Australia

Growing calls for Australian government to defend Julian Assange

By Oscar Grenfell, 19 October 2019

The fear in Australian ruling circles is that if Assange is extradited to the US, the latent support for him will coalesce into a political movement against the official set-up.

Tens of thousands of Indian transport and aircraft manufacturing workers strike

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and New Zealand

19 October 2019

Some 49,000 transport workers in the state of Telangana walked-out in defiance of government threats to their jobs, while more than 20,000 employees of a state-owned defence company took strike action.

UN official’s briefing on torture of Assange boycotted by US media

By Oscar Grenfell, 18 October 2019

The media silence is a continuation of its complicity in what UN Special Rapporteur on Torture Nils Melzer has described as the “public mobbing” of Assange.

Australia: “Four Corners” program promotes anti-China witch-hunt

By Oscar Grenfell, 17 October 2019

The program underscores the role of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation as a mouthpiece for the political establishment and the intelligence agencies.

Government has no solution to Australia’s water crisis

By Martin Scott, 16 October 2019

Hundreds of thousands in the state of New South Wales face running out of water before the end of next year

Australian governments trial police-state measures against climate protesters

By Oscar Grenfell, 15 October 2019

The authorities are using the demonstrations as a test case for future repression of the emerging social and political struggles of the working class.

Prominent Australian parliamentarian declares extradition of Julian Assange to US “totally unreasonable”

By James Cogan, 14 October 2019

Barnaby Joyce admitted this morning that the attempt to extradite Assange is a flagrant attack on his rights as an Australian citizen.

Six months since the brutal arrest of WikiLeaks’ publisher Julian Assange

By Oscar Grenfell, 12 October 2019

While Assange is subjected to what amounts to torture in a British prison, the war criminals he has done so much to expose walk free.

Official cover-up continues of Australian paramedic’s suicide

By Cheryl Crisp, 12 October 2019

Undisclosed disciplinary action against senior managers over the death of Tony Jenkins is at odds with a NSW Ambulance report that identified systemic deficiencies.

Australian government ministers call for protesters to be cut off welfare

By Mike Head, 11 October 2019

While the remarks referred to “Extinction Rebellion” demonstrators who temporarily blocked some traffic in major cities, they have a wider anti-democratic logic.

Australian cyber conference “disinvites” US whistleblower and Assange supporter

By Oscar Grenfell, 10 October 2019

The cancellation of talks by NSA whistleblower Thomas Drake and Melbourne academic Suelette Dreyfus was a political decision, most likely involving government agencies.

Australian PM aligns with Trump administration against “globalism” and China

By James Cogan, 8 October 2019

Morrison reviewed the sweeping steps that have already been taken to assist the United States wage “strategic competition” against China.

Australian Labor Party courts big business

By Mike Head, 7 October 2019

Labor leaders are “blitzing” corporate boardrooms to win their backing in the wake of Labor’s election debacle.

Australia: Important response to first IYSSE lectures on the 1949 Chinese Revolution

By our reporters, 7 October 2019

The final lectures will be held at Victoria University of Wellington (New Zealand) later today, and at Western Sydney University on October 9, the University of New South Wales on October 16, and Macquarie University on October 17.

Australia: Another “super union” merger—a bigger industrial policeman

By Terry Cook, 4 October 2019

Claims that the merger of United Voice and the National Union of Workers will serve the interests of workers are belied by the betrayals and sell-outs of both organisations.

Australian central bank cuts interest rates to record low

By Mike Head, 3 October 2019

The speed and scale of the rate cuts point to alarm within the financial elite about the turmoil gripping the world capitalist economy and deepening slump in Australia.

Australia: Melbourne tram drivers take further strike action

By Patrick O’Connor, 3 October 2019

The tram drivers have twice overwhelmingly voted down company offers for a regressive new enterprise agreement.

New industrial “integrity” laws seek to head off working class eruption in Australia

By Terry Cook, 1 October 2019

The Morrison government’s legislation is a pre-emptive move by the corporate establishment which is nervous about rising strike action by workers internationally despite the efforts of the unions to hold them back.

Underpayment and wage theft rampant in Australia

By Karen Maxwell and Richard Phillips, 27 September 2019

The “underpayment of wages” businesses model is expanding across a range of sectors.

Australian troops accused of war crimes in Afghanistan

By Oscar Grenfell, 25 September 2019

Anonymous soldiers interviewed by “60 Minutes” alleged that Ben Roberts-Smith, who is widely presented as a “war hero,” kicked a handcuffed Afghan civilian off a cliff in 2012.

Australian government seeks arbitrary powers to revoke citizenship

By Mike Head, 25 September 2019

The Citizenship Cessation Bill is another indication of the repressive measures that the ruling class is preparing to deal with rising working-class discontent.

Government minister, journalists challenged on Australian TV over persecution of Assange

By Oscar Grenfell, 24 September 2019

A WikiLeaks supporter denounced the “media blackout about Julian Assange” and declared that journalists could no longer deny that he was being held as a “political prisoner.”

Australia: Northern Territory worker killed in preventable open-cut mine disaster

By Jason Wardle, 24 September 2019

Dangerous working conditions and lax safety regulations in the Northern Territory has led to workplace fatalities being three times higher than the Australian national average.

Echoing Trump administration, Australian leader advocates end to China’s “developing country” status

By James Cogan, 24 September 2019

Morrison signalled that Australia will join with the US in its escalating campaign to economically cripple China.

Australian prime minister endorses US trade war and militarism

By James Cogan, 23 September 2019

Morrison conducted himself as the head of a middle-order power that has functioned since World War II as the willing enabler of the predatory policies of its great power ally.

Australian students and youth speak out at climate strikes

By our reporters, 23 September 2019

“The governments are too scared to do anything because they want to make profits, rather than save the planet.”

Australian government “balances” budget at expense of disabled

By Mike Head, 23 September 2019

The Morrison government “saved” $4.6 billion by underfunding the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) and cutting a total of $6.4 billion from social programs.

Lectures in Australia and New Zealand on the 1949 Chinese Revolution

23 September 2019

In this video, Peter Symonds, SEP national WSWS editor, explains the relevance of his upcoming lecture “70 years after the Chinese Revolution: How the struggle for socialism was betrayed” to contemporary events. Details of dates and venues in Australia and New Zealand are available here.

Millions march against climate change, capitalism and war

By Bryan Dyne and Will Morrow, 21 September 2019

“Any talk about climate change must include socialism and the economic system.”

Climate strike protesters speak out: “There’s willful blindness on this issue, because fixing it conflicts with capitalism”

By our reporters, 21 September 2019

WSWS reporters spoke with climate strike protesters in cities around the globe.

Bushfires in Australia: Another symptom of climate change

By Frank Gaglioti, 21 September 2019

Early spring fires are an “omen” of an unprecedented and disastrous season ahead due to hot, windy and dry conditions.

Older people keep working due to economic necessity in Australia

By Margaret Rees, 21 September 2019

The development of technology should mean working lives are shortened, but under the capitalist profit system people are forced to work longer.

Confrontation with China focus of Australian prime minister’s state visit to Washington

By James Cogan, 20 September 2019

US-Australia relations are predicated on and aggressively seek to protect and extend immense corporate interests.

Australian workers and youth back striking US autoworkers

By our reporters, 19 September 2019

“I think there’s a common stream connecting workers all over the world. This is something we are all fighting for.”

Claims of Chinese “hacking” add to US pressure on Australian government

By Mike Head, 18 September 2019

Unnamed sources accused the Morrison government of covering up China’s role for fear of disrupting lucrative trade relations with Beijing.

Accidental drug overdose deaths continue to rise in Australia

By Clare Bruderlin, 18 September 2019

As in the US, the pharmaceutical companies are taking advantage of social misery to addict the population on deadly drugs.

Student union at Australian university attempts to bar Chinese students from elections

By Eric Ludlow, 17 September 2019

The student union at Monash University’s Caulfield campus in Melbourne was forced, after a public outcry, to repeal the decision preventing international students from running in the elections.

Bupa’s aged care homes failing official standards across Australia

By Jenny Campbell, 17 September 2019

The record illustrates the extent to which corporations have been permitted to prioritise profits over care.

Australian government pushes drug testing for welfare recipients

By Oscar Grenfell, 16 September 2019

The trial, which is aimed at extending “welfare quarantining” measures, would target working class areas hit by job destruction and government budget cuts.

Abortion bill in NSW used to push Australian politics further to the right

By Cheryl Crisp, 16 September 2019

The emotive demagogy over abortion is part of a campaign to mobilise a right-wing Christian base and recruit them into the Liberal Party.

Australian election survey refutes myths surrounding Labor Party debacle

By Mike Head, 13 September 2019

Swings by working-class voters against Labor reflected the shift in its campaign, away from its fake “fair go” promises, to reassuring big business.

Fashion designer Vivienne Westwood visits Assange: “He’s a freedom fighter!”

By Oscar Grenfell, 12 September 2019

Westwood stated that Assange is “an innocent man” who has been “persecuted for nine years for telling the truth.”

Australian establishment demands removal of alleged “pro-China” member of parliament

By James Cogan, 12 September 2019

Gladys Liu has views that are at odds with the propaganda being promoted in Australia to justify the alliance with US imperialism and war preparations against China.

Australian incarceration rate rising despite drop in crime

By Martin Scott, 12 September 2019

Indigenous Australians are now more likely to be imprisoned than African Americans.

Virgin Australia axes 750 jobs

By Terry Cook, 11 September 2019

The immediate consequence of the restructure is the destruction of 750 jobs, or around 7 percent of the carrier’s workforce, to achieve savings of $75 million a year.

Household incomes dropping in Australia as economy slides toward recession

By Mike Head, 10 September 2019

Working class living standards are continuing a seven-year fall, setting the scene for class conflict.

Another police-state raid in Australia to protect spy agencies

By Mike Head, 7 September 2019

The Morrison government is stepping-up an offensive on democratic rights at the Trump administration’s behest.

Peter Greste’s panel discussion in Sydney: Support for censorship and throwing Assange to the wolves

By James Cogan, 7 September 2019

Greste advocates the anti-democratic conception that a “responsible journalist” censors information that is deemed too controversial for the population to know.

Australia: Whistleblower trials proceed despite outcry

By Mike Head, 3 September 2019

The Morrison government rejects calls to drop the prosecution of people who exposed the criminal activities of the country’s US-linked spy agencies and armed forces.

Australian worker killed in fall on Sydney construction site

By Terry Cook, 3 September 2019

Mohamad Riche, who died in an avoidable accident on August 21, was the sixth construction worker in Australia to lose his life on worksites this year.

Roger Waters holds concert on Monday

Take forward the fight to free Julian Assange!

By Joseph Kishore, 2 September 2019

Julian Assange and Chelsea Manning are the victims of a monstrous criminal conspiracy, involving the most powerful governments in the world, the intelligence agencies and the corporate media.

Australian government moves to deport Tamil refugees despite mass opposition

By Oscar Grenfell, 2 September 2019

The family has been transferred to Christmas Island, where they have been placed in substandard accommodation and given expired food.

Factional wars and scandals wrack Australian Labor Party following election debacle

By Mike Head, 31 August 2019

Decades of betrayals of the working class have come home to roost, triggering internal warfare.

IYSSE holds meetings in defence of Assange at Australian universities

By our reporters, 31 August 2019

One student commented: “What is happening is an injustice to him and his rights and freedom of speech. Young people should join together and fight for what is true and what is honest.”

Motherson autoworkers strike in India; Madhya Pradesh railway workers oppose privatisation; Melbourne tram workers walk out

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and New Zealand

31 August 2019

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

Australian government seeks to deport Tamil refugee family to Sri Lanka

By Oscar Grenfell, 30 August 2019

The outpouring of support for the family reflects the broad opposition of working people to the bipartisan assault on asylum-seekers.

Australia: NSW Greens pass motion “defending” Assange, but MPs remain silent

By Oscar Grenfell, 30 August 2019

The mealy-mouthed statement, which does not call for Assange’s freedom or condemn the US charges against him, has been met with silence by Greens MPs.

Australia acts to retain sway over former colony Papua New Guinea

By James Cogan, 29 August 2019

PNG is on the frontline of the great power competition with China.

Clinical psychologist Lissa Johnson: They are trying to break Assange “physically and psychologically”

By Oscar Grenfell, 28 August 2019

”Of all the passive bystanders to Julian Assange’s abuse, the Australian government is by far the most culpable and complicit.”

Australian Labor Party accuses government of “losing control” of borders

By Mike Head, 28 August 2019

Shadow home affairs minister Kristina Keneally condemned the government for allowing asylum seekers to arrive by plane.

Australian PM calls for new internet censorship measures at G7

By Oscar Grenfell, 27 August 2019

Morrison is campaigning for an international crackdown on social media, while his government asserts the right to ban websites and domains domestically.

Anti-China witch-hunt targets Australian universities

By Oscar Grenfell, 26 August 2019

The government and the security agencies convened a meeting with universities, threatening research involving Chinese academics.

Australian state Labor government’s lies about “protest violence” exposed

By Mike Head, 24 August 2019

Labor’s fabricated “booby trap” claims illustrate how governments concoct fear campaigns to attack basic democratic rights.

Australia joins US naval operation against Iran, foreshadows involvement in South China Sea

By James Cogan, 23 August 2019

Sixteen years after the Iraq war, US imperialism has plans for even more catastrophic crimes—against both Iran and China.

Australia: Train workers’ union calls off Melbourne strike

By David Cohen, 23 August 2019

Confronted by yet another sell-out, workers need to take their fight out of the hands of the RTBU bureaucracy, forming rank and file committees.

Australia’s US Studies Centre advocates war-footing against China

By James Cogan, 22 August 2019

The policies that the pro-US think tank proposes could not be implemented without the suppression of widespread political opposition.

Julian Assange’s father warns WikiLeaks’ publisher’s health is “declining rapidly” in Belmarsh Prison

By Oscar Grenfell, 20 August 2019

”The government will willingly sacrifice Julian’s well-being to the demands of the US and the UK.”

Australian prime minister elevates pro-US militarists to top cabinet, intelligence positions

By James Cogan, 20 August 2019

Shearer’s role will be to advise Morrison and other ministers on how to publicly promote the US-led preparations for war with China.

As Australian government threatens to jail journalists, media chiefs denounce Julian Assange

By Mike Head, 19 August 2019

While claiming to champion the “right to know,” media executives condemned the WikiLeaks founder for exposing the crimes of the US spy and military apparatuses.

Australian health workers protest assaults on staff

By John Wilson, 17 August 2019

The Health Services Union limited the action and channelled workers’ anger into a demand for more security officers, not for increased funding and staffing.

Australian government boosts Special Forces despite war crimes charges

By Mike Head, 16 August 2019

The move is part of the preparation for war, as well as for the suppression of domestic dissent.

Australia: Pro-US ideologue brands student groups as China’s “useful idiots”

By Oscar Grenfell, 15 August 2019

Clive Hamilton’s comments are a warning that Australia’s involvement in the US drive to war with China will be accompanied by political repression domestically.

Australia: Mentally-ill man carries out stabbing attacks in Sydney

By Oscar Grenfell, 14 August 2019

The alleged perpetrator was a 20-year-old man from a working-class suburb in Sydney’s west, with a lengthy history of psychological issues.

From Couch to Curb film launch highlights youth homelessness in Australia

By Patrick O’Connor, 14 August 2019

More than 116,000 people across Australia, or one in every 200, are currently without a home; a quarter of these are young people aged between 12 and 24.

Establishment figures welcome renewed anti-China hysteria in Australia

By James Cogan, 13 August 2019

The ruling elite requires Australia’s incorporation into US war preparations to be accompanied by slandering any public opposition as the product of “Chinese interference.”

Australian actor John Jarratt sues Daily Telegraph after jury throws out rape charge

By Richard Phillips, 13 August 2019

The jury of five men and seven women took just over 15 minutes to unanimously reject the #MeToo-inspired rape allegation against the veteran actor.

Australia: Mentally-ill man shot dead by police at his home

By Martin Scott, 12 August 2019

“If there was no danger to the public, and if he was contained in his own house and not doing anything, one would have to ask ‘why in the hell is he gone?’”

Following AUSMIN talks, Australian politician compares China to Nazi Germany

By James Cogan, 10 August 2019

Andrew Hastie falsely compared the purported failure of Australia to respond to the threat posed by China with France’s lack of response to the “German advance in 1940.”

John Pilger warns: “Do not forget Assange. Or you will lose him”

By Oscar Grenfell, 9 August 2019

The well-known journalist outlined the WikiLeaks founder’s deteriorating health, and the draconian conditions in which he is being held in a British prison.

Australian High Court scraps free speech for workers

By Mike Head, 9 August 2019

The judges’ support for the sacking of a public servant is part of an assault on free speech under conditions of escalating social, geo-strategic and war tensions.

Jennifer Robinson, a leading member of Assange’s legal team, speaks with the WSWS

By our reporters, 9 August 2019

“It speaks volumes about Australia’s position in the world that it’s not willing to take a stand against the United States and protect an Australian citizen.”

Australian spy and police chiefs say raids on journalists must continue

By Mike Head, 8 August 2019

In a blunt intervention, Director-General of National Intelligence Nick Warner used the language of war to defend the targeting of journalists.

Protests in Australia continue to break official silence on Julian Assange

By our reporters, 7 August 2019

The sentiments of ordinary people stand in stark contrast to the refusal of all of the official parties to take any action in defence of the WikiLeaks founder.

Australia: Melbourne rail workers vote for strike action

By Patrick O’Connor, 7 August 2019

While privatisation has provided new and lucrative profit opportunities for corporate operators, it has proven a disaster for rail workers and commuters.

US Secretary of State demands greater Australian involvement in war drive against China

By Oscar Grenfell, 6 August 2019

The support for Pompeo’s aggressive remarks in Canberra is a warning that behind its back, the Australian population has been placed on the frontline of a confrontation with China that threatens a catastrophic nuclear war.

Assange’s father speaks to the WSWS: “Julian’s resolve is fierce”

By Oscar Grenfell, 5 August 2019

John Shipton condemned the Australian government’s refusal to raise the issue of Assange with the US, or to take any action in his defence, declaring: “Silence is complicity.”

Despite briefing by Julian Assange’s lawyer, Australian politicians still refuse to defend him

By Mike Head, 3 August 2019

Intensive lobbying in Canberra this week failed to convince any parliamentarian to oppose the Trump administration’s bid to extradite the WikiLeaks founder.

Australian households’ cost of living soars above consumer price index

By Margaret Rees, 3 August 2019

A large gap has emerged between the official statistics and the standard of living, thanks to skyrocketing prices for essential goods and services, as opposed to prices for discretionary items.

Indian doctors hold national 24-hour walkout; Chinese auto workers strike; Australian railway workers vote for industrial action

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

3 August 2019

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

Slump deepens in Australian residential construction industry

By Paul Bartizan and Richard Phillips, 2 August 2019

Multiple faults in new apartment buildings have become a factor in the bursting of a debt-fuelled property bubble that is threatening thousands of jobs.

Julian Assange’s lawyer briefs Australian parliamentarians on his persecution

By Oscar Grenfell, 1 August 2019

The event reflected concerns within the ruling elite over popular opposition to the Trump administration’s bid to prosecute the WikiLeaks founder.

Australian Labor Party leader: We will keep voting for government’s legislation

By Mike Head, 1 August 2019

Albanese’s declaration was another blunt signal of Labor’s further sharp shift to the right in the wake of its historic debacle at the May 18 federal election.

Early peak in Australia influenza season causes concern

By John Mackay, 31 July 2019

The severity of deadly flu outbreaks could be minimised with global free access to vaccination, and the development of a universal vaccine.

Intercept article calls on Democrats to step up attack on Julian Assange

By Oscar Grenfell, 30 July 2019

James Risen peddled the lies of CNN and the intelligence agencies, slanderously suggesting that Assange worked on behalf of Russia and the Trump campaign.

Australia: Six Queensland mining deaths in 12 months

By Patrick Davies, 30 July 2019

The tragedies are a result of the gutting of full-time jobs and the erosion of working conditions, enforced by the trade unions.

DP World threatens to sack 10 percent of its Australian workforce during industrial action

By Noel Holt, 29 July 2019

The move marks a new offensive by employers to further slash jobs, basic rights and conditions on the waterfront and throughout the working class as a whole.

Australian central bank chief fearful of rising global tensions

By Mike Head, 27 July 2019

“When businesses are nervous, they don’t want to invest,” Philip Lowe warned a corporate lunch audience.

Australian disability centre closures result in nearly a dozen deaths

By Max Newman, 26 July 2019

Former residents of a disability centre in Newcastle have died after being transferred to under-funded group homes via the National Disability Insurance Scheme.

Australian government demands police-state powers over protests and exclusions of citizens

By Mike Head, 24 July 2019

The bills would hand governments the most authoritarian powers since the two world wars.

Australian cancer victim sues Bayer-Monsanto

By Frank Gaglioti, 23 July 2019

Michael Ogalirolo claims his potentially lethal cancer, non-Hodgkin lymphoma, is due to 18 years of exposure to glyphosate, the active component of the herbicide Roundup.