Australian unions commit to Labor’s austerity program

By Mike Head, 7 December 2011

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

Australia: Nurses’ union announces sham “community campaign”

By Will Morrow, 3 December 2011

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

Australian government slashes spending as global crisis deepens

By Mike Head, 30 November 2011

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

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

By Patrick O’Connor, 30 November 2011

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

Australian government “delivers” on mining tax

By Mike Head, 26 November 2011

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

Australia: Union shuts down nurses’ industrial action

By Will Morrow and Patrick O’Connor, 26 November 2011

The ANF decision is an abject capitulation to the federal Labor government’s industrial relations regime and the state government’s agenda of slashing wages and conditions.

Australia: Elderly patients die in Sydney nursing home fire

By Mark Church, 23 November 2011

The tragedy highlight the appalling conditions in the commercial aged care industry, which are primarily the responsibility of the federal Labor government, which controls the funding of the nursing home system.

Australia: Qantas imposes arbitration to enforce restructuring

By Terry Cook, 23 November 2011

By sending the dispute into arbitration, the airline has obtained precisely what it wanted when it took the unprecedented step of grounding its entire fleet.

Constitutional crisis erupts in Papua New Guinea

By Mike Head, 19 November 2011

Somare, Peter O’Neill, PNG, Gillard, mining, gas, nickel, China, Obama, United States

Papuan miners extend two-month strike

By Mike Head, 17 November 2011

Despite an Indonesian government-backed police ultimatum, the 8,000 striking miners are continuing to man the blockades that have brought production to a halt since September 15.

Australian airline unions seek deal with Qantas

By Terry Cook and Mike Head, 16 November 2011

Behind closed doors, the unions are working closely with the company to finalise enterprise bargaining agreements that will facilitate the wholesale destruction of jobs and conditions.

Papua New Guinea riots expose mounting social tensions

By Will Morrow, 16 November 2011

The violence is an expression of the extreme poverty that wracks the former Australian colony.

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

12 November 2011

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

Australia: Police seek to block Occupy demonstrations

By our reporters, 7 November 2011

The police response again demonstrates the concern in ruling circles that the Occupy movement could trigger wider opposition in the working class.

A global political strategy for Qantas workers

By James Cogan, 5 November 2011

In every part of the world, jobs, wages and conditions are being slashed as rival carriers cut costs and fight to maintain profitability amid an escalating global economic crisis.

Major parties pledge austerity agenda in New Zealand election campaign

By John Braddock, 5 November 2011

The ruling National Party and opposition Labour Party are both responsible for the country’s economic and social crisis and have no fundamental disagreement on the pro-market policies to be pursued.

Australian “border protection” regime responsible for more refugee deaths

By Will Morrow, 2 November 2011

Late last night an overcrowded boat that was carrying more than 70 asylum seekers en route to Australia foundered off Java in Indonesia, killing at least 8 people.

Police order end to occupation in Perth, Western Australia

By our correspondents, 1 November 2011

Occupy Perth, formed in response to the anti-Wall Street protests in the US against social inequality and corporate power, merged with the CHOGM demonstration, intending to begin an occupation following it.

Australian corporate elite hails Qantas assault

By Mike Head, 1 November 2011

The financial markets regard Qantas’s actions as a test case for the type of assault that must be implemented throughout all industries.

Protesters rally in Melbourne, Australia after police violence

By Will Morrow, 31 October 2011

Large numbers of police gathered again on Saturday in a provocative show of force, and protestors were barred from establishing a new protest site in central Melbourne’s Treasury Gardens.

Ten years on: The SIEV X tragedy and the assault on democratic rights

the Socialist Equality Party (Australia), 31 October 2011

The sinking of the SIEV X was not an isolated incident, but part of a fundamental political shift in Australia and around the world, marked by the abandonment of any adherence to democratic and legal norms.

Qantas Airways grounds fleet to impose far-reaching restructuring

By James Cogan, 31 October 2011

Qantas is operating with a thoroughly worked-out global strategy that enjoys the full backing of the financial and corporate establishment, the Labor government and the courts.

Who owns Qantas?

By James Cogan, 31 October 2011

The executives serve as the direct representatives of finance and carry out their dictates.

Australian government aligns with Washington’s anti-China stance in Asia

By James Cogan, 29 October 2011

Gillard’s paeans to the Obama administration were clearly motivated by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s sweeping outline of the global strategy of US imperialism in the latest edition of Foreign Policy magazine.

Massive security for Commonwealth meeting in Western Australia

By Joe Lopez and Will Morrow, 28 October 2011

The purpose of the CHOGM security measures is to suppress and intimidate protesters and prepare public consciousness for a permanent expansion of police powers.

Solomon Islands: Australian police accused of bribing witnesses

By Will Morrow, 28 October 2011

There are obvious parallels between the failed prosecutions of Dausabea, Ne’e, and Bartlett and the continued efforts of the Australian government to convict former attorney general Julian Moti.

New Zealand: Students protest against university cuts

By Tom Peters, 27 October 2011

Hundreds of university students have protested against cuts to courses and staff.

Grounded ship threatens to break-up off New Zealand coast

By John Braddock, 26 October 2011

Evidence makes it clear that not only was an incident such as this likely to happen, the authorities were completely unprepared to deal with it.

Official report confirms growing inequality in Australia

By Alex Messenger, 26 October 2011

The statistics indicate that the wealthy have been able to exploit the global financial crisis to profit at the expense of ordinary people.

Australia: Riot police evict Occupy Sydney

By our correspondents, 24 October 2011

A police operation was launched in Sydney in the early hours of Sunday morning to evict the Occupy protest that had been taking place in Martin Place, in the city centre, since October 15.

Former Guantanamo detainee David Hicks speaks with the World Socialist Web Site

By Richard Phillips, 22 October 2011

David Hicks talks about his illegal detention in Guantanamo and his ongoing demonisation by the Australian media

“The police are here for the government and the corporations”

Demonstrators denounce police brutality at Occupy Melbourne

By our reporters, 22 October 2011

Protesters occupying Melbourne’s City Square spoke with the World Socialist Web Site about violent police attacks on October 21.

Video: Sydney protesters discuss international Occupy movement

22 October 2011

The World Socialist Web Site spoke with demonstrators at the Occupy Sydney protest

Australian political crisis deepens over pro-business carbon tax

By Mike Head, 22 October 2011

Last week’s carbon tax vote in the House of Representatives has intensified the crisis wracking the government, and the entire political establishment, over the imposition of a carbon pricing scheme.

Australian police attack Melbourne protest

By Margaret Rees and Patrick O’Connor, 22 October 2011

At least 95 people were arrested, many after being brutally assaulted by multiple police officers. Protesters were kicked, punched and sprayed with capsicum gas.

Australian government appeals to anti-refugee sentiment after migration bill collapses

By Will Morrow, 21 October 2011

Prime Minister Julia Gillard and her ministers have sought to out-flank opposition leader Tony Abbott from the extreme right by blaming him for the arrival of new refugee boats.

Mortgage stress rising in Australia

By Eduardo Ballesteros, 21 October 2011

The Moody’s report provides a glimpse of the mounting financial distress being experienced by working class households, even before the current barrage of manufacturing job losses.

Australia: Ongoing conspiracy of silence over SIEV X tragedy

By Richard Phillips and Linda Levin, 20 October 2011

The tenth anniversary of the worst tragedy in local maritime history, has been met with a deafening silence from Australia’s political elite.

Video report: Protesters speak out at Occupy Sydney, Australia

20 October 2011

More than 1,000 people, mainly youth, protested in Martin Place, Sydney in line with similar demonstrations around the world.

Ten years since the SIEV X tragedy

Did the Australian government deliberately allow 353 refugees to drown?

By Linda Tenenbaum, 19 October 2011

Ten years ago, on October 19, 2001, a grossly overcrowded, unseaworthy boat carrying more than 400 asylum seekers sank in international waters between Indonesia and Australia’s Christmas Island.

State government inquiry whitewashes Australian chemical leak

By Terry Cook, 18 October 2011

The inquiry was part of a damage control exercise to placate Newcastle residents and head off any genuine probing of the incident’s underlying causes.

NSW public sector workers face onslaught on jobs and conditions

the Socialist Equality Party (Australia), 18 October 2011

Just weeks after a rally of thousands of workers in Sydney, Unions NSW and its affiliates are collaborating to implement the state government’s measures.

Australian Labor government threatens Qantas airline workers

By Terry Cook and James Cogan, 17 October 2011

Openly backed by the Gillard government, Qantas management is preparing for the wholesale elimination of much of the Qantas-badged operations.

New Zealand: Occupy protests in six cities

By Tom Peters and John Braddock, 17 October 2011

The protests, organised by local “Occupy” groups, were led by banners proclaiming, “We are the 99 percent.”

Australia: Demonstrations held in every capital

By Will Morrow, 17 October 2011

Several thousand people turned out in cities across Australia on October 15 to join the international movement in support of the Occupy Wall Street demonstrations in the United States.

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

15 October 2011

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

Australian government passes carbon tax through parliament

By Patrick O’Connor, 13 October 2011

The banks were among the most enthusiastic supporters of the lower house approval of the legislation.

Australia: Victims’ families question police shootings in Sydney

By Mike Head, 8 October 2011

Given the recurring pattern of official police justifications, the recent shootings cannot be explained as isolated responses by individual officers.

Australia to shut northern TB clinics

By John Mackay, 29 September 2011

The planned closures have been strongly condemned by Australian health professionals and the World Health Organisation who fear that it will lead to an increase in multi-drug resistant or MDR-TB, already prevalent in PNG.

Australia: Mounting job losses in basic industry

By Alex Messenger, 24 September 2011

Outside of mining, which only covers 1.7 percent of employees, the economy is stagnating or in sharp decline, exposing the Labor government’s claims of immunity from the international financial turmoil.

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

17 September 2011

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

WikiLeaks cables reveal US role in Australia’s “regime change” in Solomon Islands

By Patrick O’Connor, 14 September 2011

The 2006 cables shed light on US backing for Canberra’s aggressive interventions in the Solomons and across the South Pacific.

Sharp tensions in Indonesian Papua following failure of “peace conference”

By John Roberts, 10 September 2011

The lack of agreement between Jakarta and Papuan organisations was quickly underscored by a spate of violence and protest rallies in Jayapura and other towns.

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

10 September 2011

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

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

3 September 2011

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

WikiLeaks cables reveal Australian government divisions over Fijian junta

By Patrick O’Connor, 1 September 2011

In 2009, amid fears of rising Chinese influence, the parliamentary secretary for Pacific Island Affairs secretly urged the US to pressure Prime Minister Rudd to reach an accommodation with the Fijian regime.

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

27 August 2011

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

Australian government to reopen PNG refugee detention centre

By Will Morrow, 20 August 2011

The detention centre on Manus Island in Papua New Guinea was part of the previous Coalition government’s infamous “Pacific Solution” in which refugees languished for years.

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

20 August 2011

Hundreds Skyline BD workers at the Ashulia Apparel Industrial Hub, in Dhaka walked off the job and demonstrated outside the factory on August 11 over the death of a colleague who they claim was maltreated by the factory doctor. The demonstration ended after management agreed to pay compensation to Bashar’s family and to punish the doctor.

Qantas to destroy 1,000 jobs as part of shift to Asia

By Patrick O’Connor, 17 August 2011

The measures amount to a declaration of war against Qantas workers, with the company’s directors working closely with the Labor government and the trade unions to suppress all opposition.

Attend the SEP conferences in Australia:

The Failure of Capitalism and the Fight for Socialism Today

Melbourne: August 27-28

the Socialist Equality Party (Australia), 13 August 2011

The conferences being organised by the SEP will discuss the critical political issues facing the working class that arise from the renewed crisis wracking the world capitalist system. They could not be more timely.

Australia: Queensland floods report covers up government responsibility

By Richard Phillips, 12 August 2011

The report fails to indict the state and federal governments for the gross inadequacy of emergency services and flood prevention measures during this year’s Queensland flood disaster.

Australian university announces 70 redundancies

By our correspondents, 10 August 2011

The timing of the job cuts underlines the direct connection between the Gillard government’s “education revolution” and the enterprise agreements that the NTEU has imposed at universities during the past 18 months.

Australian government vows to deport refugees to Malaysia despite legal challenge

By Will Morrow, 10 August 2011

The aim of the punitive “Malaysian Solution” is to deter other refugees from seeking their fundamental democratic right to live in Australia or any other country of their choosing.

Australian High Court concludes hearing into Julian Moti appeal

By Patrick O’Connor, 5 August 2011

The seven High Court justices heard further allegations of serious violations of the rule of the law by the Australian government in the South Pacific.

Unlawful Australian government action alleged in Julian Moti case

By Patrick O’Connor, 4 August 2011

The Australian High Court is hearing an appeal by former Solomon Islands’ Attorney General Julian Moti alleging that the government’s attempt to prosecute him is politically motivated and unlawful.

Australian government prepares to forcibly deport refugees

By Will Morrow, 4 August 2011

In a calculated bid to deter refugees from seeking protection, the Labor government plans to film the forced removal of the first group of refugees to Malaysia.

Australian employers demand changes to industrial relations laws

By Terry Cook and Mike Head, 3 August 2011

Business leaders want unlimited labour market “flexibility” as they prepare for massive restructuring and retrenchments.

Australian government suppresses mounting unrest in refugee detention centres

By Will Morrow, 2 August 2011

Protests by inmates, attempting to draw public attention to the abuse of their basic rights, are being met by police violence, arbitrary removal to prisons and legal threats.

Australian firefighter cleared of arson charges in 2009 Victorian bushfire

By Margaret Rees, 2 August 2011

The episode points to the political calculations underlying the media and government frenzy over alleged arson in the aftermath of the devastating bushfires.

Qantas management threatens “ruthless” restructure

By Terry Cook, 1 August 2011

Qantas CEO Alan Joyce has foreshadowed major attacks on jobs and conditions by the Australian airline.

Australian High Court prepares to hear Julian Moti appeal

By Patrick O’Connor, 30 July 2011

The High Court will next week hear the appeal of the former Solomon Islands attorney general, who has waged a five year battle against the Australian government’s attempt to prosecute him on what he alleges are “politically motivated” statutory rape allegations.

Workers struggle in “boom” state of Western Australia

By Joe Lopez and James Cogan, 29 July 2011

Official figures disguise the immense contradictions and regressive social impact of the mining boom.

Australian government moves to confiscate book royalties from former Guantánamo prisoner

By Richard Phillips, 29 July 2011

The Labor government has begun legal action to seize all proceeds from David Hicks’s book Guantanamo: My Journey.

Rising corporate dissatisfaction with Australian Labor government

By Patrick O’Connor, 28 July 2011

Former Telstra chief executive Ziggy Switkowski declared that Julia Gillard’s government has a “whiff of illegitimacy.”

Union seeks to ram through pro-market deal at Australia’s Macquarie University

the Socialist Equality Party (Australia), 27 July 2011

Like agreements struck by the NTEU at more than 30 universities nationally so far, its purpose is to facilitate the Gillard government’s radical pro-market restructuring of tertiary education.

Australian government signs punitive refugee deal with Malaysia

By Will Morrow, 27 July 2011

Labor’s policy will send at least 800 asylum seekers to Malaysia, a country notorious for its mistreatment of refugees.

Fears of China’s “imbalances” add to concerns in Australian corporate elite

By Mike Head, 26 July 2011

The banks, the Treasury and the media have expressed concern about the precariousness of the Australian economy, stepping up the pressure for deeper austerity measures.

Australia: Inquest told that authorities could have prevented Christmas Island refugee disaster

By Will Morrow, 25 July 2011

Further testimony points to the Labor government being culpable, whether through negligence, indifference or deliberate action, for the fate of the refugees swept onto the island’s rocky cliffs.

SEP (Australia) public meeting in Sydney

The crisis of the Murdoch empire and its implications for the working class

23 July 2011

What has been exposed by the Murdoch scandal is the putrefaction of an entire social and political system.

Murdoch’s News Corporation scrambles to defend its media interests in Australia

By Patrick O’Connor, 23 July 2011

Murdoch is attempting to secure permission to take over rival pay-television network Austar, and is pressuring the Labor government to approve its bid for control of the publicly-funded Australian Network that airs in Asia and the South Pacific.

Australian TV mini-series provides glimpse into refugee experience

By Will Morrow, 22 July 2011

“Go back to where you came from” gave audiences—continually bombarded with anti-refugee propaganda by the media and politicians—an insight into the hardships faced by asylum seekers.

Australian government deepens Northern Territory “intervention”

By Susan Allan, 21 July 2011

The Labor government has launched a “second stage” of the intervention, which has become a key testing ground for a continuous assault on welfare recipients, indigenous and non-indigenous alike.

Australian bank warns of fallout from global turmoil as consumer confidence crashes

By Mike Head, 20 July 2011

A near-record collapse in consumer confidence and the increasing risk of a European sovereign debt default have prompted Westpac to predict a deepening downturn in the local economy.

US delegation tours Pacific island states

By Frank Gaglioti, 18 July 2011

The initiative was aimed at reinforcing US dominance in the region and came as the Obama administration stepped up its provocative efforts to contain Chinese influence in East Asia.

Australian PM promotes carbon tax as pro-business reform

By Patrick O’Connor, 16 July 2011

While the tax is presented as an environmental measure aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions, the real issue at stake is the international competitiveness of Australian capitalism.

WSWS/ISSE meeting discusses austerity measures in New Zealand

By our correspondents, 15 July 2011

The Wellington meeting brought together an audience of young and older workers and unemployed to discuss “The New Zealand budget and the fight against austerity.”

Australian Labor government unveils carbon tax

By Patrick O’Connor, 11 July 2011

While presenting the policy as a means of addressing widespread concerns about climate change, Gillard’s speech was primarily directed toward the business elite who will benefit from the market-based scheme.

Slave labour conditions in New Zealand’s fishing industry

By John Braddock, 9 July 2011

The reports of abuse highlight the atrocious conditions on foreign-crewed vessels chartered by local companies, notably Maori-owned tribal businesses.

Australian Greens assume balance of power in the Senate

By Patrick O’Connor, 8 July 2011

The swearing-in of the new senators underscored the minor party’s function as a key prop for the political establishment, and as an eager facilitator of the right-wing, pro-business agenda advanced by Prime Minister Julia Gillard.

New Zealand: Entire suburbs to be abandoned after earthquakes

By Tom Peters, 6 July 2011

New Zealand’s government has condemned some 5,100 houses in earthquake-devastated Christchurch.

Australian airline foreshadows major restructuring and shift to Asia

By Terry Cook, 2 July 2011

The fact that the speech was delivered to the national press club indicates that Qantas anticipates the backing of the Labor government in any confrontation with its workforce.

Australia: Labor’s “welfare quarantining” trials target unemployed

By Will Morrow, 1 July 2011

The WSWS spoke to unemployed people in the Sydney suburb of Bankstown, one of the working class areas selected by the Gillard government for welfare-cutting trials.

Further evidence of lack of safety at New Zealand mine

By John Braddock, 1 July 2011

Families of miners killed in a methane explosion at the Pike River mine last November denounced successive New Zealand governments over appalling safety standards.

Australian government to stop welfare payments to teenage mothers

By Tania Baptist, 29 June 2011

The scheme is part of various measures aimed at forcing the disabled, the long-term unemployed, and single mothers off welfare and into the workforce, where they will become a new source of cheap labour.

“Putting mothers and babies under grossly unfair pressure”

By Tania Baptist, 29 June 2011

The WSWS interviewed advocates for single mothers and welfare recipients about the implications of the Gillard government’s trials, which will suspend welfare payments for teenage parents.

Rival powers scramble for seabed mineral rights in South Pacific

By Patrick O’Connor, 29 June 2011

Lucrative mineral reserves are up for grabs, adding further fuel to tensions in a region where China has recently extended its influence.

Australian tribunal allows greater exploitation of student labour

By Mike Head, 27 June 2011

The ruling is part of a concerted government-backed drive to slash wages and conditions of low-paid retail workers amid falling sales, a wave of store closures and signs of deepening slump.

Australia: Victorian government threatens to slash wages of construction workers

By Margaret Rees and Patrick O’Connor, 25 June 2011

The Victorian Liberal government has moved to gut wages and conditions in the construction industry, following a five-day strike of up to 1,000 workers at a huge desalination plant project near Melbourne, the state capital.

Public Meeting in Wellington

The New Zealand budget and the fight against austerity

24 June 2011

The National government’s budget, handed down on May 19, is part of an international offensive on the working class.