Australia and South Pacific

Major crisis in Australian public school infrastructure

By Karen Holland, 28 June 2017

The Grattan Institute projects that 400 to 750 new public schools will need to be built over the next decade, to cater for approximately 650,000 additional students.

Australian university staff face cuts to pay, jobs and basic rights

By Mike Head, 28 June 2017

Government funding cuts are accelerating the pro-business restructuring of higher education that began three decades ago.

Flammable cladding rife in Australian construction industry

By Paul Bartizan and Richard Phillips, 27 June 2017

The dangers of aluminium composite panels were known to building authorities and relevant government ministers long before the Grenfell Tower disaster.

Australian construction union’s bogus campaign against industrial laws

By Oscar Grenfell, 27 June 2017

The CFMEU’s chief aim is to maintain its own privileged seat at the negotiating table and divert mounting anger among construction workers into electoral support for the Labor Party.

Ex-CIA chief calls for “firm” Australian action against China

By Mike Head, 26 June 2017

David Petraeus’ appearance at the Liberal Party dinner was the latest intervention into Australian politics by visiting senior figures within the US military-intelligence complex.

Australian government’s $70 million court settlement covers up crimes against refugees

By Max Newman, 26 June 2017

A lawsuit by Manus Island detainees was halted to prevent a detailed exposure of the abuses inflicted by successive governments.

Social crisis looms over Papua New Guinea election

By John Braddock, 23 June 2017

The poll takes place amid widespread hostility to the political establishment.

Australian intelligence agency demands sweeping powers to suppress Chinese “interference”

By James Cogan, 22 June 2017

ASIO asserts that political opposition to Australian and US policy toward China could be the result of “foreign influence.”

Australia: Telstra announces 1,400 job cuts

By Oscar Grenfell, 21 June 2017

The sackings are the latest in a series of pro-market restructures that have destroyed up to 6,000 jobs since 2013.

Australian miners strike against Glencore cost-cutting

By Terry Cook, 20 June 2017

Some 1,400 coal miners took industrial action against the transnational mining and resources conglomerate’s attempts to slash working conditions.

New Zealand: Public Service Association complicit in Auckland library job cuts

By Sam Price, 20 June 2017

The union has worked hand-in-hand with the Labour Party-controlled Auckland Council to eliminate around 194 jobs.

Indonesian president supports military role in new “anti-terror” law

By John Roberts, 17 June 2017

The legislation will significantly reverse limitations placed on the military’s internal security role following the fall of the Suharto dictatorship.

Australian government demands “patriotic” citizenship tests

By Mike Head, 15 June 2017

The government has seized upon the latest alleged terrorist attacks to justify measures to deny citizenship on a range of discriminatory grounds.

Australian media widens campaign against Chinese “influence”

By James Cogan, 14 June 2017

A witch-hunt against alleged Chinese interference in the country is assuming ever-more anti-democratic and sinister dimensions.

Australian state Labor government agrees to subsidise giant coal mine

By Declan O’Malley and Mike Head, 13 June 2017

After weeks of posturing, the Queensland cabinet provided a lucrative royalties handout to Adani.

Police “terror” raids in Australia mask unanswered questions about hostage incident

By Mike Head, 10 June 2017

As with nearly every terrorist-linked attack internationally, including in Manchester and London, the perpetrator was well known to the police and intelligence agencies.

Australia: Aurizon announces Queensland rail closures

By Oscar Grenfell, 10 June 2017

Up to 300 jobs are set to be eliminated, following hundreds of sackings over the past two years.

“Watergate pales compared to what we’re confronting now”

Former US director of national intelligence campaigns against Trump in Australia

By James Cogan, 9 June 2017

No journalist asked James Clapper the obvious question: why should any credibility be given to any claim he makes?

Reject unacceptable workloads and standardised testing! Take a stand for public education!

Vote No to the AEU-Labor government sell-out deal in Victoria!

By the Socialist Equality Party (Australia), 9 June 2017

The chronic underfunding, under-resourcing and under-staffing of public schools is driving many parents to send their children to private schools.

Australian economy barely avoids contraction

By Mike Head, 8 June 2017

Without spending by deeply-indebted households, the country would officially be in recession.

Australian government exploits hostage-taking to escalate “war on terror”

By Mike Head, 7 June 2017

The evidence points to a deeply troubled young man with a long history of drug addiction, being preyed upon by both Islamic fundamentalists and the police-intelligence agencies.

Australian establishment falls into line with anti-China allegations

By James Cogan, 7 June 2017

Fears about growing anti-war sentiment motivate efforts to develop suspicion and hostility towards China.

Preventable deaths quadruple in Australian nursing homes over ten years

By Oscar Grenfell, 7 June 2017

The leader of the study said the data revealed a “systems problem” across the aged-care sector.

Australian authorities label Melbourne hostage incident a “terrorist” attack

By Will Morrow, 6 June 2017

Before any of the facts were known, newspapers featured front-page stories depicting the incident as an Islamic State assault.

Australian media renews campaign against Chinese “power and influence”

By James Cogan, 6 June 2017

As tensions rise between China on the one hand, and the US and its allies on the other, the Australian establishment is launching, once again, an anti-Chinese campaign.

“Catastrophic failure” of regulators led to black lung among Australian miners

By Oscar Grenfell, 5 June 2017

Queensland authorities failed to look for, or properly identify, coal miners’ pneumoconiosis for more than 30 years.

Socialist Equality Party forum discusses agenda behind Australian Education Union sell-out deal

By our reporter, 5 June 2017

A clear relationship exists between the anti-democratic, bureaucratic tactics employed by the AEU to obtain a majority “yes” vote and the regressive, pro-market content of its 2017 agreement.

Shangri La Dialogue: US Defence Secretary, Australian PM threaten North Korea, China

By Peter Symonds, 3 June 2017

The premier Asian strategic conference is taking place as the US threatens war against North Korea and continues its relentless military build-up.

Australian city council locks out electricians for imposing work bans

By Ellen Blake, 3 June 2017

The Brisbane City Council’s aggressive action underscores the determination of governments and employers across the country to dismantle workers’ conditions.

Reports expose Australian government coverup of armed attack on Manus Island detainees

By Max Newman, 2 June 2017

The Good Friday assault highlighted the dangers facing the more than 800 male asylum seekers held on the remote island.

Melbourne airport incident raises questions about Australian “terrorism” scare campaigns

By Mike Head, 2 June 2017

The police transformed an episode involving a mentally-ill young man into another major terrorist operation.

More warnings of a housing-led crash in Australia

By Mike Head, 1 June 2017

Any sharp downturn in the debt-fuelled property market would have far-reaching economic and political consequences.

Australian timber mill slated to close

By Will Morrow, 1 June 2017

The closure, in the state of Victoria, is part of a restructuring by Carter Holt Harvey and other producers across the timber industry.

Senator John McCain visits Australia to reinforce US alliance

By James Cogan, 31 May 2017

McCain issued appeals and warnings to the Australian ruling class not to deviate from its strategic alignment with the US.

Australia’s billionaires celebrate a “wealth boom”

By Mike Head, 29 May 2017

During 2016, the total wealth of the Rich 200 List mushroomed from $197.3 billion to $233.1 billion—a rise of about 18 percent—while average real wages fell.

One thousand staff stood-down after private college collapses in Australia

By Oscar Grenfell, 27 May 2017

The closure of Careers Australia, which had been accused of dubious enrolment practices, was apparently triggered by the withdrawal of substantial government funds.

Australian government demonises “fake refugees”

By Max Newman, 24 May 2017

Thousands of asylum seekers face forced removal to their countries of origin if they do not complete complex visa applications by October 1.

S&P downgrades small banks amid warnings of Australian housing slowdown

By Oscar Grenfell, 24 May 2017

The international credit ratings agency said its decision, which affects 23 financial institutions, was based on the likelihood of a sharp “correction” of the property market bubble.

Massacre of 17 prison escapees highlights deep social crisis in Papua New Guinea

By John Harris, 23 May 2017

State repression in PNG is aimed, not only at protecting the corrupt local ruling elite, but also Australian and US corporate interests.

Australian building workers hit by construction company collapse

By Declan O’Malley, 23 May 2017

The Brisbane shut-down is another indicator of the danger of a wider collapse in the residential construction boom, threatening tens of thousands of jobs.

Australia: Teachers explain why the AEU-government deal should be rejected

By our reporters, 22 May 2017

“The union has become the policeman to enforce agreements that sell our conditions down the drain.”

Sweden’s investigation into Julian Assange was a political frame-up from the outset

By David Walsh, 20 May 2017

The entire affair was aimed at discrediting and paralyzing WikiLeaks and creating conditions under which Assange could be extradited or abducted to the US, to be executed or condemned to a lifetime in prison.

Student protests in Australia promote Labor and the Greens

By our reporters, 20 May 2017

The poorly attended demonstrations reflected alienation from the NUS and its support for the major parliamentary parties.

Australian budget fallout deepens political crisis

By Mike Head, 20 May 2017

The conclusion is being drawn in corporate boardrooms that Turnbull has failed, generating fractures throughout the parliamentary order.

Australia: Contract teacher voices opposition to the AEU-government agreement

By our reporters, 20 May 2017

“I feel as though we’re teaching to a test, and not spending enough time on building our relationship with our students, and building on their strengths.”

SEP and Victorian Teachers and ES Staff Forum

The political issues in the fight against the AEU-Labor government EBA

20 May 2017

The forum on May 28 will present a detailed critique of the Australian Education Union’s sell-out deal with the Andrews Labor government, and clarify why teachers and ES staff should reject it.

Falling wages fuel social crisis in Australia

By Mike Head, 19 May 2017

Real wages have been declining for four years, driven by the destruction of full-time jobs and the forcing of workers into part-time employment.

Sydney bus drivers strike against privatisation

By Oscar Grenfell, 19 May 2017

The transport union has appealed to the government for “consultation,” underscoring its willingness to collaborate with privatisation.

Australian teachers support campaign against AEU-government deal

By our reporters, 18 May 2017

Teachers who attended recent delegates meetings on the new enterprise agreement voiced support for a “No” vote.

Australia:

Teachers criticise anti-democratic character of AEU delegates’ meetings

By our reporters, 17 May 2017

“I think people voted without understanding the nitty-gritty of the agreement.”

Australian university student protests

A socialist perspective to fight the government assault on education and the drive to war

By the IYSSE (Australia), 17 May 2017

The National Union of Students called protests today to confine the growing anger of students to impotent protest appeals to the Labor Party, the Greens and the populist “cross-bench” parties in the Senate.

Vote “NO” to the EBA!

Australian Education Union pushes through industrial agreement at delegates’ meetings

By our reporters, 16 May 2017

SEP members and supporters who work in public education are campaigning for a “No” vote among rank-and-file teachers and ES staff.

Australia: Tribunal to hear challenge to union-company wage-cutting deal

By Oscar Grenfell, 16 May 2017

The unions and the major corporations are fearful that the case against the deal threatens the entire pro-business framework of enterprise bargaining.

Australian Labor’s budget reply and the fear of political unrest

By James Cogan, 13 May 2017

Shorten’s reply to the budget was a populist attempt to revive illusions that Labor is the “lesser evil.”

Australian budget: Drug-testing intensifies war on welfare

By Mike Head, 12 May 2017

The measures are aimed at humiliating, vilifying and punishing the jobless, and stripping them of basic legal and democratic rights.

Australian budget set to heighten social and political antagonisms

By James Cogan, 10 May 2017

On every front, the budget seeks to deepen the decades-long assault on the living standards and social rights of the working class.

Australian media union shuts down week-long Fairfax journalists’ strike

By Oscar Grenfell, 10 May 2017

The Media Entertainment and Arts Alliance, having done everything to contain and weaken the strike, made clear that it will do nothing to oppose the axing of 125 jobs at Fairfax.

Australian rail union responds to Pacific National lockout by resuming talks

By Oscar Grenfell, 9 May 2017

The union will use the negotiating period to try and dissipate anger among freight drivers to the proposed cuts to their wages and conditions.

Trump and Australian PM Turnbull stage mutual embrace in New York

By Mike Head, 6 May 2017

A ceremonial dinner to highlight the 75th anniversary of the Battle of the Coral Sea against Japan became a platform for vows to “fight together” in Asia and the Middle East.

Australia: Fairfax journalists strike, but union appeals to corporate investors

By our correspondents, 6 May 2017

The sackings, which follow almost a decade of cost-cutting, will eviscerate Fairfax Media newspapers and lead to further job destruction.

Australian Fairfax journalists strike for a week over job destruction

By Mike Head, 4 May 2017

By launching the longest strike by editorial staff in recent history, the Fairfax workers are taking a stand against the ongoing demolition of jobs by the financial elite.

Australia: Victorian teachers speak out against agreement after union delegate meeting

By our reporters, 4 May 2017

Teachers raised concerns about the impact of growing workloads and the promotion of standardised testing in public schools.

Australia: Anzac Day and the official silence about anti-war opposition in WWI

By Richard Phillips, 4 May 2017

Contrary to government claims, Australia in 1917 was sharply divided along class lines and its involvement in World War I deeply unpopular.

Socialist Alternative joins pro-war witch-hunt of Australian academic

By Oscar Grenfell, 3 May 2017

The pseudo-left organisation endorsed the media attacks on Tim Anderson for rejecting the claims about chemical weapons used to justify Washington’s bombing of Syria.

Teachers oppose Australian Education Union sell-out deal at Victorian delegates meeting

By our reporters, 3 May 2017

The Melbourne meeting revealed mounting hostility among teachers to the union’s bureaucratic methods and to the agreement itself.

Australian budget to slash welfare and education

By Mike Head, 2 May 2017

Cuts target the working class, as the government plans billions more for the military and handouts to big business.

The Victorian teachers’ agreement and “performance pay”

What the Australian Education Union is suppressing

By David Cohen, 1 May 2017

The AEU’s claim that its deal with the Labor government is a blow against the “performance pay” regime and standardised testing is a fraud.

Australia: Growing opposition to sell-out agreement among Victorian teachers and support staff

By our reporters, 29 April 2017

Teachers from at least five schools have convened meetings to reject the agreement between the Australian Education Union and the Victorian state Labor government.

Australian Anzac Day celebrations promote militarism and war

By Oscar Grenfell, 27 April 2017

The celebrations of past conflicts were explicitly tied to Australia’s current involvement in predatory wars and military preparations.

Fiji Times publisher, editors charged with sedition

By John Braddock, 27 April 2017

The politically-motivated charges, alongside other anti-democratic measures, are bound up with deep-seated conflicts within the Fijian ruling elite.

Australian Socialist Alternative conference: In the service of imperialism

By our reporters, 26 April 2017

The gathering issued a full-throated defence of American imperialism and explicitly denounced any fight to build an anti-war movement of the working class.

Australian senator warns of war with China

By Oscar Grenfell, 25 April 2017

Nick Xenophon’s remarks last week made clear that Australia is on the frontlines of the US confrontation with China.

Thousands join March for Science demonstrations in Australia

By our reporters, 24 April 2017

In contrast to the concerns of protestors, rally organisers sought to sow illusions about pressuring governments to withdraw their attacks on science.

More warnings about the Australian housing market

By Oscar Grenfell, 22 April 2017

Credit ratings agencies have said the property market, built on a mountain of debt, is among the most susceptible in the world to an economic shock.

SEP (Australia) and IYSSE public meetings

Stop the drive to world war! For peace, equality and socialism!

22 April 2017

The meetings will outline the socialist and internationalist perspective required to prevent the descent of the global capitalist system into a catastrophic third world war.

Australia: After ABC program, Labor calls for investigation into One Nation

By Cheryl Crisp, 21 April 2017

The “Four Corners” program could signal a turn by the media and political establishment against Hanson and her right-wing party.

The political issues in the fight to reject the Victorian teachers’ EBA

By the Socialist Equality Party (Australia), 21 April 2017

The most detrimental, long-term aspect of the workplace agreement is that it includes sweeping commitments by the teachers' union to enforce a “performance-ranking” system.

Turnbull government announces anti-immigrant “Australia first” policies

By Oscar Grenfell, 20 April 2017

The abolition of 457 visas for foreign workers and the tightening of citizenship requirements are aimed at diverting mounting social discontent in a xenophobic direction.

Papua New Guinea soldiers attack refugees in Australian-run prison camp

By Max Newman, 18 April 2017

At least three asylum seekers were injured by armed soldiers who assaulted the refugee detention centre on Papua New Guinea’s Manus Island.

How the AEU is attempting to push through a sell-out of Victorian teachers

By Susan Allan, 17 April 2017

If the agreement is such a “significant gain” then why is there no framework or democratic process where teachers can discuss, debate, and seek clarification on its contents?

Australian worker challenges union-company wage-cutting deal

By Oscar Grenfell, 15 April 2017

The agreement struck between the SDA and Coles saved the supermarket giant tens of millions of dollars.

Australian academics witch-hunted for challenging US lies on Syria attack

By Mike Head, 14 April 2017

The media campaign, designed to silence public discussion about the latest US aggression, is a flagrant attack on the basic democratic right of free speech.

The Coming War on China: A pacifist appeal

By Richard Phillips, 14 April 2017

Pilger’s documentary exposes something of Washington’s escalating war plans against China but suggests that protests can prevent a nuclear conflagration.

Australian prime minister visits India to boost strategic ties

By Mike Head, 13 April 2017

The outcomes were in line with the ongoing push by Washington for US allies throughout the region to strengthen their military relations with each other.

Australia: Victorian teachers denounce union-backed agreement

By our reporters, 13 April 2017

The AEU has sought to suppress discussion of its latest sell-out, while falsely claiming it is a “victory” for teachers.

Australian pseudo-left promotes fraudulent posturing of new union head

By Oscar Grenfell, 13 April 2017

The pseudo-left have hailed the attempts by new ACTU head Sally McManus to rebuild the influence of the unions, in order to head-off mounting discontent.

Australia’s role in US plans for war on North Korea

By James Cogan, 12 April 2017

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has publicly endorsed Washington’s bellicose rhetoric against the Pyongyang regime.

Australian PM accused of interfering in Papua New Guinea election

By John Braddock, 12 April 2017

Turnbull’s trip was undoubtedly motivated by concern over Australia’s commercial and strategic interests.

Australian government revokes Palestinian activist’s visa

By Oscar Grenfell, 11 April 2017

The anti-democratic move is part of a broader campaign to suppress opposition to the escalating US-led war in the Middle East.

Australian workers and youth speak out against US strike on Syria

By our reporters, 10 April 2017

The anti-war sentiments of ordinary people stand in sharp contrast to the militarist positions of Labor, the Liberal-Nationals and the corporate media.

Australian establishment backs US strike on Syria

By James Cogan, 10 April 2017

The line-up behind Washington by the government and opposition Labor Party has been replicated across the media.

Mounting concerns over Australian housing bubble

By Oscar Grenfell, 8 April 2017

Underlying the fears of a crash is the divergence between soaring house prices and stagnant or declining incomes.

Papua New Guinea government intensifies military operations at ExxonMobil plant

By John Braddock, 7 April 2017

The police and military operation against villagers living near the ExxonMobil plant is aimed at suppressing increasingly explosive social unrest.

Australian flood crisis continues as questions mount over government preparations

By Oscar Grenfell, 6 April 2017

Governments at all levels have resisted calls for the construction of levees around the most flood-prone cities, on the grounds that they are too expensive.

Australian teachers’ agreement: The reality behind union “victory” claims

By Susan Allan, 6 April 2017

On every key issue the teachers’ union and the Victorian Labor government have worked together to entrench and deepen the assault on the public education system.

Australia: Labor and unions facilitate Hazelwood power station closure

By Frank Gaglioti, 5 April 2017

The shutdown will exacerbate the social crisis in Victoria’s Latrobe Valley, which has already been hit by decades of job cuts in the energy sector.

Australian opposition parties block extradition treaty with China

By James Cogan, 3 April 2017

With shameless cynicism, China is labelled both a totalitarian state and a threat to the US-dominated global rules-based order.

East coast of Australia hit by catastrophic floods

By Oscar Grenfell, 3 April 2017

At least five people have perished in the disaster, with fears that the death toll will rise over the coming days.

Thousands of Australian asylum seekers face deportation

By Max Newman, 31 March 2017

Refugees living in limbo inside Australia have been given less than 60 days to complete visa applications.

Australian workers and youth speak out against Maruti Suzuki frame-up

By our reporters, 31 March 2017

Many of those who spoke to SEP campaigners signed the petition demanding the release of the victimised Indian car workers.