Australia

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

By 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.

Australia: Surveys reveal majority of former car workers unable to find decent jobs

By Terry Cook, 7 January 2020

Former centres of car production, such as Elizabeth in Adelaide and Broadmeadows in Melbourne, have been left mired in social crisis.

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.”

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.