia joins “Quad” military exercises directed against China

By Mike Head, 22 October 2020

None of the latest announcements explicitly named China as the target, but they flowed from a meeting of the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue between the US, India, Japan and Australia on October 6, where US Secretary of State Pompeo denounced Beijing.

Australian unions offer to protect employers from “wage theft” penalties

By Max Boddy, 21 October 2020

The agreement would give a green light for companies to continue to underpay workers, a practice that is rampant throughout the country.

Unions trying to suppress workers’ opposition to pro-business restructure at Australia Post

By Jim Franklin and Oscar Grenfell, 21 October 2020

The unions are adopting a cynical posture of concern toward workers, while enforcing the “Alternative Delivery Model.”

Queensland state election underscores political instability in Australia

By Gary Alvernia, 20 October 2020

While focussing on closing the state borders due to COVID-19, Labor is reassuring the corporate elite that a Labor government will meet all its requirements.

Roof deflection warnings ignored before young Australian construction worker killed

By Margaret Rees and Paul Bartizan, 20 October 2020

Perth apprentice Jonnie Hartshorn fell 20 metres to his death when the glass roof of a university building under construction collapsed despite concerns raised by other workers of excessive deflection.

Australian pseudo-left denies fascist danger in US presidential election crisis

By Oscar Grenfell, 19 October 2020

Socialist Alternative is attempting to chloroform the working class, insisting that the American ruling class would never resort to dictatorial rule.

Political scandal engulfs premier in Australia’s most populous state

By Mike Head, 19 October 2020

Behind the Berejiklian affair lies a history of “anti-corruption” inquiries, being used to execute political shifts in the state of New South Wales.

Andhra Pradesh textile workers strike; 400,000 Assam tea plantation workers walk out; Western Australia: Offshore LNG platform employees in Western Australia take action

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

17 October 2020

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

Labor Party helps impose Australian military call-out laws for “emergencies”

By Mike Head, 16 October 2020

The “emergency” bill can cover civil unrest, industrial action or any other development regarded as a threat to the existing economic and political order.

Australian health union leader pleads guilty to corruption

By Cheryl Crisp, 15 October 2020

While they were imposing poverty-level wages and dire conditions on the workers they falsely claim to represent, several Health Services Union were looting the organisation’s treasury for their own purposes.

Australia: New South Wales wage freeze approved by Industrial Relations Commission

By Martin Scott, 14 October 2020

Growing numbers of workers are demanding industrial action while the unions are advocating impotent appeals to big business politicians.

Cuts to healthcare system responsible for Victoria’s coronavirus resurgence

By Margaret Rees, 13 October 2020

Mass health worker infections are the direct outcome of the gutting of the sector by successive state and federal governments, Labor and Liberal alike.

Australian citizens stranded by COVID-19 measures denounce Morrison government

By John Harris, 13 October 2020

“The rich are having no trouble circumnavigating the globe because they can still travel first class. It’s no big deal to them. Everyone who flies economy class is stuck and with no chance of getting in.”

Australia: Victoria University IYSSE holds successful AGM

By our correspondents, 12 October 2020

The meeting, attended by students, youth and workers, reviewed some of the lessons of Leon Trotsky’s life and political work.

Jobs bloodbath in Australia continues as companies restructure to slash costs

By Terry Cook, 12 October 2020

Employment relations expert warns the end of the JobKeeper scheme will leave workers exposed to a “redundancy bloodbath.”

Poverty to soar after Labor backs Australian budget

By Mike Head, 12 October 2020

The swift passage of the budget’s key measures demonstrates a close political partnership.

Deaths of Sydney delivery drivers expose dangerous conditions in the “gig economy”

By Max Boddy, 10 October 2020

The conditions in the sector are the direct result of the destruction of permanent full-time jobs, enforced by the trade unions.

Australian budget based on shaky foundations

By Nick Beams, 10 October 2020

One of the key assumptions of the Australian budget is that an effective COVID-19 vaccine will be developed and available to the population by the end of 2021.

Over 1.5 million Indian power workers protest against privatisation; Bangladeshi tea estate workers strike for higher pay: Pakistani government workers demand increased wages and pensions

Workers Struggles: Asia and Australia

10 October 2020

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

Australian Labor’s budget reply: Bipartisan backing for tax cuts to the rich, austerity for workers

By Oscar Grenfell, 9 October 2020

Anthony Albanese made clear yet again that Labor and the government march in lockstep when it comes to the pro-business response to the pandemic and the accompanying onslaught against the working class.

Australian inquiry hears Victorian quarantine hotel program plagued by “disorganisation, lack of appropriate staffing”

By Martin Scott, 8 October 2020

Health workers reveal the “shambolic” conditions that have contributed to as many as 768 deaths and 18,000 infections in the state.

Police shut down protests, fine students at University of Sydney

By Jack Turner, 8 October 2020

On the pretext of enforcing COVID-19 safety measures, the state government has deployed police to conduct anti-democratic operations on a university campus.

Australian budget: A bonanza for business at workers’ expense

By Mike Head, 7 October 2020

The bipartisan backing for this budget is a turning point in the restructuring of economic and social life in the interests of a tiny super-rich layer.

Australian government silent on calls to intervene in defence of Julian Assange

By Oscar Grenfell, 6 October 2020

The silence of the government and Labor has been a green light for the abuses that Assange has been subjected to over the past month, and the entire US-led campaign to destroy him.

Pandemic exposes Australian employers’ exploitation of young backpackers

By Michael Smith, 6 October 2020

The political establishment’s only response to the abuses has been to expand such visa programs and extend them to jobless workers and school leavers.

UK plans to detain refugees on prison ships

By Robert Stevens, 6 October 2020

Repressive anti-immigration policies, in Britain and Australia alike, have been built up over decades by all political representatives of the ruling class.

Australian university trade union concedes up to 90,000 job losses

By Mike Head, 5 October 2020

This disaster is a staggering indictment of the NTEU and all those trying to keep university workers tied to the union.

US FBI officials trained Australian Federal Police “foreign interference” squad

By Oscar Grenfell, 5 October 2020

The revelation demonstrates that the US state has a central hand in the campaign against supposed “foreign interference” in Australia.

India: 13,000 teachers in Delhi strike over unpaid wages; Government doctors protest in Pakistan; LNG offshore maintenance workers to walk out in Western Australia

Workers Struggles: Asia and Australia

3 October 2020

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

Australian teachers confront fast-tracked return to classrooms in Victoria

By Karen Maxwell, 3 October 2020

Behind the backs of teachers, the Australian Education Union is working closely with the state Labor Party government to stifle resistance.

Australian budget to slash taxes for the rich while hitting workers

By Mike Head, 3 October 2020

While mounting a further assault on working-class conditions, this is a crisis budget like no other in living memory.

Australian Labor Party leader demands budget “discipline” and “back to work”

By Mike Head, 2 October 2020

Anthony Albanese’s main pitch is for big business to again rely on a trade union-supported Labor government in a period of economic and political crisis.

Australia Post workers denounce union-enforced restructure, call for independent rank-and-file committees

By Jim Franklin and Oscar Grenfell, 2 October 2020

“On the eve of the biggest battle of our lives, the union has gone around in the middle of the night and emptied our guns of bullets. Just as the war begins they take away our right to withdraw our labour.”

Australian waterfront union shuts down industrial action at Patrick Terminals

By Patrick Davies, 2 October 2020

The Maritime Union of Australia is determined to contain and isolate the dispute while signalling its willingness to negotiate and impose company demands.

Australian unions plead for continued secretive talks with government and employers

By Mike Head, 1 October 2020

Behind closed doors, the union chiefs have been discussing how to keep suppressing working class opposition to the destruction of jobs, wages and basic conditions.

Australia Post workers speak out against union-enforced COVID-19 dangers and cuts to conditions

By Jim Franklin and Oscar Grenfell, 1 October 2020

“What used to be a job you would gladly retire on has now become like a job for contractors forever chasing their tail to meet deadlines with piecemeal payments.”

Australian police not charged over death of Aboriginal woman

By Karen Maxwell, 30 September 2020

The case demonstrates the increasing impunity with which the forces of the state treat the poorest and most oppressed sections of the working class.

Socialist Equality Party (Australia) holds online health workers’ forum

By our reporter, 29 September 2020

Australian health workers speak out over the lack of PPE and proper training to deal with COVID-19, and the government’s run-down of the healthcare system.

Australian journalist Mary Kostakidis: Assange is a “highly principled individual with enormous courage”

By Oscar Grenfell, 29 September 2020

“This war on journalism is an element of the rise in authoritarianism in countries that in the past championed press freedom, but can no longer claim to do so.”

Australia: Victorian government accelerates lifting of COVID-19 restrictions to satisfy big business

By Mike Head, 28 September 2020

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews has fallen further into line with the “return to work” campaign of the corporate elite and the federal government.

Australia’s Queensland Labor government suspends public hearings of Grosvenor Mine disaster inquiry

By Terry Cook, 28 September 2020

Like other government-initiated inquiries into industrial disasters, the inquiry was called to hose down widespread public outrage in the wake of the mine explosion.

Free Julian Assange! The political issues confronting educators in the fight for freedom of information

By the Committee for Public Education (Australia), 28 September 2020

“Teachers and educators are among those owing a debt to Assange and to the whistleblowers who courageously decided to leak classified information in the public interest.”

Australian government boosts bank profits as social misery deepens

By Mike Head, 26 September 2020

The lending law changes would see a return to the predatory policies that saw the impoverishment of thousands of households, small businesses and family farmers.

Former Australian PM Paul Keating lashes central bank

By Nick Beams, 26 September 2020

Keating’s overriding concern is the explosive social and political consequences of rising unemployment resulting from the deepening crisis of the capitalist economy.

Social health workers demonstrate in Tamil Nadu; Vietnamese garment workers strike over pay; Qantas baggage handlers protest against job cuts

Workers Struggles: Asia and Australia

26 September 2020

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

Australian government seeks to ban phones in immigration detention

By Martin Scott, 25 September 2020

The proposed new laws will allow warrantless searches and the use of sniffer dogs.

Australian health workers still being denied adequate PPE

By Clare Bruderlin, 25 September 2020

Nothing has been done to boost protection for health workers, meaning that further mass outbreaks of COVID-19 are all but inevitable.

Huge tax cuts for the wealthy trigger nervousness in Australian ruling elite

By Mike Head, 24 September 2020

The October 6 budget will give a dual-income household on $400,000 an annual tax cut of $23,280, while millions of people will have their JobKeeper and JobSeeker payments slashed.

Assange’s partner Stella Moris calls for Australian government to intervene in his defence

By Oscar Grenfell, 24 September 2020

“This is not something that the Australian government can just hide its head in the sand and say ‘nothing to do with us.’”

“NTEU Fightback” aims to replace the discredited Australian university union leadership

By Jack Turner, 22 September 2020

These supposed “socialists” are seeking to keep workers trapped within the industrial and political straitjacket of the trade unions.

Australian university staff and students confront job cuts avalanche

By Mike Head, 21 September 2020

The NTEU and other trade unions are doing everything they can to prevent a nationwide strike against the escalating assault on university jobs and basic conditions.

University of Melbourne student union enforces club affiliation requirement amid pandemic

By Eric Ludlow, 21 September 2020

The student union’s demands will serve only to disaffiliate clubs, compounding the destructive impact of the COVID-19 crisis on cultural and political life on campus.

Australian jobs figures show acceleration of “gig economy”

By Mike Head, 19 September 2020

Governments and employers are exploiting the mass unemployment triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic to bludgeon workers onto reduced wages and conditions.

Australia: Ovato printing company demands more cuts to jobs and conditions

By Noel Holt, 19 September 2020

The Australian Manufacturing Workers Union has “bent over backwards” to assist Ovato restructure its operations.

India: Chennai garbage workers strike; Sri Lankan bank workers protest over contracts; Australian waterfront workers walkout

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

19 September 2020

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

Australia: Mentally-ill man in coma after brutal Victorian police assault

By Martin Scott, 18 September 2020

The man was rammed by a police car before he was pepper-sprayed and kicked in the head.

Journalist Andrew Fowler: If Assange is extradited, the same can happen to any of us

By Oscar Grenfell, 17 September 2020

“The attempt by the State to control information is at the heart of the charges against Assange. Its physical manifestation is there every day in the court.”

Australian ruling elite moves to junk coronavirus safety measures—the working class must intervene to answer the pandemic threat!

By the Socialist Equality Party (Australia), 17 September 2020

Sections of the ruling class have concluded that any further safety restrictions can no longer be tolerated, regardless of the danger to working class lives.

Australian CEO pay hits record high, boosted by JobKeeper subsidies

By Jason Quill, 16 September 2020

Large companies have exploited government COVID-19 bailout schemes to increase executive rewards.

Attend SEP (Australia) online forum: The COVID-19 pandemic, the crisis of capitalism and the way forward for health workers

15 September 2020

The safety and well being of health workers must be taken out of the hands of governments and unions who have no interest in this task.

Management and NTEU prepare to cut jobs and conditions at Australia’s Newcastle University

By John Harris, 15 September 2020

In Newcastle, as around the country, the trade union is stepping up its collaboration with the employers to impose deep cost-cutting measures.

Australia: Unions silent as dozens of New South Wales schools are affected by COVID-19

By Martin Scott, 14 September 2020

Even teachers over the age of 70, or with serious health conditions, have been forced back to front-line teaching since late May.

Australian government exploits family funeral to push for end to coronavirus border restrictions

By Patrick O’Connor, 14 September 2020

The government aims to shift public opinion against border restrictions, which corporate Australia now wants scrapped.

Australian government, Labor opposition silent on sadistic British show-trial of Julian Assange

By Oscar Grenfell, 14 September 2020

The Australian political and media establishment has largely responded to the vicious attacks on Assange’s legal and democratic rights by pretending that they are not occurring.

Australian raids on Chinese journalists mark escalation of US-led witch hunt

By Mike Head, 12 September 2020

The timeline of this affair points to an intensifying anti-China propaganda campaign, instigated by Washington and the intelligence apparatus.

Australia’s brutal immigration policy in Stateless: “What is my crime?”

By Joanne Laurier, 12 September 2020

Stateless, now showing on Netflix, deals with the harsh Australian immigration detention program and the horrors inflicted on persecuted refugees fleeing colonial wars.

India: Petrol refinery and agricultural marketing workers strike against privatisation; Pakistani government workers strike against pay freeze

Workers Struggles: Asia and Australia

12 September 2020

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

Unions enforce pro-business restructure at Australia Post

By Jim Franklin and Oscar Grenfell, 11 September 2020

The unions are integrating themselves into management and enforcing a no-strike pledge, amid a major assault on the conditions of postal workers.

Australian intelligence agencies raided Chinese journalists in June

By Oscar Grenfell, 10 September 2020

Amid an escalating diplomatic conflict, it has emerged that the Australian intelligence agencies have been targeting Chinese journalists and academics.

Australian study reveals rise in mental health problems during COVID-19 pandemic

By John Mackay, 10 September 2020

The data shows that services remain woefully inadequate to deal with the impact of the pandemic and its aftermath.

Australian Education Union endorses re-opening of schools in Melbourne

By Sue Phillips, 9 September 2020

The union functions as the willing and active accomplice of the government and the education department.

Thousands of Australians stranded overseas by profiteering airlines

By John Harris, 9 September 2020

The message from the government and the airlines is clear: If you cannot afford to pay first class, you are on your own.

Unions help impose new wave of job cuts in Australian universities

By Mike Head, 8 September 2020

The NTEU and CPSU are pleading with the managements for negotiations on how to best enforce even deeper cost-cutting measures on their members.

Australian big business, federal government demand accelerated lifting of Melbourne lockdown

By Patrick O’Connor, 8 September 2020

The anti-lockdown campaign is aimed at accelerating the ruling elite’s homicidal reopening of the economy.

“Schools should not be opened if it puts people at risk”

Australian teachers back US educators’ fight for independent rank and file safety committees

By our correspondents, 7 September 2020

Australian school teachers denounce re-opening of American schools and support the formation of rank-and-file safety committees.

Australian governments demand full economic “reopening” by December

By Mike Head, 7 September 2020

This reckless agenda is driven solely by the rapacious demands of big business for the lifting of all restrictions on profit-making.

As British show-trial resumes: The working class must defend Julian Assange!

By Oscar Grenfell, 7 September 2020

The persecution of Assange is an attempt to intimidate mass opposition to imperialist war, social inequality and a turn to authoritarianism, amid a breakdown of global capitalism and an eruption of the class struggle.

Profits soar as global crash intensifies social crisis in Australia

By Mike Head, 5 September 2020

The most severe recession since the 1930s Depression has already thrown one million out of work, with much worse to come.

Unions enforce takeover of Virgin Australia by private equity firm

By Martin Scott, 5 September 2020

The deal offers workers no guarantees but promises to further enshrine the unions’ role as enforcers of management dictates.

West Bengal administrative workers strike; Maharashtra nurses hold state-wide protests; private sector nurses strike in New Zealand

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

5 September 2020

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

Former Australian PM Tony Abbott: Let the elderly die for corporate profits

By Oscar Grenfell, 4 September 2020

Abbott, who was never known for his subtlety, merely gave unvarnished expression to the homicidal response to the pandemic by governments internationally.

Australia: International students and foreign visa holders face major social crisis

By Robert Campion, 4 September 2020

Some 61 percent of international students and other foreign visa holders were relying on savings which they said would be exhausted in a matter of weeks.

Australian government launches anti-China inquiry in universities

By Mike Head, 3 September 2020

McCarthyite-style parliamentary hearings will be held into “foreign interference in the university sector.”

Australian establishment treats sentencing of Christchurch terrorist as a non-event

By Oscar Grenfell, 3 September 2020

Fascist gunman Brenton Tarrant spent his formative years in Australia and had connections to extreme-right movements that were promoted by its political establishment.

Statements of support for historian Joseph Scalice from Australia and New Zealand

By our correspondents, 3 September 2020

We call on our readers to come to the defence of Scalice by sending statements of support to the WSWS opposing the slanderous attack on him by the Communist Party of the Philippines.

Qantas eliminates over 2,000 ground crew jobs

By Terry Cook, 2 September 2020

The Australian government is bailing out the airline company as it exploits the COVID-19 pandemic to unveil a further restructuring.

Australian “assembly” of university workers seeks to head off rebellion against NTEU

By our correspondents, 2 September 2020

The online event was an attempt to divert the growing rank and file disgust over the union’s role in volunteering unprecedented sacrifices of jobs, pay and conditions.

Trotsky’s Last Year

Part Five

By David North, 2 September 2020

An appraisal, on the occasion of the eightieth anniversary of Trotsky’s assassination, of the work of the great theoretician and strategist of World Socialist Revolution during the final year of his life.

Australian treasurer demands a dangerous “reopening” in Victoria

By Oscar Grenfell, 1 September 2020

The Victorian Labor government has signalled it will implement the same pro-business policies that have led to thousands of infections and hundreds of deaths over the past two months.

Major Australian corporations report windfalls from JobKeeper scheme

By Martin Scott, 31 August 2020

Although the true extent of the corporate welfare grab is unknown, listed companies have received at least $625 million in COVID-19 wage subsidies.

Australian report reveals accelerating social inequality in education

By Erika Zimmer, 31 August 2020

The data exposes the fraud of the Gonski funding model, commissioned by the last federal Labor government, ostensibly to overcome the socioeconomic divide.