Australian Social Issues & Inequality

Australia: Tragedy of child’s death sparks international response

By Susan Allan, 10 February 2009

At about 9.10 a.m. on January 29 and in the midst of an unprecedented summer heat wave, Arthur Freeman, a 35-year-old father of three, drove onto Melbourne’s busy West Gate Bridge, allegedly took his 4-year-old daughter Darcey from the car and dropped her from the bridge.

Australian government hopes recession will produce military “recruitment bonanza”

By Terry Cook, 26 January 2009

The Australian has published a front-page article expressing satisfaction that rising unemployment could produce a “recruitment bonanza” for the Australian Defence Force.

Australian government calls for wage cuts to “save jobs”

By Terry Cook, 14 January 2009

The Rudd Labor government is using the threat of job cuts to browbeat workers into accepting the burden of an economic crisis that is not of their making.

Australian university review proposes student vouchers

By Carolyn Robinson, 2 January 2009

For two decades, the higher education system has been systematically starved of funds. Now the dire state of over-stretched universities is being used to justify a radical pro-market restructuring.

WSWS interviews charity workers and recipients

Demand for emergency welfare relief “dramatically spikes” in Sydney

By Keith Morgan and Mike Head, 30 December 2008

The WSWS interviews charity workers and recipients about the social impact of the global economic breakdown in Sydney, Australia’s financial capital.

Australia: Hundreds of jobs to be axed as childcare centres close

By Alex Messenger, 22 December 2008

Hundreds of Australian childcare employees, some of the poorest paid workers in the country, will lose their jobs in the coming months with the $1.6 billion collapse of childcare provider ABC Learning and sackings at Neighbourhood Early Learning Centres.

Australian welfare agencies warn of growing social crisis

By Mike Head, 12 December 2008

Australian welfare agencies say they have reached breaking point, with demand for services like housing, counselling and emergency relief doubling. They have made an urgent appeal to the Rudd government for a funding injection of $900 million to keep services running over the next three years.

Doctors declare Australian hospital system on the brink of collapse

By Alex Messenger, 11 December 2008

Australia’s public hospitals are so understaffed and bed shortages so serious that hospitals routinely operate for long periods at “code red”, a level of overcrowding at which patients will die, according to the Australian Medical Association.

Amid Allegations of Enron-style Fraud

Major Australian child care corporation at risk of bankruptcy

By Katrina Morrison, 30 September 2008

Australia’s largest child care provider ABC Learning, also the world’s largest publicly traded child care corporation, stands on the brink of collapse.

Australia: Methane gas landfill leak forces residents to evacuate suburb

“The land should never have been sold”

By Peter Byrne, 25 September 2008

On September 11, Country Fire Authority chief officer Russell Rees advised owners of about 250 houses in the working class outer-Melbourne suburb of Cranbourne to move out after methane levels of 60 to 65 percent were found in some houses. Concentrations of 5-15 percent are considered an explosion risk.

Australia: The 2008 Victorian teachers’ dispute, Teachers Alliance and the Socialist Equality Party

By Patrick O’Connor and Will Marshall, 12 September 2008

The World Socialist Web Site is publishing an interview with Mary Merkenich, a leading member of the Teachers Alliance organisation, on the recent struggle waged by Victorian public school teachers for improved wages and conditions. A comment by Socialist Equality Party member and public school teacher Will Marshall follows.

Australia: Labor to strip welfare from parents of truant children

Punishing the poor

By Laura Tiernan, 4 September 2008

In what amounts to a declaration of war on the right to welfare, Labor’s Minister for Education Julia Gillard presented a new bill to federal parliament last week that will strip benefits from parents whose children truant from school. Payments can be cut for 13 weeks or cancelled entirely if parents fail to provide a “reasonable excuse” for their child’s non-attendance.