Australia

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.

Bipartisan Australian move to ban agreements with China

By Mike Head, 29 August 2020

The bill was announced amid bellicose anti-China speeches by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and an accompanying media witch hunt.

Labor MP denounces Australian government’s refusal to defend Julian Assange

By Oscar Grenfell, 29 August 2020

Labor parliamentarian Julian Hill could just as well have condemned his own party’s refusal to oppose the unprecedented persecution of the WikiLeaks publisher.

Thousands of workers strike at Indian arms factories; Indonesian police attack paper mill workers; South Korean doctors continue strike

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

29 August 2020

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

Build the International Youth and Students for Social Equality!

By the Socialist Equality Party (Australia), 28 August 2020

The SEP’s National Congress resolved to build the IYSSE among working-class youth, as well as university and high school students, on the basis of the revolutionary traditions of Trotskyism.

Australia: Official negligence led to mass health worker infections in Victoria

By Oscar Grenfell, 27 August 2020

Government claims that health staff had primarily contracted COVID-19 at home and in the community, as opposed to their places of employment, have been exposed as lies.

Australian media stokes fears over Papua New Guinea-China links

By John Braddock, 27 August 2020

The Australian media is working hand-in-hand with the government to undermine China’s presence in its former colonial possession.

Free Julian Assange! Defend Chelsea Manning and Edward Snowden!

By the Socialist Equality Party (Australia), 27 August 2020

The SEP’s recent National Congress committed to “intensifying the fight for the unconditional freedom of WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange” and the defence of all persecuted journalists and whistleblowers.

Rising COVID-19 death toll underscores decades-long crisis in Australian aged care

By Clare Bruderlin, 26 August 2020

The tragic fatalities are the outcome of the corporatisation of the sector by successive Labor and Liberal-National federal governments.

Australian Labor Party and unions agree to slash income support and working conditions

By Mike Head, 26 August 2020

The government’s latest measures were again drafted in closed-door talks with the ACTU and then signed off by the Labor Party.

SEP (Australia) holds successful fifth national congress

By our correspondent, 26 August 2020

Delegates discussed and unanimously adopted a major resolution outlining the deepening crisis of Australian and world capitalism and the tasks of the party over the next two years, and elected a new national leadership.

The coronavirus pandemic, the crisis of capitalism and the tasks of the SEP

By the Socialist Equality Party (Australia), 26 August 2020

Published here is the main resolution that was discussed and adopted unanimously at the Fifth National Congress of the Socialist Equality Party (Australia) held on August 14-16, 2020.

First week back on campus amid the COVID-19 pandemic: A US college student’s first-hand account

By an Albion College student, 25 August 2020

Albion College in south-central Michigan promised a safe return, but one student’s experience reveals a different picture, one of unsanitary rooms, a lack of sanitization supplies, failing protocols, and a testing regime full of holes.

NTEU appeals for negotiations after Australia’s Macquarie University announces massive job cuts

By a correspondent, 25 August 2020

The trade union has signalled its willingness to enforce sweeping job destruction, in line with its role an industrial police force of management.

Australia’s two major airlines axe thousands of jobs

By Terry Cook, 24 August 2020

Qantas and Virgin, like their global rivals, are using COVID-19 to slash costs by eliminating thousands of jobs.

Australian universities unveil job cuts of up to 30 percent

By Mike Head, 24 August 2020

There was outrage at the University of Sydney last week after all departments were asked to plan scenarios to cut thousands of full-time jobs.

Fund appeal for Assange’s legal defence wins significant public support

By Oscar Grenfell, 24 August 2020

The response underscores the international support for Assange among workers and young people which finds no expression in the official political parties or the corporate press.

Australian national cabinet exploits pandemic for economic restructuring

By Mike Head, 22 August 2020

Despite paying lip service to the aged care catastrophe, the federal, state and territory government leaders adopted “economic recovery” as their top priority.

Australian union cancels Sydney bus drivers’ strike

By Oscar Grenfell, 22 August 2020

The calling off of the stoppage is in line with the role played by the unions throughout the pandemic, in seeking to suppress all working-class opposition.

Pakistani university workers oppose job cuts; Offshore gas platform workers strike in Western Australia; New Zealand health workers protest

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

22 August 2020

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

Australia: Sharp increase in COVID-19 among Victorian healthcare workers

By Margaret Rees, 21 August 2020

The Victorian Labor government is attempting to downplay the growing number of infected healthcare workers in Melbourne, Australia’s second largest city.

Australian inquiry says serious errors led to Ruby Princess COVID-19 debacle

By Martin Scott, 21 August 2020

Thousands of possibly coronavirus-infected passengers were allowed to leave the cruise ship without being tested, leading to the spread of the virus and fatalities across the country.

Australian government prepares expanded emergency and military call-out laws

By Mike Head, 21 August 2020

The political establishment is exploiting the COVID-19 catastrophe—for which its own policies are directly responsible—to introduce police-state powers.

Australia: Sydney bus drivers threaten strike over COVID-19 dangers

By Oscar Grenfell, 19 August 2020

Sydney drivers and other transport staff have been forced to work in dangerous conditions as part of the ruling elite’s “reopening of the economy.”

Australia’s rising COVID-19 death toll: A ruling class crime

By Oscar Grenfell, 18 August 2020

Fatalities in Victoria, which have increased from 20 to 351 in around six weeks, are the direct consequence of the pro-business “reopening” of the economy.

Report highlights super-exploited conditions of Australia’s casual university staff

By John Harris, 15 August 2020

Agreements imposed by the trade unions have led to soaring casualisation, underpayment and unpaid work, now worsened by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Indian social health workers hold two-day national strike; South Korean hospital doctors walkout

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

15 August 2020

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

Australia: Residents left to die as COVID-19 sweeps through Victorian aged care facilities

By Clare Bruderlin, 14 August 2020

Aged care workers are being denied admission to hospitals, in a policy that amounts to social murder.

Beirut disaster highlights dangerous ammonium nitrate stockpiles in regional Australian city

By Patrick Davies, 13 August 2020

Orica stores between 6,000 and 12,000 tonnes of ammonium nitrate at its Kooragang facility just three kilometres from Newcastle’s central business district.

Australia: Rising number of COVID-19 infections in Sydney schools

By Oscar Grenfell, 12 August 2020

Experts have warned that the school clusters are likely the “tip of the iceberg,” signalling broader community transmission in New South Wales.

Australian parliamentary staffer initiates legal challenge to “foreign interference” laws

By Mike Head, 10 August 2020

The High Court case will shed light on the profoundly anti-democratic implications of the legislation.

Twenty percent of Australian health workers lack PPE as infections in the sector soar

By Oscar Grenfell, 10 August 2020

Some 400 more health workers in Victoria have contracted COVID-19 over the past two weeks, prompting warnings of a looming staffing crisis in the hospital system.

Australian Kmart warehouse workers in Melbourne strike over COVID-19 safety

By Paul Bartizan, 10 August 2020

Warehouses, like meatworks and nursing homes, have become dangerous places for workers in this pandemic.

Australia: Woolworths lifts lockout as union pushes through sell-out deal

By Terry Cook, 8 August 2020

The United Workers Union has brokered a sell-out deal that maintains the exploitative conditions and low-pay regime at Woolworths’ Wyong distribution centre.

Former Australian PM: Beware the Guns of August in Asia

By Peter Symonds, 8 August 2020

Kevin Rudd argues that the danger of war between the US and China is greater than at any time since the 1950s and warns the risk “will be especially high” in the lead-up to the US presidential election.

Indian railway and Sri Lankan port workers oppose privatisation; Australian supermarket warehouse employees stop work over COVID-19 infection

Workers Struggles: Asia and Australia

8 August 2020

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

Dangerous conditions in Melbourne quarantine hotels helped cause Australia’s COVID-19 resurgence

By Martin Scott, 7 August 2020

Victoria’s state Labor Party government presided over the hiring of poorly-paid security guards with no infection control training.

War crimes in Afghanistan covered up by UK Ministry of Defence

By Jean Shaoul, 6 August 2020

Documents, written by SAS officers and military personnel, provide evidence of war crimes.

Australia: Victorian hospital admissions soar amid warnings COVID-19 surge will continue for weeks

By Oscar Grenfell, 6 August 2020

It is clear that the Victorian government only introduced sharper lockdown measures, after the state was already on the precipice of a healthcare catastrophe.

NTEU enforces deep pay and job cuts at Australian universities

By Mike Head, 6 August 2020

In the latest outrage, the union is urging Adelaide University staff members to take wage cuts of up to 15 percent and still accept the elimination of 200 jobs.

Australian meatworks emerge as centres of COVID-19

By Steve Strietberg, 5 August 2020

Amid growing infections throughout the industry, cold storage workers at the JBS plant in Melbourne refused to begin work last week, demanding safe working conditions.

Victoria’s COVID-19 catastrophe: An indictment of Australian governments and capitalism

By the Socialist Equality Party (Australia), 5 August 2020

The surge in coronavirus deaths and infections is the outcome of the pro-business reopening of the economy enforced by governments, the corporations and the trade unions.

Mass unemployment to worsen in Australia following Victorian lockdown

By Mike Head, 4 August 2020

Workers, especially those in casual and insecure employment, will bear the burden of the sweeping “state of disaster” COVID-19 restrictions announced by Victoria’s Labor government.

Amid COVID-19 “disaster,” Australian state government announces limited workplace closures

By Oscar Grenfell, 4 August 2020

The measures were only announced after the Victorian surge of infections had spiralled out of control, sparking fears of a collapse of the healthcare system.

COVID-19 “state of disaster” imposed across Australian state of Victoria

By Patrick O’Connor, 3 August 2020

Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton characterised the sweeping measures as “shock and awe.”

Royal commission into Australia’s bushfires promotes greater use of the military

By Margaret Rees, 1 August 2020

The inquiry will ignore the underfunding of fire and emergency services while justifying rapid and expanded military interventions in domestic “emergencies.”

India: Punjab health workers strike for permanent jobs; Asahi auto glass-making workers strike in Chennai; Woolworths Distribution Centre workers locked out in Australia

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

1 August 2020

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

Australian COVID-19 surge continues as epidemiologists urge stricter lockdown

By Patrick O’Connor, 31 July 2020

In refusing to implement the measures demanded by medical experts, the ruling elite has chosen to protect profits over lives.

Report warns theft of international student wages in Australia set to worsen amid COVID-19

By Eric Ludlow, 30 July 2020

Many international students lost their casual jobs as a result of limited social distancing measures introduced in response to the spread of the coronavirus.

Australian government signs up to US offensive against China

By Mike Head, 30 July 2020

The joint AUSMIN statement by top Australian and US officials broadcast all the Trump administration’s incendiary and unproven allegations against China.

Record Australian COVID-19 deaths and infections

By Oscar Grenfell, 30 July 2020

Today’s toll of 723 infections and 13 deaths in Victoria demonstrates that the authorities have completely lost control of the state’s coronavirus surge.

Australian SAS planted weapons on murdered civilians in Afghanistan

By Taylor Bennington, 30 July 2020

Several soldiers said that the framing of unarmed civilians as Taliban insurgents, with planted radios or weapons, “happened on numerous occasions.”