Australia

Australian parliamentary parties endorse British show trial of Julian Assange

By Oscar Grenfell, 5 March 2020

As Assange faced a legal travesty, government ministers declared their faith in British “due process,” while the Labor Party maintained its silence.

Workers to pay the price as Australia joins global slide into recession

By Mike Head, 5 March 2020

The Covid-19 disaster has not yet resulted in large-scale sickness in Australia, but major companies are already unveiling job cuts due to the global impact on production, trade and travel.

Australia’s health system could be overwhelmed by large-scale coronavirus outbreak

By James Cogan, 4 March 2020

Federal and state governments plan repressive measures to forcibly quarantine people and curtail public gatherings.

Australian government revives plan for internal electronic surveillance

By Mike Head, 4 March 2020

Under the guise of combatting on-line paedophilia, the Australian Signals Directorate is to be handed domestic spying powers.

Australia: Tram drivers’ union attempts to impose sellout agreement

By Patrick O’Connor, 3 March 2020

Tram workers ought to vote “no” to the proposed agreement, which undercuts their real wages and conditions.

Brisbane rally calls for freedom for Assange and Manning

By our correspondent, 2 March 2020

Participants applauded and cheered the speakers as they denounced the Australian government’s complicity in the abuses of Assange’s basic legal rights.

Access to disability funding for Australian children depends on wealth

By Max Newman, 29 February 2020

Children in poorer suburbs can wait hundreds of days for essential support services.

Indian primary school teachers demonstrate; Sri Lankan police attack sacked public sector workers

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

29 February 2020

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

Australian spy chief reveals fascistic networks, but minister attacks “left-wing lunatics”

By Mike Head, 28 February 2020

Dutton’s response shows that the real target of the government and the state apparatus is left-wing and socialist organisations, not violent, far-right groups.

Australia: Workers and youth call for intensification of Assange and Manning defence campaign

By our reporters, 28 February 2020

Queensland students and workers in Parramatta denounce the escalating government attacks on democratic rights.

Julian Assange’s father demands immediate bail for imprisoned son

By our reporters, 28 February 2020

John Shipton outlined his son’s decade-long history of arbitrary detention in the UK.

Australian bushfire inquiry: Damage-control, cover-up and a push for military powers

By Mike Head, 27 February 2020

The central purpose of the royal commission is to absolve the federal and state governments of responsibility for the disaster, and to introduce unprecedented national emergency powers.

Persecuted journalist Assange handcuffed, stripped naked on first day of extradition trial

By Thomas Scripps and Laura Tiernan, 26 February 2020

As proceedings were due to begin, a court official told WikiLeaks Editor-in-Chief Kristinn Hrafnsson that he was barred from the public gallery.

“A disaster waiting to happen”

Two train drivers killed in derailment on Australia’s main interstate line

By Noel Holt, 25 February 2020

Drivers have complained for decades about poor track quality on the Melbourne to Sydney line, resulting in rough riding, mud holes and speed restrictions.

Waiting times for aged care in Australia quadruple over past decade

By Clare Bruderlin, 25 February 2020

Such is the contempt of the ruling elite for the working class that many elderly people have died while waiting for a home care package.

Rally and march in Melbourne, Australia demands freedom for Julian Assange

By Patrick O’Connor, 25 February 2020

Many people in the city centre expressed support for the march as it passed, with some joining the demonstration.

Australian government expands northern air base for US military use against China

By Mike Head, 24 February 2020

Echoing Pentagon terminology, Prime Minister Morrison declared the Tindal base was the “sharp end of the spear.”

“The release of Julian Assange and Chelsea Manning is up to us”

Australian and New Zealand demonstrations demand freedom for WikiLeaks founder and US whistleblower

By our reporters, 24 February 2020

The weekend rallies point to growing international support for Assange and Manning and a deeper political understanding and determination to fight by important layers of students, workers and youth.

“Robodebt” assault on Australian welfare recipients deliberately targeted the vulnerable

By Margaret Rees, 22 February 2020

The government knew the scheme was illegal long before it conceded that was the case in the Federal Court last November.

Tamil Nadu public transport workers demonstrate; Sacked Sri Lankan government workers protest; Jetstar baggage handlers on strike in Australia

Workers Struggles: Asia and Australia

22 February 2020

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

“This is the Dreyfus case of our age”

UK Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell visits Julian Assange in Belmarsh Prison

By Oscar Grenfell, 21 February 2020

McDonnell described the Assange case as “one of the most important and significant political trials of this generation,” but made clear that his party will do nothing to mobilise the immense popular support that exists for the WikiLeaks publisher.

Veteran “Four Corners” journalist Andrew Fowler denounces Australian government’s refusal to defend Assange

By Richard Phillips and James Cogan, 21 February 2020

“The persecution of Assange is an attack on anyone who speaks out against the power and authority of the United States. It is a warning to every journalist: ‘Pull your head in. Shut up. Don’t question.’”

Qantas threatens to replace pilots with outside crews

By Terry Cook, 21 February 2020

Qantas has issued an ultimatum to its long-haul pilots, while its low-cost Jetstar airline confronts its pilots and ground crews.

Labor Party leads Australian attack on British government over Huawei

By Mike Head, 20 February 2020

The line-up behind the US confrontation with China sheds further light on the persecution of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.

East Timor’s coalition government collapses

By Patrick O’Connor, 20 February 2020

East Timor’s political and economic crisis is escalating amid the sharpened regional rivalry between China and the US and its ally Australia.

Australia: Students and workers demand release of Julian Assange and Chelsea Manning

By our reporters, 20 February 2020

“Trillions are spent on war, which creates refugees, kills children and workers, but the people who make these wars happen are roaming free whilst Assange is being murdered by the state.”

Australian MPs visit Julian Assange at Belmarsh Prison

By Oscar Grenfell, 19 February 2020

Andrew Wilkie and George Christensen said they agreed with UN official Nils Melzer’s assessment that Assange is the victim of psychological torture.

Australian court backs police raids on journalists

By Mike Head, 18 February 2020

The ruling highlights the driving forces behind the persecution of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.

Australian universities slash jobs in response to coronavirus travel ban impact

By Mike Head, 18 February 2020

As well as students having their lives and futures severely disrupted, thousands of casual academics are having their hours slashed.

Australian media maintains an unconscionable blackout on the case of Julian Assange

By James Cogan, 17 February 2020

Meetings should be convened by the staff of every media organisation and resolutions adopted opposing Assange’s extradition and insisting that his case is accurately and honestly reported.

Major Australian bushfires finally extinguished by torrential rain

By Martin Scott, 15 February 2020

Insurers have declared Australia’s sixth catastrophe in five months as storms batter the east coast and cause major flooding.

John Pilger’s The Dirty War on the National Health Service screening on Australia’s SBS this Sunday

By our reporters, 15 February 2020

The WSWS urges all our readers to watch this powerful documentary on SBS television, at 8.30 p.m. Sunday night, February 16.

India: Punjab government teachers protest against privatisation; Sacked Sri Lankan government workers demonstrate; New Caledonia miners strike against long hours

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

15 February 2020

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

SEP builds support for Free Assange and Manning rallies in Australia

By our reporters, 14 February 2020

Members and supporters of the SEP and its youth movement, the IYSSE, have been campaigning in working-class suburbs, at workplaces and university campuses.

Petition for Assange’s freedom tabled again in Australian parliament

By Mike Head, 13 February 2020

Despite the powerful public support and strongly expressed sentiments of the petition, its tabling received virtually no coverage in the corporate media.

Recession warnings fuel political instability in Australia

By Mike Head, 12 February 2020

The bushfire and coronavirus disasters have had an enormous economic and social impact.

Rank-and-file teachers in Sydney adopt resolution defending Assange and Manning

the Socialist Equality Party (Australia), 12 February 2020

The resolution is the outcome of the initiative of the Committee For Public Education, acting independently of the trade union apparatus.

Dr. Lissa Johnson calls for workers and young people to rally in defence of Julian Assange and Chelsea Manning

11 February 2020

“Everyone who recognises the need, before it is too late, to take a stand against gross injustice and for fundamental democratic rights should attend the rallies.”

Further slush fund revelations intensify political crisis in Australia

By Mike Head, 10 February 2020

The continuing revelations further call into question the legitimacy of the Coalition government’s narrow election win.

Australian pseudo-left seeks to cover up its abandonment of WikiLeaks’ Julian Assange

By Patrick O’Connor, 10 February 2020

Socialist Alternative’s article, “The betrayal of Julian Assange,” is a crude attempt to cover up its own role in the “betrayal” of the WikiLeaks publisher.

Australian coronavirus travel ban blocks thousands of Chinese students

By Eric Ludlow, 8 February 2020

The blanket ban by the Morrison government affects any foreign national trying to enter Australia from mainland China.

Australia: Balmoral fire captain labels government response a “national disgrace”

By our reporters, 8 February 2020

Balmoral residents are becoming frustrated by the lack of promised assistance for the urgent tasks of clearing dangerous trees and providing clean water.

Australia: Federal Court grants DP World ban on further industrial action by maritime workers

By Terry Cook, 8 February 2020

DP World Australia has obtained an interim injunction by the Australian Federal Court that imposes a month-long ban on further industrial action by 1,800 workers employed at its container terminals.

India: 10,000 Karnataka midday-meal workers strike indefinitely; Tahiti workers strike against Macron’s pensions “reforms”

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

8 February 2020

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

New Australian Greens leader makes a “left” pitch to young people

By Mike Head, 7 February 2020

By installing Bandt as leader, the Greens MPs demonstrated their concern over the mounting political disaffection.

Interview with international model Andreja Pejic: “I think standing behind Assange and Manning is where we should all be”

By Sue Phillips and Will Marshall, 7 February 2020

The WSWS spoke with Andreja Pejic about the campaign to free Julian Assange and Chelsea Manning and broader political issues.

Labor Party props up Australian government in political crisis

By Mike Head, 6 February 2020

Labor leader Anthony Albanese appealed to Prime Minister Scott Morrison to improve his performance and work more closely with the Labor Party.

Australian government intensifies punitive drive against welfare recipients

By Margaret Rees, 5 February 2020

Before even paying back the money wrongly taken from some of society’s most vulnerable people via the “robo-debt” system, the government is moving to punish them again.

Take up the fight for international socialism! Join the IYSSE!

the International Youth and Students for Social Equality (Australia), 5 February 2020

One month into 2020, the crisis of capitalism threatens youth with the danger of nuclear war, authoritarianism, climate catastrophe and worsening inequality. International socialism is the answer.

Australian political establishment once again in turmoil

By Mike Head, 4 February 2020

The day before parliament resumed for 2020, the leaders of three parties either stepped down or had their position challenged.

Rising “under-employment” fuels discontent in Australia

By Mike Head, 4 February 2020

In working-class areas, young people and other workers are being pushed increasingly into the “gig economy” of casualised, temporary and part-time employment.

Australia: New South Wales public school teachers continue to express outrage over union betrayal

By our reporters, 4 February 2020

Since school autonomy was introduced in 2012, casual or contract employment of teachers in NSW has soared by 40 percent.

Australian PM compels minister to resign over sports grants pork-barrelling

By Mike Head, 3 February 2020

Morrison’s removal of McKenzie will intensify the turmoil within the increasingly discredited government and the entire political establishment.

Australia: Bushfire survivors point to lack of funding for firefighters and recovery effort

By our reporters, 3 February 2020

Residents from New South Wales’ South Coast and Blue Mountains areas praise volunteers, and describe the struggle to rebuild after the fires.

Australia’s fire crisis continues while flash floods hammer northern Queensland

By Martin Scott, 1 February 2020

Australia’s catastrophic summer escalates, with heavy rain in the north and bushfires in the south.

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and New Zealand

1 February 2020

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

Tram drivers’ strike and protest in Melbourne, Australia

By Patrick O’Connor, 31 January 2020

The Rail, Tram and Bus Union has done everything within its power to isolate the workers and subordinate them to both the state Labor government and the antidemocratic Fair Work industrial regime.

Australia: Alice Springs group condemns silence of “Bring Assange Home” parliamentary group

By our reporters, 31 January 2020

“It is now more than three months since your group was established but it has done nothing of substance in this time.”

Australian government calls for national emergency powers

By Mike Head, 30 January 2020

Under the guise of dealing with bushfires and other disasters, Prime Minister Morrison is seeking to boost the powers of the state apparatus to suppress unrest.

South Australian counsellor and educators speak on conditions in schools

By Sue Phillips, 30 January 2020

“It is very difficult to understand the complexities of a classroom until you’ve been in and taught in that classroom and you’ve tried to manage perhaps 28 or 32 students, all with varying needs.”

Australia: Worker presumed dead in Tasmanian mine collapse

By Terry Cook, 29 January 2020

If the miners’ death is confirmed, it will be the fifth mining fatality in western Tasmania in just six years.

Australian Labor parliamentarian demands nationalist “pledge of allegiance” for school children

By Patrick O’Connor, 28 January 2020

Aspiring Labor leader Tanya Plibersek delivered a jingoistic speech demanding that children recite a pledge of allegiance to the country.

Australian prime minister’s role in sports pork-barrelling intensifies political crisis

By Mike Head, 27 January 2020

Less than nine months after barely surviving the May 2019 poll, Morrison’s government is widely reviled and beset by internal rifts.

Australian Labor Party demands faster development of attack submarines

By Patrick O’Connor, 25 January 2020

While the opposition has closed ranks behind the government over the nation-wide bushfire crisis, on this issue of “national security” the Labor Party is keen to burnish its militarist credentials.

Australians suffer violent hailstorms, flash floods and ongoing fires

By Martin Scott, 25 January 2020

As bushfires continue to burn, Australian communities have been ravaged by other extreme climatic events.

Indian midday-meal workers strike for higher wages; Australian rail workers strike again

Workers Struggles: Asia and Australia

25 January 2020

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

Australian workers to pay as bushfire disaster intensifies slump

By Mike Head, 24 January 2020

Continued wage stagnation, job losses and social spending cuts are predicted for 2020 and beyond.

Australian government releases whitewash report after more than 1,200 people die waiting for disability services

By Max Newman, 24 January 2020

More than one person a day has died since July 2016 waiting for National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) support packages.

Australia: NSW Ambulance staff forced to do overtime to cover under-staffing

By Clare Bruderlin, 23 January 2020

The pressure on over-worked paramedics and other ambulance workers is the result of years of budget cuts and understaffing.

Tasmanian premier’s resignation highlights political discontent across Australia

By Mike Head, 22 January 2020

Under successive governments, both Liberal and Labor, the island state has become a microcosm of the financial and social devastation being inflicted on millions of people throughout the country.

Australia: Thousands protest government inaction on bushfires and climate change

By our reporters, 22 January 2020

The organisers of the Melbourne demonstration provided no way forward beyond the confines of the capitalist system that has led to environmental destruction.

Sports grants pork-barrelling adds to political disaffection in Australia

By Mike Head, 21 January 2020

For decades, every government, whether Coalition or Labor, has engaged in similar handouts, but this affair breaks new ground.

Spate of retail closures underscores deepening Australian economic slump

By Terry Cook, 21 January 2020

The crisis in the retail sector is a result of declining or stagnating wages and a soaring cost of living, which has resulted in a collapse in consumers’ purchasing power.

Bushfire scientist warns that Australia’s disaster is “a wake-up call”

By Frank Gaglioti, 20 January 2020

“If nothing is done to address climate change this wildfire season will be a preview into our future.”

Australian Labor Party closes ranks with Morrison government in bushfire crisis

By Oscar Grenfell, 18 January 2020

Labor leader Anthony Albanese has largely refrained from criticising the inadequate government response on the grounds of ensuring “national unity.”

Smoke haze from Australian bushfires pose serious public health threat

By John Mackay, 18 January 2020

The fine particulates in smoke from fires has been known to contain a toxic mix of chemicals that are a concern to public health.

Mumbai hospital workers demand outstanding wages; South Korean car workers strike; Australian tram drivers vote to walk out

Workers Struggles: Asia and Australia

18 January 2020

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

Australian fires leave tens of thousands in financial hardship and stress

By James Cogan, 17 January 2020

The fires have most severely affected low-income workers and welfare recipients, self-employed contractors, small-business owners and family farmers.

Australia: Balmoral firefighters say they were “abandoned” and demand better resources

By our reporters, 17 January 2020

“Governments are definitely not looking after us—there’s too many hidden agendas—and things are not being done to make sure we’ve got adequate power or water.”

Australian bushfire crisis highlights sweeping emergency powers

By Mike Head, 16 January 2020

By proclaiming “emergencies,” state governments can override any law in order to suppress rising social unrest.

Australia: NSW bushfire victims condemn inadequate planning and government responses

By our reporters, 16 January 2020

“Volunteers are dwindling in numbers and the average age is increasing. You can’t go flogging these people for 11 weeks of fire fighting.”

The prosecution of Julian Assange, the destruction of legality and the rise of the national security state

By Richard Hoffman, 15 January 2020

The political and legal attack on Assange represents a qualitative intensification of the destruction of core rights and, indeed, on legality itself as the mode of bourgeois rule.

Australia: Mount Druitt residents respond to police attacks on OneFour drill rap group

By our reporters, 15 January 2020

“The coppers are the government’s gang. The police do get funded a lot more than any other service in this area.”

Australia’s Pine Gap spy base likely involved in the assassination of Qassem Suleimani

By Patrick O’Connor, 14 January 2020

No-one within the Australian media and political establishment has raised the question as to whether the Pine Gap spy base in central Australia played a role in the killing.

Australian Greens bogus posturing on bushfire crisis

By Oscar Grenfell, 14 January 2020

The Greens are seeking to reprise their role as junior partners in a Labor-led government that would do nothing to resolve the environmental or social crisis.

Australia: Kinglake residents speak on government inaction 11 years after Black Saturday blaze killed 173

By our reporters, 14 January 2020

One resident stated: “I don’t care which party they are from—Labor, Liberal, whatever—these politicians only look after their pockets.”

Australian PM declares “new normal” of climate disasters

By Mike Head, 13 January 2020

Morrison’s performance was a desperate attempt at political damage control, combined with an effort to exploit the bushfire disaster to boost the “emergency” powers of the armed forces.

Australia: Gospers Mountain fire survivors denounce government cuts in firefighting and bush management

By our reporters, 13 January 2020

One resident stated “With regards to government policy, it’s all about the bottom line. It’s all about money.”

Archives Australia suppresses documents detailing Papua New Guinea intervention

By John Braddock, 13 January 2020

The suppressed documents will contain further damning evidence of Canberra’s 1997 destabilisation operations in its former colony.

The Australian fire crisis and the necessity for socialism

the Socialist Equality Party (Australia), 11 January 2020

That the Australian prime minister denied any link between the fires and global warming epitomises the organic incapacity of the ruling classes internationally to address, let alone resolve, the climate crisis.

“It’s the big companies that are responsible for this”

Mass climate change rallies held amid Australian bushfire emergency

By our reporters, 11 January 2020

One protester, whose family has been hit by the fires, said: “The rich and those in power have their own houses, their own air conditioners. They can fly away to Hawaii. They’re not impacted.”

US and Australia ready another “regime-change” operation in Solomon Islands

By Patrick O’Connor, 11 January 2020

American and Australian officials had exerted considerable efforts to dissuade Sogavare from aligning with China, and reacted with fury to his diplomatic switch away from Taiwan.

India: Haryana public transport workers strike against outsourcing; Pakistani journalists oppose salary and job cuts

Workers Struggles: Asia and Australia

11 January 2020

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

“Everyone is saying this government has to go”

Australia: Victim of East Gippsland bushfire voices anger over government negligence

By Margaret Rees, 10 January 2020

“The amount of money they spend on submarines and fighter planes. It should be spent on internal water bombers and resources.”

Teachers condemn union’s sell-out agreement in New South Wales

By our reporter, 10 January 2020

The New South Wales Teachers Federation held anti-democratic mass meetings last month, which did nothing to resolve the pay and workload crisis facing teachers.

Inadequate government relief for Australian bushfire victims

By James Cogan, 9 January 2020

With his government under siege, Prime Minister Morrison announced that $2 billion in assistance will be provided over the next two years.

Australian bushfire victims speak-out: “What is our government doing at the moment?”

By our reporters, 9 January 2020

One resident of Balmoral, a village in NSW, stated: “We’ve been through tough times before but nothing like this. The size of fires is unprecedented. All the resources are stretched to breaking point.”

Widespread opposition among South Australian teachers to union-government sell-out agreement

By Sue Phillips, 9 January 2020

The AEU claims that the government’s offer was passed by a narrow margin of 54–46 percent.

Australian bushfire catastrophe exposes the contempt of the ruling elites for working people

By James Cogan, 8 January 2020

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison will go down in history as the political leader who secretly went on holiday to Hawaii while the country burned.

Australian government backs US provocations against Iran

By Oscar Grenfell, 8 January 2020

Government representatives responded to the illegal US assassination of General Suleimani by expressing “concern” over “Iran’s behaviour” and insisting Australian troops remain in Iraq.