Australia and South Pacific

Fascistic New Zealand soldier charged with disclosing military information

By Tom Peters, 25 January 2020

The soldier was a leading member of the Dominion Movement, which espoused the same fascist ideology as the Christchurch terrorist who killed 51 people in March 2019.

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.

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.

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.”

New Zealand fascist group targets Chinese-born MP

By Tom Peters, 16 January 2020

Action Zealandia, whose website resembles the Christchurch terrorist’s manifesto, placed racist posters on National Party MP Jian Yang’s office.

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.

New Zealand’s Daily Blog demands anti-immigrant measures against “Australians fleeing climate change”

By John Braddock and Tom Peters, 15 January 2020

The trade union-funded blog, which supports the Labour-led government, calls for a major increase in military spending to turn New Zealand into a “fortress” against immigrants.

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.”

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.”

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.

New Zealand soldier linked to fascist groups arrested

By Tom Peters, 8 January 2020

The arrested soldier was initially questioned following the Christchurch terrorist attack in March 2019, in which a fascist gunman killed 51 people.

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.

Samoa lifts measles state of emergency

By John Braddock, 6 January 2020

Despite denials by the prime minister, Samoa was warned repeatedly to improve measles vaccination rates months before the arrival of a deadly epidemic.

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.

“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.

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.”

Killing of two Indonesian journalists points to criminality in palm oil industry

By Owen Howell, 27 December 2019

According to police, the two men were allegedly murdered by hired killers paid by a plantation owner.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Will tourism companies be held accountable over New Zealand volcano disaster?

By Tom Peters, 18 December 2019

An investigation by government regulator WorkSafe into the eruption, which killed more than 16 people, could take a year.

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.

Bougainville votes for independence from Papua New Guinea

By John Braddock, 17 December 2019

Whatever the outcome, which is not assured, a tiny elite layer will enrich itself from mining profits while the broad population will continue to live in abject poverty.

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.

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

By Robert Campion, 12 December 2019

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

Australia: Workers stop work in response to hazardous air conditions

By James Cogan, 11 December 2019

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

Growing poverty and inequality in New Zealand

By Tom Peters, 11 December 2019

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

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

By Oscar Grenfell, 10 December 2019

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

Worker killed in horrendous incident on Sydney construction site

By Terry Cook, 10 December 2019

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

Australian economy remains in slump as trade tensions mount

By Mike Head, 10 December 2019

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

Appreciative audience at Australian launch of Why Are They Back?

By our reporter, 10 December 2019

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

Hundreds of journalists around the world sign open letter demanding freedom for Assange

By Oscar Grenfell, 9 December 2019

The signatories declare: “As journalists and journalists’ organizations that believe in human rights, freedom of information and of the public’s right to know, we demand the immediate release of Julian Assange.”

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.

Papua New Guinea: Voting under way in Bougainville independence referendum

By John Braddock, 6 December 2019

It is widely expected that most of 206,000 registered voters will cast ballots for independence, but the result remains subject to ratification by the PNG parliament.

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.

Samoa: Death toll mounts in devastating measles epidemic

By Tom Peters, 3 December 2019

The entirely preventable outbreak, which has killed 55 people, is an indictment of the governments of Samoa and also New Zealand, where the outbreak originated.

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.

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.”

Australian Labor Party leader steps up pitch to big business

By Mike Head, 25 November 2019

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