Australia

Australian government continues to imprison Tamil refugee family

By Max Newman, 20 March 2020

Despite legal challenges and widespread opposition, the government remains determined to deport the family to Sri Lanka.

Australian doctors condemn government response to COVID-19 “disaster”

By Mike Head, 19 March 2020

Letters, signed by thousands of doctors, warn that a catastrophe “worse” than Italy’s can only be averted by a lockdown and the urgent pouring of resources into hospitals.

Doctors condemn Australian government’s refusal to defend Julian Assange

By Oscar Grenfell, 19 March 2020

Doctors4Assange has restated its demand that the Australian government immediately fulfil its obligations to Assange, under conditions in which his life is imperilled by the coronavirus pandemic.

Australian workers face mass job cuts amid coronavirus crisis

By Oscar Grenfell, 18 March 2020

Millions of workers, especially those employed on a casual basis, face financial ruin amid the collapse of the airline, hospitality and tourism sectors.

Australian government to use “foreign interference” laws against China-linked targets

By Mike Head, 18 March 2020

Under US pressure, the Morrison government is making Chinese people the initial victims of the legislation, to help create the conditions to more broadly outlaw anti-war and anti-government political activity.

Close Australian schools to stave off coronavirus! Form action committees of teachers and school staff!

By the Committee for Public Education, 18 March 2020

The Committee for Public Education insists that in the face of a public health emergency, the voices of teachers and education workers must be heard!

Health official warns that 150,000 Australians could die in coronavirus pandemic

By Mike Head, 17 March 2020

Many of these people will die as a direct result of the failure of the governments, both federal and state, to take the urgently needed action and allocate the necessary medical resources.

Australian governments invoke emergency powers amid COVID-19 disaster

By Mike Head, 17 March 2020

These laws contain powers only previously used in wartime, such as arbitrarily detaining, imprisoning or imposing massive fines on people, to be imposed now in the name of protecting public health.

Australia: Queensland coroner finds Ardent Leisure culpable for Dreamworld theme park deaths

By Terry Cook, 17 March 2020

The coronial report demonstrated that the four tragic deaths in 2016 were the result of the subordination of customers’ safety to the pursuit of profit.

Australian universities exploit COVID-19 crisis to cut jobs and courses

By Mike Head, 16 March 2020

The University of Tasmania last week announced the elimination of about three-quarters of its course offerings by next year.

Australian medical official warns coronavirus could infect 1.5 million in NSW

By Oscar Grenfell, 14 March 2020

Doctors have warned that as the pandemic spreads, they may be unable to treat critically-ill patients due to hospital bed shortages.

Australia: Melbourne teachers vote to defend Assange and Manning

By the Committee For Public Education (CFPE), 14 March 2020

The important stand taken by the teachers should be followed by employees at every workplace and industry around the world.

Tamil Nadu sanitary workers demand permanent jobs; Sri Lankan plantation workers strike; New Zealand bus drivers resume industrial action

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

14 March 2020

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

Australian government hands billions to business as coronavirus worsens economic slump

By Mike Head, 13 March 2020

Within hours, Morrison’s “stimulus” package was swamped by the deteriorating economic news from around the world and share prices plunged.

Growing opposition to company-union attacks at Qantas Australia

By Terry Cook, 13 March 2020

The attempt by Qantas and its low-cost subsidiary Jetstar to slash the conditions of pilots and ground crews is part of a global onslaught against airline workers.

Australian health professionals speak on lack of preparation for coronavirus pandemic

By our reporters, 12 March 2020

“There is a perception that the government does not care about the interests and safety of healthcare workers, and trust in authorities is low.”

Negligent Australian government response threatens widespread Covid-19 infection

By James Cogan, 11 March 2020

The great risk is that the virus is spreading, largely unknown and unchecked, via transmission within Australia—as took place in Italy and elsewhere.

Australian PM makes a desperate pitch to avert economic disaster

By Mike Head, 10 March 2020

Morrison’s speech shows that his main concern is to protect corporate profits and prop up his discredited government, not protect people from the coronavirus.

Australian government moves to boost data-swapping with US spy network

By Mike Head, 9 March 2020

These developments underscore the fear in ruling circles that working people worldwide use encrypted messages to discuss and organise free of government eaves-dropping.

Murdoch’s News Corp shuts down Australian Associated Press

By Patrick O’Connor, 9 March 2020

Australia already has one of the most monopolised media industries in the world, with Murdoch publications comprising more than 70 percent of all newspapers sold.

Australian Labor MP feigns concern over US extradition of Julian Assange

By Oscar Grenfell, 7 March 2020

Penny Wong did not differ with government representatives, who explicitly endorsed the British judiciary’s brutal attacks on Assange’s legal and democratic rights.

Australia: “Teachers for Assange and Manning” campaign in Melbourne

By Sue Phillips, 7 March 2020

The active intervention of teachers and education support staff is just one indication of the growing concern among millions of people that Assange’s persecution has immense implications.

Local transmission of coronavirus increasing in Australia

By James Cogan, 6 March 2020

Frustration and anger are rising over the lack of pre-emptive action by federal and state governments.

As anger mounts over Assange’s persecution, former foreign minister Carr calls for moral appeals to Australian government

By Richard Phillips, 6 March 2020

Veteran Labor leader Bob Carr is attempting to divert the growing movement for the release of Assange into dead-end appeals to the Australian parliament.

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.