Australia and South Pacific

Australia’s national cabinet steps up “reopening” despite COVID-19 surge

By Mike Head, 11 July 2020

Since the government leaders started lifting restrictions at breakneck speed in late May, the number of new confirmed infections has begun to soar.

Online book launch of The Most Dangerous Man in the World defends Assange

By Oscar Grenfell, 11 July 2020

Author Andrew Fowler said that journalists “should be more supportive” of Assange “because of what he taught us.”

India: Airport workers in Kerala oppose sackings; Telangana private school teachers hold state-wide demonstrations

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and New Zealand

11 July 2020

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

Victoria records highest number of cases since pandemic began, as Australian coronavirus surge intensifies

By Oscar Grenfell, 10 July 2020

Victoria's chief medical officer told the press: “We will see an increase in hospitalised and ICU cases and in deaths in the coming days because of the spike that we have seen.”

NTEU steps up collaboration with Australian university managements amid job cuts “tsunami”

By Mike Head, 10 July 2020

The union is pushing ahead with deals to impose unprecedented sacrifices on university workers in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I’ve been made to feel like a criminal, but I haven’t done anything wrong”

Melbourne public housing resident denounces Australian police lockdown

By Eric Ludlow, 9 July 2020

Kat, a working-class mother, spoke with the WSWS about the conditions in the locked-down public housing towers, home to some of the most oppressed sections of the working class.

Melbourne public housing residents condemn Australian police lockdown

By Martin Scott and Oscar Grenfell, 9 July 2020

“Instead of nurses, doctors and social workers, they send us the police, which gives the wrong message among the community.”

Australia: Woolworths to slash more than 1,300 warehousing jobs

By Patrick Davies, 9 July 2020

Like other corporations, the supermarket chain is using the pandemic to restructure its operations at the expense of jobs and working conditions.

What is behind the New Zealand health minister’s resignation?

By Tom Peters, 9 July 2020

The resignation of David Clark just months before an election, in the middle of the coronavirus pandemic, points to political instability in the Labour Party-led government.

Oppose the Melbourne public housing towers lock-in! For a health and welfare response, not a police mobilisation!

By the Socialist Equality Party (Australia), 9 July 2020

The SEP calls for the formation of local safety committees, both within the tower blocks and more broadly, to organise measures to protect the residents and the working class as a whole.

Limited lockdown imposed in Melbourne as COVID-19 surges in Australia

By Oscar Grenfell, 8 July 2020

The spike in Victoria refutes the claims of federal and state governments that the coronavirus could be locally-contained as they “reopen the economy.”

The COVID-19 vaccine and the drive for profit

By Frank Gaglioti, 8 July 2020

As the pandemic rages across the planet, the struggle to develop a vaccine has become an urgent task. But the vaccines will be weaponized for geopolitical purposes, not to provide the treatments equitably on a global scale.

Growing opposition to Australian police lockdown of Melbourne public housing residents

By Oscar Grenfell, 7 July 2020

One resident stated: “We should have seen buses and cars full of healthcare and mental health workers and social workers, not the police.”

Australian court rejects Murdoch appeal against Geoffrey Rush defamation verdict

By Linda Tenenbaum, 7 July 2020

Last week’s Federal Court verdict is another important blow against the anti-democratic #MeToo movement.

Thousands more jobs destroyed in Australia

By Terry Cook, 7 July 2020

Employers are continuing to utilise the COVID-19 pandemic to restructure their operations, shedding thousands of jobs and cutting working conditions.

Organise teachers, parents and school staff committees to oppose reckless school reopening in Melbourne!

By the Committee for Public Education (Australia), 7 July 2020

The CFPE calls for the formation of safety action committees to demand the suspension of the school system as part of a comprehensive public health and safety plan to protect the working class.

Vigils in New Zealand demand freedom for Julian Assange

By our reporters, 6 July 2020

The Socialist Equality Group’s Tom Peters spoke at one of the Wellington vigils, which was part of global protests held to mark the jailed WikiLeaks founder’s birthday.

Australian police confine Melbourne public housing residents indoors after COVID-19 outbreak

By Patrick O’Connor, 6 July 2020

The state Labor government opted for a police operation instead of having medical staff, social workers, and people in the community lead the necessary preventive measures.

Australian Labor Party vote falls further in by-election

By Mike Head, 6 July 2020

The biggest swings against Labor occurred in Queanbeyan, a largely working-class city neighbouring Canberra, the national capital.

Australian government seeks to place country on war footing

By Mike Head, 4 July 2020

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has identified the Indo-Pacific as the likely arena for another world war, directed against China.

Australia: Melbourne’s coronavirus outbreak continues to spread despite localised lockdown

By Oscar Grenfell, 4 July 2020

It only took days for the Victorian Labor government’s lockdown of ten Melbourne postcodes to be exposed as an ineffectual and punitive response to the rise in infections.

“Deep cleaning” in Australian schools: Image and reality

By Carolyn Kennett, 4 July 2020

As the COVID-19 pandemic spread, governments promised thoroughly cleaned classrooms, but school cleaners have neither the resources nor hours to conduct the necessary cleaning.

SEP (Australia) July 7 online lecture

A new period of socialist revolution and the tasks of the Fourth International

4 July 2020

The lecture will outline the contemporary significance of the Trotskyist movement’s fight for socialism internationalism, amid a breakdown of capitalism and an upsurge of the class struggle.

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

4 July 2020

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

The Assange precedent in action

Australian journalist threatened with prosecution for exposing war crimes in Afghanistan

By Oscar Grenfell, 3 July 2020

Like Assange, Australian Broadcasting Corporation journalist Dan Oakes faces prosecution for publishing evidence of war crimes in Afghanistan.

More migrants speak out against New Zealand’s visa-processing delays

By Tom Peters, 3 July 2020

There is growing support for a petition urging the government to immediately process tens of thousands of residency applications which have been left in limbo.

Hundreds of jobs axed as Australian Broadcasting Corporation imposes government cuts

By Richard Phillips, 3 July 2020

ABC management, in line with federal government and Murdoch media demands, is imposing another round of job cuts at the public broadcaster.

Australian cancer testing declines during coronavirus pandemic

By Clare Bruderlin, 1 July 2020

The lack of personal protective equipment in hospitals and shortages of masks, gloves and sanitiser available to the public have forced many people to put off appointments.

Australian government unveils military boost aimed against China

By Mike Head, 1 July 2020

Over the next decade, $575 billion will be spent on the armed forces, including an expanded $270 billion military hardware buildup, featuring “long-range strike capabilities.”

Australian state government locks down Melbourne working class suburbs

By Oscar Grenfell, 1 July 2020

While measures are required to contain the coronavirus, the lockdown will disproportionately affect workers, the unemployed and the poor.

COVID-19 cases increase across Pacific Island states

By John Braddock, 1 July 2020

The WHO warning underscores that the pandemic continues to escalate in all parts of the world.

Australian COVID-19 surge continues in Victoria

By Martin Scott, 30 June 2020

Almost 300 coronavirus cases have been detected in the state over the past seven days.

Australian court backs secret trial on East Timor bugging exposure

By Mike Head, 30 June 2020

The closed-door proceedings seek to protect the entire network of spy agencies involved in the escalating US confrontation with China.

Australian Labor Party intent on ousting MP from parliament over “Chinese agent” claims

By Mike Head, 29 June 2020

Labor wants to remove Shaoquett Moselmane despite his denunciation of his “political lynching.”

Australian paper mill workers locked out as company moves to slash wages

By Steve Strietberg, 29 June 2020

The company wants a two-tier wage system, with 15 percent lower pay rates for new employees.

Legal settlement lets Australian military off the hook over PFAS pollution

By Patrick Davies, 29 June 2020

The settlement will see victims share just $126 million of a $212 million payout and releases the Defence Department from any further claim over financial loss.

Australia’s US-backed anti-China witch hunt escalates with raid on MP’s home

By Mike Head, 27 June 2020

The operation is another step towards branding anyone who challenges Australia's involvement in the US offensive against Beijing as a “foreign agent.”

SEP (Australia) June 30 online lecture

The 1985–86 split with the WRP and the renaissance of Marxism

27 June 2020

The split ranks among the most crucial strategic experiences of the Trotskyist movement and the international working class.

Indian and Pakistani health workers strike over coronavirus safety; Australia Paper maintenance workers locked out

Workers Struggles: Asia and Australia

27 June 2020

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

Australian military deployed in Melbourne as COVID-19 infection rate surges

By Martin Scott, 26 June 2020

The daily rate of new cases in Victoria is at its highest since early April.

New Zealand Police brutally attack young man in Auckland

By Tom Peters, 26 June 2020

The attack on an unarmed Maori man in Auckland follows mass protests against police violence and the arming of officers.

Australian unions support Queensland Labor government’s public sector wage freeze

By Gary Alvernia, 26 June 2020

The pay “deferral” sets a new precedent for exploiting the COVID-19 emergency to intensify the ongoing corporate and government attack on the living and working conditions of workers.

Australia: Coronavirus infections spike in Melbourne’s working class suburbs

By Patrick O’Connor, 24 June 2020

Victoria’s Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton declared that the state was at a “tipping point.”

Australian police assault Aboriginal man with taser

By Oscar Grenfell, 24 June 2020

The victim of the unprovoked assault has been charged with intimidating the police while the officers involved have not even been stood down.

Ten years since the US-backed coup against Australian Labor PM

By Mike Head, 24 June 2020

Literally overnight, a handful of factional warlords, including US “protected sources,” engineered Prime Minister Kevin Rudd’s ouster, entirely behind the backs of the population.

Quarantine bungles in New Zealand threaten new COVID-19 outbreak

By Tom Peters, 23 June 2020

The Ardern government has placed the military in charge of quarantine hotels after health authorities allowed travellers to leave without being cleared of COVID-19.

Australian High Court rules tear-gassed youth detainees entitled to damages

By Martin Scott, 23 June 2020

Little has changed at the infamous Don Dale Youth Detention Centre since the high-profile 2014 incident.

Australian government steps up attack on university students and workers

By Mike Head, 22 June 2020

Assisted by the role of the unions, the government is seeking to further transform universities into vocational businesses, churning out “job-ready graduates.”

Australian university lecturers voice concerns about their conditions and the role of the NTEU

By our correspondent, 22 June 2020

“I was just stunned that the union did not even ask us if we wanted to negotiate a deal.”

Julian Assange’s fiancé calls on the Australian government to secure his freedom

By Oscar Grenfell, 22 June 2020

The “60 Minutes” program was the first substantive examination of Assange’s plight by the Australian media since the coronavirus pandemic began.

Australian COVID-19 cases increase as governments ease restrictions

By Martin Scott, 20 June 2020

For the first time since May 20, more than 100 positive tests were recorded in a seven-day period.

Joblessness reaches Great Depression levels in Australia

By Mike Head, 20 June 2020

The rate of youth unemployment and underemployment would be a staggering 48 percent if everyone who had lost their job was counted.

India: Bihar rural health workers demonstrate to defend jobs; Coimbatore textile workers protest over pay cuts

Workers Struggles: Asia and Australia

20 June 2020

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

Pandemic’s negative impact on Australian scientific research future could last decades

By John Mackay, 19 June 2020

Research in the university sector is expected to decrease by at least $3 billion in 2020 due to the pandemic.

Australian government alleges cyber-attack to ramp-up provocations against China

By Oscar Grenfell, 19 June 2020

Prime Minister Scott Morrison failed to provide any evidence of a cyber-attack, but the media rushed to proclaim that China was responsible.

Pandemic’s negative impact on Australian scientific research future could last decades

By John Mackay, 19 June 2020

Research in the university sector is expected to decrease by at least $3 billion in 2020 due to the pandemic.

SEP (Australia) June 23 online lecture

The ICFI and the war against Pabloism

19 June 2020

The lecture will review the international political context of the emergence of Pabloism, a national-opportunist tendency within the Fourth International.

Australian pseudo-left groups protect university union from revolt against pay-cutting plans

By a correspondent, 18 June 2020

University workers, in partnership with students, need to construct new rank-and-file organisations that are totally independent of the NTEU apparatus.

Membership-rigging exposes Australian Labor Party’s rot

By Mike Head, 18 June 2020

The sheer size of the latest branch stacking operations points to a deep crisis in the Labor and trade union apparatus.

Australian PM outlines bipartisan austerity offensive

By Oscar Grenfell, 17 June 2020

The government is winding back meagre relief measures introduced during the pandemic and intensifying an assault on working class jobs and conditions.

Aboriginal professor awarded an “Order of Australia” promotion

By Mike Head, 17 June 2020

How did Marcia Langton, who began her political life in the 1970s as a leader of the Communist League, become the beneficiary of a Queen’s Honour alongside ex-Prime Minister Tony Abbott?

Australian police allegedly threatened Sydney protesters with sound weapon

By Oscar Grenfell, 16 June 2020

Despite police denials, footage clearly indicates that NSW police were in possession of an LRAD device known for its use against demonstrations in the US.

Parents speak out against rushed re-opening of schools in Australia

By Sue Phillips and Kaye Tucker, 16 June 2020

The complicity of the education trade unions has left parents to express their concerns through social media, establishing Facebook pages and petitions.

New Zealand government lifts all COVID-19 restrictions

By Tom Peters, 16 June 2020

New Zealand’s health system is in severe crisis following decades of austerity and is unprepared for future COVID-19 outbreaks.

Protests against police violence and racism continue in New Zealand

By Tom Peters, 15 June 2020

Tens of thousands of people joined another day of protests as part of the global movement sparked by the murder of George Floyd by US police.

East Timorese government realignment shuts Xanana Gusmão out of power

By Patrick O’Connor, 15 June 2020

The sudden reversal of fortune for Gusmão has raised tensions in Timor’s capital Dili.

Reject Australian universities-NTEU job and pay cuts!

By the Committee for Public Education and the International Youth and Students for Social Equality, 15 June 2020

Despite intense opposition to the cuts among university workers, the trade unions are collaborating with the university managements to push through ballots to impose them.

Massive police display of force against Australian protests

By Mike Head, 13 June 2020

A wall of police manned barriers around Sydney Town Hall, preventing demonstrators from continuing to join the global protests against police violence.

True History of the Kelly Gang: Little resemblance to the real story

By Jason Quill and Richard Phillips, 13 June 2020

Justin Kurzel’s film is the 16th about the late 19th century Australian bushranger and anti-establishment outlaw.

India: Telangana coal mine workers strike against privatisation; Queensland hospital workers walkout over pay freeze

Workers Struggles: Asia and Australia

13 June 2020

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

Australian PM calls for mass arrests at protests against police violence

By Oscar Grenfell, 12 June 2020

Echoing Donald Trump, Scott Morrison declared that demonstrations had been “hijacked by left-wing radicals” who were pursuing “their own political agendas.”

Police shoot dead mentally ill man in Melbourne, Australia

By Karen Maxwell, 11 June 2020

The man’s death marks another incident where police have killed someone suffering a mental health crisis.

Pandemic intensifies growing mental health crisis in Australia

By Margaret Rees, 11 June 2020

The government’s promised spending displays the official contempt for those being devastated by mass unemployment and under-employment.

SEP (Australia) June 16 online lecture

The founding of the Fourth International

11 June 2020

The lecture will outline the immense contemporary relevance of Leon Trotsky’s establishment of the world party of socialist revolution in 1938.

Australian government ending COVID-19 childcare scheme

By Oscar Grenfell, 9 June 2020

The abrupt announcement is part of a broader roll-back of limited relief measures introduced in response to the pandemic.

Defying government threats, thousands join Australian protests against police violence

By Oscar Grenfell, 8 June 2020

Over 100,000 people demonstrated across the country, despite threats of large fines and an attempted ban of the Sydney rally.

Australian protesters speak out: “The class systems need to be abolished”

By our reporters, 8 June 2020

The demonstrations were “a great show of people power and it’s a great show of how the world should move forward.”

India and Australia sign military pact amid tense border conflict with China

By Mike Head, 8 June 2020

The Modi-Morrison “summit” occurred just two days after US President Trump reiterated his support for India’s confrontation with China.

New Zealand government introduces internet censorship legislation

By Tom Peters, 8 June 2020

The Labour Party-led government’s legislation would empower the Chief Censor “to make swift time-limited interim classification assessments of any publication.”

Australian governments try to block demonstrations against police violence

By Oscar Grenfell, 6 June 2020

The bans and police threats are outright attacks on the right to protest, a basic democratic right, aimed at establishing a precedent for suppressing mounting social and political opposition.

Australian government hands more cash to big business as recession deepens

By Mike Head, 6 June 2020

The slump began before the main COVID-19 pandemic restrictions commenced, and has led to the greatest loss of livelihoods since the 1930s Great Depression.

More Australian war crimes exposed in Afghanistan

By Jason Quill, 6 June 2020

The exposure of Ziauddin’s killing highlights the years of coverups by successive Australian governments, both Liberal-National and Labor, of military abuses in the Middle East.

India-wide protests by military armament and power industry workers; Australian airport workers demand JobKeeper pay

Workers Struggles: Asia and Australia

6 June 2020

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

Australia: NSW government pushes public sector wage freeze

By Martin Scott, 5 June 2020

The government is now asking the Industrial Relations Commission to deny nurses, teachers, paramedics, and other essential workers a promised 2.5 percent wage increase.

Hundreds of jobs axed as News Corp Australia shuts regional and suburban newspapers

By Richard Phillips, 5 June 2020

The Murdoch-owned company, like other media conglomerates, has seized on the COVID-19 crisis to drastically restructure operations and drive up profits.

NTEU helps Australian universities escalate job and wage cuts

By Mike Head, 5 June 2020

University managements are exploiting the union’s stifling of university workers’ outrage and opposition.

Nissan confirms job cuts as strike against Spanish plant closures continues

By Alejandro López, 5 June 2020

Thousands of Nissan workers, their families and sympathisers are striking, protesting and blocking roads to protest the automaker’s decision to shut down its Barcelona plant.

Anger over US police assault on Australian journalists in Washington DC

By Oscar Grenfell, 4 June 2020

Had the attack occurred in a country such as China or Iran, the muted response from the Australian political establishment would undoubtedly have been very different.

Australian inquest says “grossly deficient” safety caused death of Anglo American mine worker

By Terry Cook, 4 June 2020

The coronial inquest into the Grasstree Mine workers’ death in 2014 is a damning indictment of Anglo American safety standards.

Australian schools affected by new coronavirus clusters

By Patrick Kelly, 3 June 2020

The cases have exposed state and federal government claims, both Labor and Liberal, that teachers, staff and children are safe to return to school.

Australia’s richest “Top 20” soar further in wealth during pandemic

By Mike Head, 2 June 2020

The results illustrate the immense concentration of wealth since governments bailed out the financial elite after the 2008–09 economic breakdown.

Australian bushfire inquiry examines the terrible impact of smoke inhalation

By John Mackay, 2 June 2020

The number of deaths caused by smoke was more than ten times the number killed directly by the bushfires.

Administrative hearing in Julian Assange’s extradition case to be held today

By Oscar Grenfell, 1 June 2020

The hearings have had a farcical character, with Assange unable to participate due to coronavirus dangers and the press frequently excluded.

Australian university union pushes through pay-cutting deal at Western Sydney

By our correspondent, 1 June 2020

The NTEU prevented genuine discussion, refused to circulate opposing resolutions and backed management threats.

Australia’s “national cabinet” declared permanent

By Oscar Grenfell, 30 May 2020

The purpose of the new body is to suppress widespread social and political opposition, and create the conditions for a further pro-business restructuring of the economy.

Pandemic intensifies social crisis in New Zealand

By Tom Peters, 30 May 2020

More than a third of the population is in financial difficulty, as the Ardern Labour Party-led coalition government presides over tens of thousands of job cuts.

Indian autoworkers strike for COVID-19 safety measures; Thousands of Bangladeshi garment workers demonstrate

Workers Struggles: Asia and Australia

30 May 2020

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

Financial press hails Australian government’s union-employer offensive against workers

By Oscar Grenfell, 29 May 2020

The unions have committed to a sweeping pro-business overhaul of workplace conditions and industrial relations on the pretext of the pandemic.

Australian university union’s national deal collapses in face of widespread opposition

By Mike Head, 28 May 2020

Despite its debacle, the NTEU will intensify its collaboration with university managements to try and impose deep cuts to jobs, wages and conditions.

Oppose the rush to reopen Australian schools! Form safety action committees of teachers and staff!

By the Committee for Public Education (CFPE), 28 May 2020

At stake is not just the immediate public safety concerns in the face of the coronavirus pandemic, but the future of the education system.