Australia

As Australian government threatens to jail journalists, media chiefs denounce Julian Assange

By Mike Head, 19 August 2019

While claiming to champion the “right to know,” media executives condemned the WikiLeaks founder for exposing the crimes of the US spy and military apparatuses.

Australian health workers protest assaults on staff

By John Wilson, 17 August 2019

The Health Services Union limited the action and channelled workers’ anger into a demand for more security officers, not for increased funding and staffing.

Australian government boosts Special Forces despite war crimes charges

By Mike Head, 16 August 2019

The move is part of the preparation for war, as well as for the suppression of domestic dissent.

Australia: Pro-US ideologue brands student groups as China’s “useful idiots”

By Oscar Grenfell, 15 August 2019

Clive Hamilton’s comments are a warning that Australia’s involvement in the US drive to war with China will be accompanied by political repression domestically.

Australia: Mentally-ill man carries out stabbing attacks in Sydney

By Oscar Grenfell, 14 August 2019

The alleged perpetrator was a 20-year-old man from a working-class suburb in Sydney’s west, with a lengthy history of psychological issues.

From Couch to Curb film launch highlights youth homelessness in Australia

By Patrick O’Connor, 14 August 2019

More than 116,000 people across Australia, or one in every 200, are currently without a home; a quarter of these are young people aged between 12 and 24.

Establishment figures welcome renewed anti-China hysteria in Australia

By James Cogan, 13 August 2019

The ruling elite requires Australia’s incorporation into US war preparations to be accompanied by slandering any public opposition as the product of “Chinese interference.”

Australian actor John Jarratt sues Daily Telegraph after jury throws out rape charge

By Richard Phillips, 13 August 2019

The jury of five men and seven women took just over 15 minutes to unanimously reject the #MeToo-inspired rape allegation against the veteran actor.

Australia: Mentally-ill man shot dead by police at his home

By Martin Scott, 12 August 2019

“If there was no danger to the public, and if he was contained in his own house and not doing anything, one would have to ask ‘why in the hell is he gone?’”

Following AUSMIN talks, Australian politician compares China to Nazi Germany

By James Cogan, 10 August 2019

Andrew Hastie falsely compared the purported failure of Australia to respond to the threat posed by China with France’s lack of response to the “German advance in 1940.”

John Pilger warns: “Do not forget Assange. Or you will lose him”

By Oscar Grenfell, 9 August 2019

The well-known journalist outlined the WikiLeaks founder’s deteriorating health, and the draconian conditions in which he is being held in a British prison.

Australian High Court scraps free speech for workers

By Mike Head, 9 August 2019

The judges’ support for the sacking of a public servant is part of an assault on free speech under conditions of escalating social, geo-strategic and war tensions.

Jennifer Robinson, a leading member of Assange’s legal team, speaks with the WSWS

By our reporters, 9 August 2019

“It speaks volumes about Australia’s position in the world that it’s not willing to take a stand against the United States and protect an Australian citizen.”

Australian spy and police chiefs say raids on journalists must continue

By Mike Head, 8 August 2019

In a blunt intervention, Director-General of National Intelligence Nick Warner used the language of war to defend the targeting of journalists.

Protests in Australia continue to break official silence on Julian Assange

By our reporters, 7 August 2019

The sentiments of ordinary people stand in stark contrast to the refusal of all of the official parties to take any action in defence of the WikiLeaks founder.

Australia: Melbourne rail workers vote for strike action

By Patrick O’Connor, 7 August 2019

While privatisation has provided new and lucrative profit opportunities for corporate operators, it has proven a disaster for rail workers and commuters.

US Secretary of State demands greater Australian involvement in war drive against China

By Oscar Grenfell, 6 August 2019

The support for Pompeo’s aggressive remarks in Canberra is a warning that behind its back, the Australian population has been placed on the frontline of a confrontation with China that threatens a catastrophic nuclear war.

Assange’s father speaks to the WSWS: “Julian’s resolve is fierce”

By Oscar Grenfell, 5 August 2019

John Shipton condemned the Australian government’s refusal to raise the issue of Assange with the US, or to take any action in his defence, declaring: “Silence is complicity.”

Despite briefing by Julian Assange’s lawyer, Australian politicians still refuse to defend him

By Mike Head, 3 August 2019

Intensive lobbying in Canberra this week failed to convince any parliamentarian to oppose the Trump administration’s bid to extradite the WikiLeaks founder.

Australian households’ cost of living soars above consumer price index

By Margaret Rees, 3 August 2019

A large gap has emerged between the official statistics and the standard of living, thanks to skyrocketing prices for essential goods and services, as opposed to prices for discretionary items.

Indian doctors hold national 24-hour walkout; Chinese auto workers strike; Australian railway workers vote for industrial action

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

3 August 2019

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

Slump deepens in Australian residential construction industry

By Paul Bartizan and Richard Phillips, 2 August 2019

Multiple faults in new apartment buildings have become a factor in the bursting of a debt-fuelled property bubble that is threatening thousands of jobs.

Julian Assange’s lawyer briefs Australian parliamentarians on his persecution

By Oscar Grenfell, 1 August 2019

The event reflected concerns within the ruling elite over popular opposition to the Trump administration’s bid to prosecute the WikiLeaks founder.

Australian Labor Party leader: We will keep voting for government’s legislation

By Mike Head, 1 August 2019

Albanese’s declaration was another blunt signal of Labor’s further sharp shift to the right in the wake of its historic debacle at the May 18 federal election.

Early peak in Australia influenza season causes concern

By John Mackay, 31 July 2019

The severity of deadly flu outbreaks could be minimised with global free access to vaccination, and the development of a universal vaccine.

Intercept article calls on Democrats to step up attack on Julian Assange

By Oscar Grenfell, 30 July 2019

James Risen peddled the lies of CNN and the intelligence agencies, slanderously suggesting that Assange worked on behalf of Russia and the Trump campaign.

Australia: Six Queensland mining deaths in 12 months

By Patrick Davies, 30 July 2019

The tragedies are a result of the gutting of full-time jobs and the erosion of working conditions, enforced by the trade unions.

DP World threatens to sack 10 percent of its Australian workforce during industrial action

By Noel Holt, 29 July 2019

The move marks a new offensive by employers to further slash jobs, basic rights and conditions on the waterfront and throughout the working class as a whole.

Australian central bank chief fearful of rising global tensions

By Mike Head, 27 July 2019

“When businesses are nervous, they don’t want to invest,” Philip Lowe warned a corporate lunch audience.

Australian disability centre closures result in nearly a dozen deaths

By Max Newman, 26 July 2019

Former residents of a disability centre in Newcastle have died after being transferred to under-funded group homes via the National Disability Insurance Scheme.

Australian government demands police-state powers over protests and exclusions of citizens

By Mike Head, 24 July 2019

The bills would hand governments the most authoritarian powers since the two world wars.

Australian cancer victim sues Bayer-Monsanto

By Frank Gaglioti, 23 July 2019

Michael Ogalirolo claims his potentially lethal cancer, non-Hodgkin lymphoma, is due to 18 years of exposure to glyphosate, the active component of the herbicide Roundup.

Australian aged care home closes abruptly, traumatising residents

By Jenny Campbell, 22 July 2019

Nurses and other Earle Haven staff members watched in horror and shame as patients were left in limbo, with their medications, patient records and equipment quickly removed from the premises.

Gulf between wealthy and poor widening in Australia

By Mike Head, 19 July 2019

Successive governments, both Liberal-National and Labor, have enriched the corporate elite at the expense of the working class.

Australian aged care inquiry hears damning evidence of abuse

By Clare Bruderlin, 18 July 2019

Testimony by care workers, patients and family members has underscored how the cost-cutting drive for profit jeopardises the health, safety and quality of life of elderly people.

Australian government seeking to prosecute journalists over exposure of war crimes

By Oscar Grenfell, 16 July 2019

The federal police are investigating journalists over the 2017 publication of the “Afghan Files,” which revealed Australian military involvement in extrajudicial killings and other crimes.

Melbourne rally participants speak in defence of Assange and Manning

By our reporters, 15 July 2019

“I don’t believe any government will stand up for Assange. I think that it comes down to normal people standing and fighting.”

Talisman Sabre: US and Australia prepare for war with China

By Oscar Grenfell, 15 July 2019

The massive military exercise in northern Australia, in preparation for conflict in the Indo-Pacific, has been treated as a non-event by the political and media establishment.

Rally in Melbourne demands freedom for Julian Assange

By our reporters, 15 July 2019

Amid cold and wet weather, about 130 people rallied with determination to demand Assange’s freedom.

Elderly poor suffering hypothermia in Australia

By Margaret Rees, 13 July 2019

The “Cold and Lonely” study points to an often-hidden social crisis—the avoidance or under-consumption of heating by people who must ration their energy use so they can pay their bills.

Three months since arrest of WikiLeaks publisher

UK government holds “media freedom” conference while imprisoning Assange

By Oscar Grenfell, 13 July 2019

The “media freedom” conference was held seven miles from Belmarsh Prison, where the world’s most famous persecuted journalist is jailed.

Indian aeronautic workers threaten national walkout; Pakistan power workers demand safe, permanent jobs; Taiwan union ends flight attendants’ strike

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

13 July 2019

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

Prominent Australian academic suggests building nuclear weapons

By Peter Symonds, 11 July 2019

The debate over nuclear weapons is another warning of the advanced preparations for war being made in capitals around the world.

Australian police monitoring journalists’ travel and internet data

By Mike Head, 10 July 2019

New reports demonstrate an escalating effort to criminalise exposures about key military and intelligence operations.

Australia: DP World stevedoring strike against attacks on conditions

By Oscar Grenfell, 10 July 2019

While the stoppage expresses growing militancy among dock workers, the union is seeking to contain any struggle and enforce a sell-out agreement.

Australian retail giant to cut jobs, wages

By Eric Ludlow, 9 July 2019

Woolworths, one of Australia’s two major supermarket chains, last month announced a restructure that endangers thousands of jobs across the country.

SEP (Australia) holds rally in Brisbane to demand freedom for Assange and Manning

By Gary Alvernia, 8 July 2019

Despite downpours of rain, workers and young people came from far afield to join the event, demonstrating the underlying support for the WikiLeaks founder and the courageous whistleblower.

Australian Labor Party backs government’s tax cuts for the wealthy

By Mike Head, 6 July 2019

By voting for the massive tax cuts, Labor further repudiated its bogus election rhetoric against “the big end of town” and for a “fair go” for working people.

SEP meetings review political lessons of Australia’s federal election

By our reporters, 6 July 2019

Labor’s defeat in the May 18 elections poses the urgent necessity for an intensification of the fight for socialist and internationalist consciousness among workers and youth.

Australian workers and youth discuss SEP election campaign

By our reporters, 6 July 2019

“I’ve seen the Labor Party and the unions working hand-in-glove at the expense of the workers throughout my entire working life.”

Punjab Roadways workers strike for three days; thousands of Bangladesh municipal workers strike

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

6 July 2019

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

Was the Australian army placed on alert during last year’s political crisis?

By Mike Head, 5 July 2019

Whether or not the military was actually activated, Australia was on the brink of a constitutional crisis last August.

Australian workers and youth speak out at vigils for Assange’s birthday

By our reporters, 5 July 2019

“The things he has done have changed the world. The people who hate him are usually the people who are in power.”

Australian filmmaker James Ricketson calls on journalist Peter Greste to defend Assange

4 July 2019

Ricketson’s “Open Letter” debunks Greste’s claim that Assange is not a journalist and therefore not deserving of support, and calls on him to defend the WikiLeaks founder, as he did Ricketson who was wrongly jailed in Cambodia.

Australian central bank cuts cash rate to record low

By Mike Head, 4 July 2019

The second cut in two months is a sign of fear in ruling circles of the intensifying impact of the global turmoil on the domestic economy.

South Australian teachers strike for better wages and conditions

By Sue Phillips, 4 July 2019

South Australia teachers have joined their counterparts in New Zealand, other Australian states and around the world, to strike against their current, unsustainable wages and conditions.

Video: Watch the Sydney Free Assange rally

4 July 2019

The demonstration is one of a series of rallies organised by the Socialist Equality Party to defend Julian Assange and Chelsea Manning; the next will be in Brisbane on Saturday followed by Melbourne on Sunday July 14.

Australian prime minister lines up with Trump at the G20

By Peter Symonds, 3 July 2019

Trump made clear that he expected Morrison and the Australian government to back the US in its confrontations on all fronts—in particular against Iran and China.

Australia: Hundreds of students and staff protest against trimesters at UNSW

By our reporters, 3 July 2019

“Orientating the uni towards profit rather than education is not a good thing overall for education.”

Video: Protesters at SEP (Australia) rally speak out in defence of Assange and Manning

2 July 2019

“I came to support Julian because of all the time he has lost to help the poor people and the oppressed around the world.”

Australian media chiefs seek to divert anger over police raids

By Mike Head, 2 July 2019

There was no mention of the violent arrest of Julian Assange, which opened the floodgates for a broader assault on free speech.

Australian PM refused to raise persecution of Assange with Trump

By Oscar Grenfell, 2 July 2019

At the G20 summit Morrison fawned over Trump, who is seeking to imprison the WikiLeaks founder for life, or execute him.

SEP (Australia) holds Sydney rally in defence of Assange and Manning

By our reporters, 1 July 2019

“If two million people can come out on the streets of Hong Kong against extradition legislation, then we can surely build such a mass popular movement on a global scale to free Assange and Manning.”

Watch the Sydney rally to free Assange live!

28 June 2019

The SEP rally is among the first events to be held since the WSWS International Editorial Board called for the formation of a Global Defence Committee to demand freedom for Assange and Manning.

Terry Hicks, father of former Guantánamo Bay prisoner David Hicks, demands freedom for Assange and Manning

28 June 2019

“There’s only one word to describe the victimisation and persecution of Assange and Manning, and that word is barbaric.”

Far-right Australian senator disbands party in favour of Coalition government

By Mike Head, 27 June 2019

Bernardi’s decision underscores the ongoing refashioning of the political establishment in a right-wing populist direction to try to divert seething social discontent.

Join the Sydney rally this Saturday demanding freedom for Julian Assange!

By Oscar Grenfell, 27 June 2019

The demonstration will insist that the Australian government take immediate action to prevent the WikiLeaks founder’s extradition to the US, where he faces life imprisonment or the death penalty.

Australian filmmaker James Ricketson to speak at SEP rally in defence of Assange

26 June 2019

“We must do all in our power to prevent Assange’s extradition to the US. Signing petitions is not enough. We must make our presence felt in the streets at vigils and demonstrations.”

Australian teachers establish new Facebook “support network” against ongoing victimisation

By Erika Zimmer, 26 June 2019

Three victimised teachers have launched a new “Bullied Teachers Support Network,” under conditions where nearly 25 percent of NSW high school teachers claim to have been bullied.

Students and staff to protest imposition of trimesters at Australian university

By Martin Scott, 25 June 2019

The University of New South Wales management has put commercial interests ahead of education.

Australian Labor Party embraces huge tax cuts for richest 5 percent

By Mike Head, 25 June 2019

Labor has signalled its readiness to accept, directly or indirectly, the government’s plan to slash income taxes for those receiving more than $200,000 a year.

Australia: NSW government tries to minimise political and economic fallout over unsafe apartments

By John Wilson, 24 June 2019

Hundreds of Mascot Tower residents still have no idea when the structurally unsafe building will be repaired, so that they can finally return to their homes.

Australian Labor MPs push for huge tax cuts for wealthy

By Mike Head, 22 June 2019

The wealthiest layers of society would enjoy the biggest tax handouts since the Hawke and Keating Labor governments of 1983 to 1996.

Australian Labor Party leader determined to expel building union official

By Mike Head, 21 June 2019

Corporate outlets have declared that John Setka’s removal is the first “test” of Anthony Albanese’s leadership in turning Labor further to the right.

Australian workers and youth support SEP rallies defending Assange

By our reporters, 21 June 2019

The hostility of ordinary people to the US attempts to prosecute Assange stands in stark contrast to the complicity of the political and media establishment.

Australia: NSW government unveils thousands of public sector job cuts

By Oscar Grenfell, 20 June 2019

The state budget includes 3,000 retrenchments, a deepening offensive against social services and massive handouts to big business.

Professor Stuart Rees to speak at SEP rally to defend Julian Assange

20 June 2019

“The rally must increase public awareness of the outrageous injustice if Julian is extradited to the US to face a possible 170 years in prison.”

John Pilger urges participation in SEP (Australia) rallies to defend Assange

19 June 2019

“In my career, there has never been a more important case. If we lose Julian and Chelsea Manning to the dungeons of a rogue America, once-liberal societies will never be the same again; democracies will be in name only.”

Prominent Australian journalist Mary Kostakidis calls for campaign to free Assange

18 June 2019

“We must not wait till it is too late to recognise the broader significance of the persecution of Julian Assange and fail to defend his human rights.”

Australian whistleblower trials shrouded in secrecy

By Mike Head, 18 June 2019

The government’s determination to block any public scrutiny of these crucial hearings constitutes wartime-like censorship.

Two protesters arrested at Melbourne rally in defence of Assange

By Oscar Grenfell, 17 June 2019

The arrests were aimed at intimidating supporters of WikiLeaks and preventing broader layers from joining the campaign to defend Assange and all democratic rights.

Australia: Another Sydney apartment block evacuated over major structural cracks

By John Wilson, 17 June 2019

The event underlines the escalating crisis in housing and apartment building and the cost-cutting methods used during the past two decades.

Australian Labor Party leader reinforces pro-business message by denouncing building union official

By Mike Head, 14 June 2019

The John Setka affair is an initial “test” set by the corporate elite for the Labor and union leaders of their capacity to suppress rising working-class unrest.

Australia’s industrial tribunal maintains poverty-level minimum wage

By Terry Cook, 13 June 2019

The ruling is part of a decades-long assault on workers’ pay and conditions enforced by successive governments and the trade unions.

Australian Labor Party’s hypocrisy on police media raids exposed

By Mike Head, 12 June 2019

The opposition Labor Party has joined hands with the ruling Coalition to pass legislation handing unprecedented powers to the police and intelligence agencies.

Australian journalist calls on colleagues to defend Assange

By Oscar Grenfell, 12 June 2019

Andrew Fowler warned: “If Assange is left to swing in the breeze, it will be an open invitation for any journalist, anywhere in the world, to be extradited to the US.”

US issues formal request for Assange’s extradition

By Oscar Grenfell, 11 June 2019

The Trump administration is pressing ahead with its attempt to prosecute the WikiLeaks founder over his role in the exposure of US war crimes and diplomatic conspiracies.

Australia: Worst economic slowdown since global financial crisis

By Mike Head, 11 June 2019

US-China trade war fears are compounding the impact of falling house prices, plunging construction work and declining real wages.

SEP (Australia) calls rallies demanding freedom for Julian Assange

11 June 2019

The protests will demand that the Australian government take immediate action to prevent the WikiLeaks founder's extradition to the US and secure his complete freedom.

Australia: Telstra to destroy 10,000 contract jobs over two years

By Oscar Grenfell, 10 June 2019

The announcement of new sackings targeting contractors coincided with reports that Telstra has already eliminated many of the 9,500 permanent jobs it is seeking to destroy by 2022.

Australian workers and youth defend Julian Assange and Chelsea Manning

By our reporters, 10 June 2019

“Assange is a genius and a hero and if it wasn’t for him, people around the world would not know about government war crimes and other illegal things that they have been doing.”

Australian police chief links media raids to US-led “Five Eyes” spy network

By Mike Head, 8 June 2019

Gaughan’s statement points to the targeting of journalists in order to cover up Washington’s preparations for wars and mass political surveillance.

“Is there going to be a future for journalism?”

Australian media workers denounce police raids

By our correspondents, 8 June 2019

ABC workers spoke of their shock and alarm at the arrival of federal police in their building.

Murder of homeless woman in Melbourne a result of housing and mental health crisis

By Tessa Hugo, 7 June 2019

The tragedy exposes a deep crisis within Australia’s healthcare system, which leaves scores of young people and workers unable to receive the treatment they often desperately need.

The global war on journalism

By Mike Head, 6 June 2019

The arrest of Julian Assange has set a precedent for the state persecution of journalists, triggering police raids in Australia and France against reporters documenting government crimes and corruption.

Australian Federal Police raid journalists over exposures of government spying, war crimes

By Oscar Grenfell, 5 June 2019

The raids, targeting a News Corp journalist and the Sydney offices of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, are part of an expanding assault on democratic rights and press freedom.

Australian government forces refugees back to face repression in Sri Lanka

By Max Newman, 5 June 2019

At least 20 more asylum seekers have been detained by the Australian navy and deported to Sri Lanka to face possible torture and imprisonment.

Australian PM’s trip to Solomon Islands highlights intensifying US confrontation with China

By Mike Head, 4 June 2019

Morrison’s visit, his third to the southwest Pacific this year, was to send a blunt message to Pacific Island states to line up against Beijing.

SEP Australia meetings on Labor’s election debacle and the defence of Assange

4 June 2019

The leftward movement of workers and youth can find no means of expression within the present political framework. It must be developed into a conscious political movement, based on a socialist perspective.

Britain and Australia dismiss UN report that Assange has been tortured

By Oscar Grenfell, 3 June 2019

The brazen responses demonstrate the criminality of the US-led vendetta against Assange, which is proceeding in violation of due process and the fundamental tenets of international law.