Australia and South Pacific

Australian university sacks academic critical of Israeli and US wars

By Oscar Grenfell, 16 February 2019

The University of Sydney has carried out a serious attack on academic freedom, aimed at intimidating growing opposition to militarism and war.

SEP national secretary James Cogan participates in Unity4J discussion on the defence of Julian Assange

By our reporters, 16 February 2019

Cogan explained why the SEP has called demonstrations demanding the freedom of Julian Assange, as well as the broader campaign by the WSWS against internet censorship.

The State, Business and Education: How rapacious corporations are dismantling public education globally

By Erika Zimmer, 16 February 2019

Billionaires, global tech companies and national governments are imposing a profit-driven, user-pays system.

SEP (Australia) national secretary James Cogan to speak tomorrow on Unity4J online vigil

By our reporters, 15 February 2019

Cogan will be interviewed about the demonstrations called by the Socialist Equality Party to demand the freedom of WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange, and the broader campaign being waged by the WSWS against internet censorship.

Sydney meeting opposes persecution of Julian Assange

By our reporters, 15 February 2019

The event was addressed by Consortium News editor Joe Lauria, SEP national secretary James Cogan and other prominent WikiLeaks defenders.

Human rights advocate Professor Stuart Rees supports rallies for the freedom of Julian Assange

15 February 2019

“Julian Assange follows in the footsteps of a long tradition of journalists and whistleblowers who have made significant contributions to civil societies.”

Australian students endorse rallies to free Julian Assange

By our reporters, 14 February 2019

“I’m going, because I believe Assange should be set free and he should be defended. All people should go to the rallies if they believe in democratic rights.”

Australian government loses vote on refugee medical evacuation legislation

By Oscar Grenfell, 14 February 2019

The bill entrenches the power of the minister to prevent detained refugees from travelling to Australia and receiving desperately needed medical care.

New Zealand government expands police training in schools

By Tom Peters, 14 February 2019

The Police Studies course is being increased as part of the Labour-led government’s policy of boosting police recruitment, instilling discipline, and controlling the increasingly restive working class.

Australia: Expert warns of poor construction after Opal Tower evacuation and Melbourne cladding fire

By John Wilson, 13 February 2019

Governments at every level have been warned about dangerous construction standards.

Australian government claims credit for release of detained Bahraini footballer, but refuses to assist Julian Assange

By Oscar Grenfell, 12 February 2019

Politicians who have abrogated the right to seek asylum and joined the persecution of Julian Assange have postured as champions of persecuted refugees.

Acclaimed musician Roger Waters calls on people to demonstrate in Australia to defend Julian Assange

By the Socialist Equality Party (Australia), 11 February 2019

Roger Waters, the iconic voice of Pink Floyd and renowned solo artist, has called for action to free Julian Assange.

Australia: Northern Queensland flood causes widespread destruction

By Hugh Peters, 11 February 2019

Relief payments from the federal government are capped at a minuscule $1,000 per person, well below what is needed to address the widespread damage caused by the flood.

“Lawyer X” cover-up starts to unravel

Australian police used multiple lawyers as informants

By Mike Head, 9 February 2019

Two revelations this week point to the systemic police use of defence lawyers as informers to secure the conviction of their own clients.

IYSSE calls on students in Australia to join the demonstrations in defence of Julian Assange

By the IYSSE (Australia), 9 February 2019

The defence of Assange is at the cutting edge of the fight against growing authoritarianism and an assault on democratic rights around the world.

Over 200,000 Uttar Pradesh government employees strike; Bangladesh garment workers occupy factory; New Caledonia miners still on strike

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

9 February 2019

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

Australia: Tigerair pilots locked in dispute over wages and conditions

By John Harris, 8 February 2019

Tigerair is seeking to set a new benchmark in the assault on the wages and conditions of pilots, a highly-skilled cohort of professionals with immense responsibilities.

Chinese billionaire stripped of Australian residency as “foreign interference” campaign ramps up

By James Cogan, 7 February 2019

Huang’s banishment may well be the prelude to the first criminal charges laid against Australian citizens under the “foreign interference” laws.

Australian Labor Party outbids Coalition in big business tax handouts

By Mike Head, 7 February 2019

Far from opposing inequality, Labor governments have spearheaded the slashing of corporate and high-income tax rates.

Australian actor Craig McLachlan’s defamation case postponed following police charges

By Richard Phillips, 7 February 2019

Gold Logie-winning actor Craig McLachlan’s career has been “effectively destroyed” by the #MeToo allegations.

Australia: Bank shares soar after release of report into financial “misconduct”

By James Cogan, 6 February 2019

The 76 recommendations brought down by the banking Royal Commission do not put anyone on trial, let alone capitalism.

New Zealand health unions suppress struggles against Labour government

By John Braddock, 6 February 2019

Thousands of health workers are facing a political struggle against the Labour-led government, which is imposing the deep austerity measures demanded by big business.

Another flammable cladding fire in Australia highlights government failure

By Paul Bartizan, 6 February 2019

The fire at central Melbourne’s NEO200 high-rise apartment was caused by the same flammable panels used on London’s Grenfell Tower.

Australian workers and youth support March rallies in defence of Julian Assange

By our reporters, 5 February 2019

“I support the rally to free Assange. It is important for us to hold this protest to show that we will not tolerate any further attack on our democratic rights.”

Australia: 2,000 homes submerged in Townsville as floodgates open

By Martin Scott, 5 February 2019

Thousands forced to seek emergency accommodation in overcrowded evacuation centres.

Australia: Telstra workers vote on industrial action amid mass sackings

By Oscar Grenfell, 4 February 2019

The unions covering the telecommunications firm have made clear they will seek to enforce its 9,500 job cuts over the next four years.

John Pilger to speak at March 3 Sydney rally to defend Julian Assange

By the Socialist Equality Party (Australia), 2 February 2019

As well as John Pilger, the Sydney rally will be addressed by SEP National Secretary James Cogan. Cogan will also be the main speaker at the demonstration in Melbourne on March 10.

Biloela resident: “It is really important that we stand up”

Australian rural town continues to fight deportation of Tamil refugee family

By Max Newman, 2 February 2019

Biloela residents have been conducting a nearly year-long campaign to free a Tamil family seized by the government from their community.

Australia’s financial press promotes Labor’s shadow treasurer

By Mike Head, 1 February 2019

The promotion of Chris Bowen is another warning of the Labor Party’s preparations to return to office as a totally committed pro-business government.

Footage shows police pointing assault rifles at child detainees in Australia

By Corrine Jensen, 1 February 2019

The footage resembled an aggressive military operation in the neo-colonial wars conducted in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Australian political and media establishment intensifies anti-China campaign

By Oscar Grenfell, 31 January 2019

A coordinated political offensive is underway, aimed at legitimising Australia’s central role in the US confrontation with Beijing.

Stone indictment presents no evidence of links between WikiLeaks and Trump campaign

By James Cogan, 30 January 2019

WikiLeaks is a media organization that exercised the legally-protected rights of the press to published leaked information.

More ministers quit Australia’s disintegrating government

By Mike Head, 30 January 2019

The departures are another indication of the factional war tearing apart the Coalition, and the instability of the entire political establishment.

Australia: Opal Tower builder stops paying hotel fees for some evacuated residents

By John Wilson, 30 January 2019

Engineers for the body corporate have still not signed off on the safety of the apartment block, which was evacuated last month.

Australia: Hundreds of immigration detainees launch hunger strikes

By Eric Ludlow, 26 January 2019

The detainees describe their living conditions as “worse than a prison.”

Imposition of right-wing candidate intensifies turmoil in Australia’s ruling party

By Mike Head, 26 January 2019

Prime Minister Morrison’s imposition of indigenous businessman Warren Mundine as a Liberal Party election candidate is particularly provocative within the context of the factional war raging inside the party.

Two hundred thousand Indian midday meal workers still on strike; Tamil Nadu data entry workers protest: Tigerair pilots walkout in Australia

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

26 January 2019

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

Fish kills highlight mismanagement of Australian waterways

By Martin Scott, 25 January 2019

Drought alone cannot be blamed for the environmental crisis in the Murray-Darling Basin.

Australia: Port Kembla Coal Terminal locks out workers

By John Harris, 25 January 2019

The union created the conditions for the company attack and has isolated the workers since they were locked-out on Saturday morning.

Rally to demand the Australian government acts to free Julian Assange!

Sydney Martin Place Amphitheatre, March 3! Melbourne State Library, March 10!

By the Socialist Equality Party (Australia), 25 January 2019

The Australian government has the undeniable duty and power to intervene to secure freedom for Julian Assange. The record has demonstrated, however, that it will take such action only if it is compelled to do so by the greatest pressure from below.

Julian Assange issues “urgent” legal challenge against US extradition plans

By Mike Head, 24 January 2019

The WikiLeaks founder is seeking to block a concerted operation to terminate his political asylum in Ecuador’s London embassy.

Australia: BlueScope steelworkers vote to strike at Port Kembla

By Oscar Grenfell, 24 January 2019

The Australian Workers Union is trying to isolate the workers and impose a sell-out enterprise agreement.

Lawsuits against Australian government reveal horror in refugee camp

By Max Newman, 24 January 2019

Former Manus Island detention centre security staff members have filed cases alleging physical and psychological harm.

Minister’s resignation highlights unravelling of Australia’s ruling Coalition

By Mike Head, 23 January 2019

Kelly O’Dwyer’s announcement is another sign of political instability.

New Zealand Labour government entrenches anti-worker measures

By John Braddock, 23 January 2019

The plummeting social position of the working class is an indictment of the Labour-led government and the trade unions.

Migrants in Australia hit by longer welfare wait

By Martin Scott, 22 January 2019

Immigrants in western Sydney, already confronting high unemployment and a lack of affordable housing, now face a four-year wait for welfare benefits.

Australia: State government report indicates Opal Tower should not have been reoccupied

By John Wilson, 19 January 2019

While the authors claim the building will not collapse, they detail both major damage and minor damage to the structure of the building.

Australian prime minister’s Pacific visit reinforces militarist line up against China

By Mike Head, 19 January 2019

The trip underscored the bullying nature of the turn by Canberra to reassert its predatory interests in the South West Pacific, and that of Washington, against Beijing.

Australian fake left promote Greens, trade unions and Labor at anti-fascist protest

By our reporters, 19 January 2019

The claim that the Labor and the unions can serve as bulwark against fascism is a dangerous echo of the disastrous Popular Front policies of the Stalinist Parties in the 1930s.

Hyundai and Samsung workers protest in India; Cambodian garment workers strike

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

19 January 2019

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

Extreme heatwave hits Australia

By Frank Gaglioti, 18 January 2019

The extended period of high temperatures is having serious impacts on people’s health, as well as agriculture and wildlife.

Signs of slump in Australia overshadow looming election

By Mike Head, 18 January 2019

Regardless of all the promises, a sharp downturn will drive another wave of austerity measures and job-shedding once an election is out of the way.

Australia: Widespread opposition to violent arrest of elderly Sydney protester

By our reporters, 16 January 2019

Footage of 74-year-old Danny Lim being set upon by three police officers provoked anger on social media.

Engineers disagree on whether Australian high rise is safe to reoccupy

By John Wilson, 15 January 2019

Some residents of Opal Tower in Sydney have moved back in, despite one engineering report advising against it.

Australia: Casual coal miners begin week long strike in Wollongong

By Oscar Grenfell, 14 January 2019

Labor and the unions, which have spearheaded the destruction of full-time jobs, are cynically exploiting the stoppage to posture as opponents of growing casualisation.

Financial warnings point to Australia’s economic and political instability

By Mike Head, 12 January 2019

Two reports raise the spectre of a financial crisis that would blow up the pre-election claims of both the Coalition government and the Labor Party.

Indian fireworks workers protest over layoffs, Pakistan water treatment workers walkout; New Caledonia nickel miners extend strike

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

12 January 2019

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

US Senate confirms top-level political “fixer” as ambassador to Australia

By Mike Head, 8 January 2019

Culvahouse’s appointment underscores Washington’s determination to ensure there is not the slightest deviation in Australia’s front line role in any conflict with China.

Evacuated Opal Tower residents in Australia express anger and dismay

By our reporters, 8 January 2019

Residents of Opal Tower in Sydney have been living in temporary accommodation since the discovery of large broken concrete panels in the building.

Opal Tower structural flaws expose rot in Australian construction industry

By John Wilson, 7 January 2019

Residents have been told they must wait at least another week before they can reoccupy the building because the specific cause of the cracking has yet to be identified.

Ecuador unveils “special examination” of Julian Assange’s asylum

By Mike Head, 5 January 2019

The Moreno government’s investigation into the granting of the WikiLeaks founder’s asylum and Ecuadorian citizenship is clearly designed to repudiate both.

Growing signs of Australian economic fragility

By Oscar Grenfell, 5 January 2019

A marked slump in the property market is one expression of broader recessionary tendencies.

Australian stripped of citizenship despite being made stateless

By Mike Head, 5 January 2019

Prakash’s case has set a far-reaching precedent because the government has proceeded even though Fijian authorities rejected Canberra’s declaration that he is a citizen of that country.

Silence follows Trump attorney’s statement that Julian Assange did nothing “wrong”

By James Cogan, 4 January 2019

Not a word about Rudy Giuliani’s Fox News interview has been said by the political and media establishment in the US, Europe or Australia.

Australia: Structural faults in 36-storey building cause mass evacuation

By our reporters, 3 January 2019

Self-regulation and self-certification have been introduced in every area of the construction industry over the past 25 years, to speed up approval processes and maximise profits.

South Australian university partners with US defense contractor Lockheed Martin

By Eric Ludlow, 31 December 2018

The decision by the University of Adelaide, behind the backs of students and staff, marks the further integration of Australian universities into the US-led war drive against China and Russia.

One million Indian bank workers strike; tens of thousands of Korean taxi drivers protest

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

29 December 2018

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

Australian Greens riven by factional conflicts as MP resigns

By Oscar Grenfell, 28 December 2018

Jeremy Buckingham tore up a piece of paper with “toxic NSW Greens” written on it, as he told the media he was quitting the party.

Social crisis worsens under New Zealand Labour Party-led government

By Tom Peters, 28 December 2018

The promises of the ruling Labour Party-NZ First-Greens coalition to address poverty and inequality have been exposed as a fraud.

Death toll rises from Indonesian tsunami

By Richard Phillips, 27 December 2018

Heavy monsoonal rains have made some roads impassable, holding up the delivery of heavy machinery and desperately needed relief supplies to isolated areas.

NSW Ambulance makes stunning reversal of allegation against Australian paramedic Tony Jenkins

By Cheryl Crisp, 27 December 2018

Scrutiny of the “Root Cause Analysis” forces reversal of allegation against veteran NSW paramedic.

At least 280 dead as tsunami hits Indonesian settlements

By Richard Phillips, 24 December 2018

The devastation caused by what are termed natural disasters is compounded by inadequate warning systems and infrastructure, and by the poverty that is rife in the region.

As Australian government unravels, Labor prepares to take office

By Mike Head, 24 December 2018

Key sections of the ruling capitalist elite are again looking to a Labor government to impose “sacrifice” on the working class.

New Zealand government calls for greater US military presence in the Pacific

By Tom Peters, 24 December 2018

The Labour Party-led government’s call for a stronger American military presence in the Pacific region flows from New Zealand’s integration into US war plans against China.

Australian Labor Party rejects demands to increase unemployment benefits

By Robert Campion, 22 December 2018

The national party conference’s unanimous stand against the poorest members of the working class exposed the utter fraud of Labor’s “fair go for Australia” logo.

ICAC raids Labor Party office in major escalation of anti-China campaign in Australia

By Oscar Grenfell, 21 December 2018

The raid is the latest chapter in an ongoing attempt by the political and media establishment to whip-up a wartime atmosphere and xenophobia against China.

Australia: Understaffing and equipment shortages at new Sydney public-private hospital

By Clare Bruderlin, 21 December 2018

The state Liberal government marketed the $840 million hospital as having state-of-the-art facilities.

Australian union leader warns of eruption of working class struggle

By Mike Head, 20 December 2018

ACTU secretary Sally McManus invoked the spectre of a tsunami of social unrest unless a Labor government bolstered the policing role of the trade unions.

Australian Labor Party steps up commitment to US alliance in “disrupted world”

By Mike Head, 19 December 2018

Amid the rising US-China conflict, the party conference rejected calls to sign the UN nuclear weapons ban treaty because it would “tear up” the American alliance.

Actor Geoffrey Rush denies new #MeToo-inspired claims of “inappropriate” behaviour

By James Cogan, 19 December 2018

Rush, as he waits for a ruling on legal action he took in late 2017 to defend himself, now faces a new attack on his character.

Australian Labor Party to boost police-military operations to block refugees

By Mike Head, 18 December 2018

Shorten unequivocally restated Labor’s intent to keep using the navy to push back refugee boats and to retain the “offshore processing” regime of detaining asylum seekers on remote Pacific islands.

MSF reveals “mental health suffering” in Australia’s Nauru refugee detention camp

By Max Newman, 17 December 2018

Médecins Sans Frontières said the mental health problems were among the worst it had ever seen anywhere in the world.

Australian Labor Party leaders warn of rising popular discontent

By Mike Head, 17 December 2018

Party leader, Bill Shorten, insisted that anger, frustration and discontent within the working class were the Labor's Party’s main “opponent,” not the current Liberal-National Coalition government.

Australian workers and youth speak out in defence of Julian Assange

By our reporters, 15 December 2018

“The Australian government’s role in the attacks on Assange has been pathetic, gutless, disgraceful. They just do what the US deep state tells them to do.”

“Lefts” ensure stage-managed Australian Labor Party conference

By Mike Head, 15 December 2018

As the ALP prepares for government, the factional powerbrokers have held intensive backroom negotiations to carefully orchestrate the party conference and put on a show of unity.

Australian Labor Party prepares for government amid political and economic turmoil

By Mike Head, 14 December 2018

For all the “fair go” rhetoric, Labor’s three-day conference will seek the backing of big business for a government that can suppress unrest, impose austerity and prepare for further US-led wars.

Australian Amazon worker alleges unfair dismissal

By Oscar Grenfell, 13 December 2018

The Sydney worker has claimed he was sacked for joining a union and asking for more hours per week.

The Australian Labor Party and the persecution of Julian Assange

By James Cogan, 13 December 2018

Far from protecting the “safety” of an Australian overseas, Labor has lined up completely with Washington and placed itself at the forefront of the attack on the WikiLeaks publisher.

Witch hunt in Australia against Chinese-born parliamentarian

By Peter Symonds, 12 December 2018

The smears and innuendo against Pierre Yang are part of a campaign aimed at silencing any criticism or opposition to the escalating US war drive against China.

Australian university moves to sack academic critical of Israeli and US wars

By Oscar Grenfell, 11 December 2018

The University of Sydney’s suspension of Tim Anderson is aimed at intimidating students and academics opposed to escalating militarism and war.

Australia: Thousands protest climate change and new Adani coal mine

By our reporters, 10 December 2018

The environmental groups that organised the rally are seeking to subordinate an emerging movement of young people to the very parties responsible for environmental destruction.

Teachers strike in South Australia and Tasmania

By Oscar Grenfell, 8 December 2018

The Australian Education Union is seeking to divide the struggles and push through sell-out enterprise agreements in both states.

80th anniversary of the Fourth International celebrated in Melbourne with public lecture

By our reporters, 8 December 2018

David North, chairman of the World Socialist Web Site international editorial board and the Socialist Equality Party (US), will speak tomorrow in Wellington, New Zealand.

Ecuadorian president hints again at moves to renege on Julian Assange’s asylum

By James Cogan, 7 December 2018

The fight for the freedom of Assange is a matter of fundamental political principle.

More warnings of an Australian property market crash

By Oscar Grenfell, 7 December 2018

Sydney’s house prices registered their sharpest monthly decline in 14 years, accompanied by rising mortgage stress and indications of a broader economic slowdown.

The Guardian attack on Assange exposed as politically-motivated fabrication

By James Cogan, 6 December 2018

The lack of any case against WikiLeaks explains the scurrilous allegations by the Guardian newspaper last week.

Australian government to impose encryption-cracking bill with Labor’s support

By Mike Head, 6 December 2018

The anti-democratic legislation hands extraordinary powers to the spy and police forces, setting a global precedent for accessing computers and encrypted private data.

Australian government censors university research funding

By Mike Head, 5 December 2018

As well as vetoing peer-reviewed research grants, the government has imposed a more stringent “national interest” test.

Australia’s governing Liberal Party wracked by factional conflicts

By Oscar Grenfell, 4 December 2018

The public recriminations between Prime Minister Scott Morrison and his predecessor Malcolm Turnbull underscore the depth of the divisions within the Liberal Party.

Australia: Newcastle participants in high school climate strike speak out

By our reporters, 3 December 2018

IYSSE campaigners stressed that the danger of climate change could only be resolved through the socialist re-organisation of the world.