Australia

After another weekend of devastation, Australia faces weeks more of unprecedented fires

By James Cogan, 6 January 2020

A discernable shift is underway in how masses of people view the political parties and institutions that have downplayed or denied the reality of climate change.

Ruling class bereft of answers while catastrophic fires escalate across Australia

By James Cogan, 4 January 2020

The criminal indifference of the Australian ruling elite to the threat of climate change has its parallels around the world.

Australia: Climate change and the bushfire crisis

By Frank Gaglioti, 4 January 2020

“Long-term climate change in Australia is an undeniable reality.”

Ex-Australian foreign minister calls for release of Julian Assange to halt damage to US alliance

By Mike Head, 4 January 2020

Carr’s statement is, first of all, a symptom of the alarm within the ruling class about the mounting popular demand for the freedom of the WikiLeaks founder.

Garbage collectors strike in India’s Maharashtra state capital; military vehicle production workers oppose sackings in Tamil Nadu

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and New Zealand

4 January 2020

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

As Australia burns, anger turns on climate change-denying Prime Minister Morrison

By James Cogan, 3 January 2020

Morrison’s reception in the town of Cobargo was only one indication of the outrage that exists toward federal and state governments.

“Robodebt” regime continues to inflict suffering on Australian welfare recipients

By Mike Head, 3 January 2020

The issuing of automated debt letters has been a calculated means of slashing social spending.

Fires create hellish conditions across Australia

By Mike Head, 31 December 2019

An unprecedented mass evacuation order for an area half the size of Belgium gave tens of thousands of residents and holidaymakers just hours to pack up and leave.

Australia: Legal report documents “unlawful” police response to Melbourne climate protest

By Eric Ludlow, 31 December 2019

The 45-page report exposes the increasingly repressive measures being employed by police around Australia against political dissent.

Australian Labor and Liberal ministers agree on further regressive education measures

By Patrick Kelly, 31 December 2019

The Alice Springs (Mparntwe) Declaration subordinates education policy even more explicitly to the demands of the largest corporations for a trained and readily exploited workforce.

Worsening Australian fires pose the need for urgent action on climate change

By James Cogan, 30 December 2019

No region or nation-state on the planet is immune to the impact of climate change.

Australia: Julian Assange support group formed in Alice Springs

By our reporters, 30 December 2019

The central Australian group points to the sort of formations workers and youth around the world need to establish in order to secure the release of Assange and Manning.

Australian mental health report highlights a systemic crisis

By Margaret Rees, 28 December 2019

Patients, carers and medical staff “are being traumatised by an under-resourced system.”

Desperate to stem protests, dozens of governments shut down internet access in 2019

By Andre Damon, 27 December 2019

Amid a global upsurge of political protests and strikes, governments all over the world are shutting down the internet in desperate bids to stem the tide of popular opposition.

Research explains how the measles virus destroys immune “memory”

By Frank Gaglioti, 27 December 2019

The measles virus is particularly dangerous as it wipes out immunity previously acquired after exposure to other microbes in a process known as “immune amnesia.”

Police shut down “drill rap” group’s Australian tour

By Martin Scott, 27 December 2019

Despite the censorship, Onefour, whose music references life in impoverished neigbourhoods, has amassed a significant following online.

Australian police begin “foreign interference” raids

By Mike Head, 24 December 2019

The Weekend Australian’s “exclusive” story signals an offensive by the police and intelligence agencies to carry out the first prosecutions under draconian “foreign interference” laws.

Journalist Peter Hartcher and the anti-China campaign in Australia

By James Cogan, 24 December 2019

Hartcher’s essay in the Quarterly Essay is textbook propaganda for war. It seeks to cultivate nationalist fear and even paranoia about the intended enemy—China.

Australian fires bring growing global climate crisis into stark relief

By James Cogan, 23 December 2019

The catastrophic fires in Australia follow blazes that have engulfed large areas of California, Siberia, Borneo and the Amazon.

Australia: Toxic air from bushfires rated a “public health emergency”

By John Mackay, 23 December 2019

Health professionals have called on governments to take action amid record levels of bushfire haze in towns and cities.

As Australian Labor Party embraces big business, Greens plead for new partnership

By Mike Head, 23 December 2019

Senator Di Natale publicly telegraphed the Greens’ hopes of forming a coalition government with Labor.

Inequality and falling living standards fuel political “fragility” in Australia

By Mike Head, 21 December 2019

The financial elite’s enrichment has occurred at the direct expense of the wages, working conditions and social services of the working class.

Australia: Lauded military veteran subject of second police investigation into alleged war crimes in Afghanistan

By James Cogan, 21 December 2019

The special forces were used for some of the most brutal aspects of the war, particularly hunting down and capturing or killing alleged Taliban resistance fighters.

Thousands of Indian construction workers demonstrate; Australian Jetstar workers strike

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and New Zealand

21 December 2019

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

Bush fires claim lives and property as Australia endures hottest days in recorded history

By James Cogan, 20 December 2019

The development of catastrophic conditions has been predicted and warned about for years.

Growing demands for Australian government to intervene in defence of Assange

By Oscar Grenfell, 19 December 2019

Labor and the Coalition have not responded to calls that they defend Assange, in keeping with their nine-year involvement in his persecution.

Australia: New South Wales residents speak out on bushfire crisis

By our reporters, 19 December 2019

“I’m more than certain that the Australian government has money to purchase planes to fight the fires, instead of wasting money on military jets and military equipment.”

Australia: Melbourne train and tram workers isolated by trade unions

By Patrick O’Connor and Steve Strietberg, 19 December 2019

The union has organised nothing but token industrial action, while keeping workers in the dark and subordinating them to draconian Fair Work industrial laws.

Severe heatwave set to worsen Australia’s bushfire emergency

By Martin Scott, 18 December 2019

Already exhausted firefighters are preparing to face horror weather conditions this week.

Jetstar Australia pilots and airline workers strike over wages and conditions

By Terry Cook and Oscar Grenfell, 18 December 2019

The stoppages are part of a global wave of opposition by airline workers to cost-cutting.

Brisbane forum calls for broad support for Assange and Manning

By Mike Head, 18 December 2019

The resolution adopted by the forum focussed on the need to take the defence of the WikiLeaks founder out to the working class globally.

Australian budget report points to impact of globally-driven slump

By Mike Head, 17 December 2019

The government drastically cut its forecasts for economic growth and tax revenues, as well as for wages.

Over 100 doctors demand Australian government act to save the life of Julian Assange “before it is too late”

By our reporters, 17 December 2019

Addressing Australian Foreign Minister Marise Payne, the doctors write: “Should Mr Assange die in a British prison, people will want to know what you, Minister, did to prevent his death.”

Doctors issue open letter to the Australian government: Julian Assange at risk of death in prison

17 December 2019

The following open letter has been issued to the Australian government by Doctors4Assange on behalf of more than 100 signatories.

Powerful response to call for stepped-up fight to free Assange and Manning at SEP (Australia) meeting

By our reporters, 17 December 2019

The speakers stressed that the upsurge of support for Assange and Manning was inseparable from the growth of the class struggle internationally.

Committee to Protect Journalists condemns Assange’s threatened extradition, but declares he is “not a journalist”

By Oscar Grenfell and Kevin Reed, 16 December 2019

The blog post justifying the decision to exclude Julian Assange from a list of imprisoned journalists is shot through with contradictions and double-speak.

Australian voters’ trust in political system falls to historic low

By Mike Head, 14 December 2019

People are drawing conclusions from decades of bitter experiences under successive Labor and Liberal-National governments.

Report highlights social crisis confronting Australian youth on welfare

By John Harris, 14 December 2019

Hundreds of thousands of working-class youth and students confront soaring housing and utility costs, and a deepening jobs crisis.

Tens of thousands Bangladeshi jute mill workers protest; Jetstar pilots and workers strike in Australia

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and New Zealand

14 December 2019

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

Australia: Thousands attend climate change rally in Sydney

By Martin Scott, 13 December 2019

While bushfires ravaged the state, workers and students gathered to protest government inaction on climate change.

Australia: Governments, unions responsible for spate of deaths in Queensland mining industry

By Robert Campion, 12 December 2019

The dangerous conditions are a result of the gutting of safety measures and the wholesale destruction of full-time employment throughout the sector.

Australia: Workers stop work in response to hazardous air conditions

By James Cogan, 11 December 2019

Air quality in Sydney yesterday registered over 11 times the official “hazardous level” due to smoke blowing in from bushfires in surrounding areas.

Growing poverty and inequality in New Zealand

By Tom Peters, 11 December 2019

Despite the Labour Party’s promises, poverty, housing unaffordability and food insecurity have increased significantly in the past two years.

Australian doctor condemns Britain’s denial of adequate medical care to Julian Assange

By Oscar Grenfell, 10 December 2019

Dr Chesterfield-Evans said that prior to the Assange case, he had “never seen governments completely wipe their hands of an individual, lock people up and refuse to give them medical treatment.”

Worker killed in horrendous incident on Sydney construction site

By Terry Cook, 10 December 2019

The latest tragic death brings the number of fatalities in the sector for 2019 to 22.

Australian economy remains in slump as trade tensions mount

By Mike Head, 10 December 2019

Corporate profits and share prices have soared in 2019, but at the expense of falling real wages and rising unemployment.

Appreciative audience at Australian launch of Why Are They Back?

By our reporter, 10 December 2019

The Sydney event probed the political climate behind the re-emergence of fascism and militarism in Germany and internationally.

Australian PM defends secret “national security” trials

By Mike Head, 9 December 2019

Morrison’s statement is further evidence of the creation of a police-state framework, overturning the fundamental democratic principle of public jury trials.

Youth demonstrating in Australia speak out against climate change and war

By our reporters, 9 December 2019

Students attended climate change protests in major cities in solidarity with rallies organised globally on November 29.

Following police shooting in Yuendumu

Australian governments reject calls for removal of armed police from Aboriginal settlements

By Richard Phillips, 7 December 2019

With about 30 percent of its population being indigenous, the Northern Territory is Australia’s most heavily-policed state or territory.

Australian cities bathed in smoke from hundreds of bushfires

By Martin Scott, 7 December 2019

Fires in four states have destroyed homes and caused hazardous air pollution.

WikiLeaks editor Kristinn Hrafnsson speaks at Melbourne forum in defence of Assange

By Eric Ludlow, 7 December 2019

In an indication of growing support for Assange, the forum was attended by over 100 people and addressed by two prominent lawyers and an academic.

Meeting of Australian teachers passes resolutions in defence of Julian Assange

By Oscar Grenfell, 6 December 2019

The teachers have taken an important stand which points the way forward for other educators, and for all sections of the working class, in the fight for democratic rights and against the persecution of Assange.

Australian media’s “Chinese spy defection” story unravels

By Oscar Grenfell, 5 December 2019

The collapse of Wang Liqiang’s story, and the revelation that he is most likely “the spy who wasn’t,” is an object lesson in the fraudulent character of the entire anti-China campaign.

Australian teenagers call for support for Julian Assange

By Mike Head, 5 December 2019

“The only way to help Assange is a mass of people having his back and supporting him so that they have to release him because the people are against it.”

Assange is facing a “new form of forced rendition”

WikiLeaks editor Kristinn Hrafnsson addresses the Australian press club

By Oscar Grenfell, 4 December 2019

Hrafnsson said Assange’s “rendition” was not taking place “with a sack over the head and an orange jumpsuit, but with the enabling of the UK legal system and with the apparent support of the Australian government.”

Australian government launches “foreign interference” taskforce

By Mike Head, 4 December 2019

The announcement was clearly made to meet demands in the ruling circles for prosecutions under the draconian “foreign interference” laws pushed through parliament last year.

Australian coronial inquiry clears prison officers in death of young Aboriginal man

By Robert Campion, 4 December 2019

References to the need for “greater training” are aimed at covering up the systemic character of state violence against working class, poor and indigenous people thrown into the prison system.

Australia: Vote ‘no’ to the NSWTF salaries agreement! Form rank-and-file committees to defend public education

By the Committee For Public Education, 4 December 2019

The NSW Teachers Federation is seeking to split and isolate teachers as they meet at hundreds of different venues across the state to hear details of the latest award.

Australia: Ongoing health fallout from 2018 toxic chemical blaze

By Margaret Rees, 3 December 2019

Firefighters and residents are continuing to suffer ill effects from the huge fire in Melbourne’s West Footscray.

WikiLeaks editor Kristinn Hrafnsson: “If Julian is taken to that Devil’s Island across the Atlantic, his life is lost”

By Oscar Grenfell and Richard Phillips, 3 December 2019

In an interview with the WSWS, Hrafnsson stated: “The case of Julian Assange is, in all senses, the turning point. It is the biggest and the most serious attack on journalism and the free press in decades, if not 100 years.”

Australian government defeat on “integrity” bill points to underlying political crisis

By Mike Head, 2 December 2019

The bill’s rejection has left the government’s agenda in tatters, just six months after it barely scraped back into office at the May 18 election.

SEP meeting in Alice Springs demands freedom for Assange and Manning

By our reporters, 2 December 2019

“Something inside me told me that I had to do everything to defend Assange… It was going to be one of those life-defining moments for me”—Margaret Richardson

Central Australian residents speak out in defence of Julian Assange

By our reporters, 2 December 2019

“Assange is a journalist, he’s done nothing wrong and we need to get him back to Australia. There should be marches, rallies, protests and that sort of thing everywhere.”

Australian bank chief resigns over money laundering charges

By Mike Head, 30 November 2019

This latest scandal does not directly involve cheating customers, but centres on allegations of evading official transaction-tracking measures.

Groundswell of support for WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange

By Oscar Grenfell, 30 November 2019

The surge of support for Assange is a welcome blow to the conspiracy of silence surrounding his persecution, enforced by governments, establishment parties and the corporate media around the world.

Indian auto parts workers demand union rights; Bangladesh cargo workers on indefinite strike; French Polynesia hotel workers expand walkout

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and New Zealand

30 November 2019

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

Australian Labor Party shuts down parliamentary discussion on Assange

By Oscar Grenfell, 29 November 2019

It is a glaring exposure of the thoroughly rotten character of the Labor Party that, on the issue of Assange, it is well to the right of Joyce, a conservative nationalist and populist.

Australia: Queensland parliament forum reflects growing support for Assange

By Mike Head, 29 November 2019

While largely focussed on lobbying parliamentarians, the meeting gave expression to the deep-felt concern of working class and professional people over the persecution of the WikiLeaks founder.

Workers underpaid by $1.35 billion a year

Low wage rises in Australia “become the new normal”

By Nick Beams, 29 November 2019

A survey conducted by the accounting and financial firm PwC has found that 13 percent of the Australian workforce is being underpaid.

Australian establishment’s anti-China campaign goes into overdrive

By Oscar Grenfell, 28 November 2019

There is little doubt that the anti-China barrage in Australia is the result of consultations with, and substantial pressure from, the US military and intelligence establishment.

Australian PM rejects Pamela Anderson’s appeal that his government defend Assange

By Oscar Grenfell, 27 November 2019

The refusal of the Coalition and Labor to uphold Assange’s rights as an Australian citizen is inextricably tied to their support for the US alliance and their own turn to police state measures.

A secret trial in Canberra points to extent of Australia’s police-state powers

By Mike Head, 27 November 2019

All details of the man’s prosecution and imprisonment, even the very existence of the case, have been suppressed by undisclosed gag orders.

Christoph Vandreier and David North to speak at Sydney Gleebooks launch of Why Are They Back?

27 November 2019

Vandreier’s and North’s discussion will focus on the historical lessons that must be learned in order to build a mass working class movement capable of preventing the disaster of Nazism from taking place on an even greater scale today.

Resolution: Stop the US extradition of WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange! Free Assange and Manning!

26 November 2019

The following resolution was unanimously adopted by a meeting called by the Socialist Equality Party in Sydney last November 24. Similar resolutions were passed at events in Brisbane, Alice Springs and Wellington, New Zealand.

Australian media and intelligence agencies reveal “Chinese spy” defection

By Oscar Grenfell, 26 November 2019

Despite the implausible character of many of the defector’s claims, they have been presented uncritically by media outlets seeking to bolster the escalating and protracted campaign against supposed “Chinese interference.”

Meetings in Australia and New Zealand pass resolutions demanding freedom of Julian Assange and Chelsea Manning

By our reporter, 26 November 2019

The meetings on the weekend took place just days after Swedish prosecutors had abandoned—for the third time—their “preliminary investigation” into the false allegations that Assange had committed sexual assault.

Attendees at meetings in Australia and NZ support campaign for release of Assange and Manning

By our reporters, 26 November 2019

“What’s happening to Julian Assange affects us all. He has told the truth and he has exposed the war criminals and that’s why the US wants him.”

Assange’s lawyer Jennifer Robinson addresses public meetings in Australia

By Patrick O’Connor, 25 November 2019

Robinson warned that the US attempt to prosecute Assange for publishing the truth was setting a “terrifying precedent” for all journalists and media organisations.

Australian Labor Party leader steps up pitch to big business

By Mike Head, 25 November 2019

Albanese lauded the Labor governments of the 1980s and 1990s for their pro-market restructuring, and committed Labor to implementing the next wave of such “reform.”

“We are all Julian Assange”

Interviews with Alice Springs workers and youth about public meeting to defend Assange and Manning

By our reporters, 23 November 2019

Popular support in Alice Springs for imprisoned journalist Julian Assange is matched by a deep distrust of government authorities and the major parliamentary parties.

Sydney Morning Herald columnist defends Swedish frame-up of Assange

By Oscar Grenfell, 22 November 2019

Miller’s article had the character of a rearguard action, aimed at defending the discredited lies and slanders that have been used to justify the persecution of Julian Assange.

Attend “Free Assange and Manning” meetings this weekend in Australia and New Zealand

By our reporter, 22 November 2019

All those who value and uphold core democratic principles, and who support the freedom of Assange and Manning, should attend the meetings this weekend.

Australian bushfire crisis spreads as PM denies climate change link

By Mike Head, 22 November 2019

Apocalyptic scenes of raging walls of flames, orange skies and acrid smoke hazes in major cities have fuelled a political crisis.

Former Australian spy chief steps up anti-China campaign

By Nick Beams, 22 November 2019

After stoking paranoia over an purported Chinese “threat,” Lewis called on members of the Chinese community to be recruited to assist the security agencies in the same way people in Islamic communities had been enlisted to inform on alleged “terrorist” risks.

Australian Strategic Forum tries to downplay danger of US-China conflict

By James Cogan, 21 November 2019

Warnings that US-China tensions could lead to war were largely dismissed by the majority of the forum speakers.

Australian Labor Party leader dodges state party conference

By Mike Head, 20 November 2019

The fact that Albanese felt he could not appear spoke volumes about the political crisis gripping the party.

Australian establishment up-in-arms after Beijing bans visit by two MPs

By James Cogan, 19 November 2019

The hypocrisy of the latest anti-China outburst is underscored by the Australian government refusal to allow Chelsea Manning, the American whistleblower and defender of democratic rights, to travel to the country.

Australian bushfire crisis continues as political fallout intensifies

By Mike Head, 18 November 2019

Prime Minister Morrison and Labor Party leader Albanese have both tried to call a halt to any discussion of the crucial issues raised by the fires.

Indian Honda contract workers still on strike; West Bengal teachers demand pay rise; maintenance workers take industrial action at Australian paper mill

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and New Zealand

16 November 2019

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

Mass protests after police shoot and kill Aboriginal teenager in remote Australian town

By Eric Ludlow, 15 November 2019

The police killing of Kumanjayi Walker in the poverty-stricken Northern Territory community of Yuendumu has led to widespread protests across Australia.

Petition calling for Julian Assange’s freedom tabled in Australian parliament

By James Cogan, 15 November 2019

The number of people who have signed the petition is a measure of the broader support and sympathy for Assange.

Australia: Bushfires continue to ravage New South Wales and Queensland

By Martin Scott, 14 November 2019

Four people are dead and more than 300 homes have been lost in catastrophic fires.

Australian aged care report: “A shocking tale of neglect”

By Cheryl Crisp, 13 November 2019

The inquiry’s “urgent” recommendations do nothing to address the underlying reasons for these appalling conditions.

Australian workers and youth speak-out in support of Julian Assange

By our reporters, 13 November 2019

“Governments are trying to hide the truth and lie to the people. That’s why they are unfairly persecuting Assange and confining him to prison.”

Australian bushfire emergency worsens but government denounces climate change warnings

By Mike Head, 12 November 2019

Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack caused outrage by attacking “raving inner city lunatics” for linking global warming to the bushfires.

Australian Labor Party review covers up causes of federal election debacle

By Oscar Grenfell, 11 November 2019

The real reason for Labor’s defeat is that it is incapable of making a credible appeal to workers and young people, after decades of having imposed the dictates of big business.

Australia: All Sydney bus services to be privatised within two years

By Martin Scott, 9 November 2019

Thousands of drivers and other workers face an uncertain future as the state government continues the sell-off of public transport.

Honda motorcycle and Kerala state transport workers strike in India; Pakistan health workers oppose privatisation

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

9 November 2019

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

Australia: Woolworths admits to massively underpaying staff

By Terry Cook, 8 November 2019

In one of the most glaring examples of the widespread practice of wage theft, Australia’s largest supermarket chain has admitted to underpaying thousands of staff by $300 million over the past decade.