Australia and South Pacific

Ex-Australian Labor Party leader joins far-right anti-immigrant One Nation

By Mike Head, 13 November 2018

The Hanson-Latham union is another stark example of the intense efforts being made to push the entire parliamentary establishment further in a Trump-style direction.

Australia: Welfare cut leaves asylum seekers facing destitution

By Max Newman, 13 November 2018

A new report shows that nearly 80 percent of those cut off benefits are at risk of homelessness.

Australia: Alleged terror attacker “known to police and intelligence agencies”

By Patrick O’Connor, 12 November 2018

The deranged actions of an individual in need of psychological treatment were seized upon by the media and politicians to whip up resentment against immigrants, particularly Muslims.

New Zealand rail union enforces another pro-company pay deal

By our correspondent, 10 November 2018

In 2016, the Labour Party-dominated Greater Wellington Regional Council privatised the region's commuter rail service, to save $NZ100 million over 15 years at the expense of jobs, wages and conditions.

Thousands of Indian contract workers remain on strike; 29,000 New Zealand primary school teachers to take national strike action

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

10 November 2018

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

Ousted Australian prime minister denounces right-wing “coup”

By Mike Head, 9 November 2018

Turnbull refused to provide any explanation for his removal, but accused “the right” of seeking to destroy the Liberal Party.

David North in conversation with Nick Beams

Book launch of The Heritage We Defend in Sydney, Australia

9 November 2018

Australian prime minister dismisses renewed calls to defend Julian Assange

By Mike Head, 8 November 2018

Morrison’s remarks are the first direct statement by the government of its support for the drive by the US government to get its hands on the WikiLeaks publisher.

Government declares child refugees will not remain in Australia

By Max Newman, 8 November 2018

The government’s promise to evacuate detained children from Nauru is a ploy to placate the public outcry over their barbaric treatment.

Papua New Guinea: Thousands strike over extravagant APEC spending

By John Braddock, 7 November 2018

Workers in the impoverished Pacific island country held a one-day protest against the government’s purchase of 43 luxury cars for the APEC summit.

Judge rejects push by Daily Telegraph to amend its defence in Geoffrey Rush defamation suit

By Linda Tenenbaum, 6 November 2018

Justice Wigney sharply warned that the presence of a previously unheard of witness would “egregiously prejudice Mr Rush.”

Australian union officials use Newcastle rally to whitewash their betrayals

By Terry Cook, 6 November 2018

Speakers presented a series of sell-outs and regressive enterprise agreements as “victories.”

Australian workers at union rally oppose attacks on conditions, criticise Labor Party

By Terry Cook, 6 November 2018

Workers at the October 30 Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU) “Change the Rules” rally in Newcastle spoke to Socialist Equality Party (SEP) members about the destruction of working conditions that both Liberal-National and Labor-led governments have enforced.

Australia: Morrison-Turnbull clash points to sharp foreign policy tensions

By Mike Head, 5 November 2018

The eruption of open conflict underscores the pressures and rifts behind Turnbull’s ouster as prime minister on August 24.

New Zealand: Bus union ends Wellington strike

By Tom Peters, 3 November 2018

The transport unions have sought to divide and demoralise workers and subordinate them to the Labour Party-led government.

Australian Labor Party leader outlines militarist foreign policy

By Oscar Grenfell, 2 November 2018

Bill Shorten pledged an expansion of Australian military and economic activities in the Pacific, aimed at countering China’s growing influence in the region.

Australia declares China a threat to military-related university research and infrastructure

By Mike Head, 1 November 2018

A report by the government-funded Australian Strategic Policy Institute alleges that Chinese military-linked researchers are working “undercover” in US and allied universities.

New Zealand teachers’ union moves to call off strikes

By John Braddock, 31 October 2018

In order to quash rolling strikes due next month, the primary teachers’ union has joined with the Ministry of Education to seek urgent facilitation to end a long-running pay dispute.

Watch: Two Hundred Years Since the Birth of Karl Marx

By Nick Beams, 31 October 2018

This lecture was delivered by Nick Beams, a member of the international editorial board of the World Socialist Web Site, at several Australian universities during September and October 2018.

Nick Beams delivers successful lectures on the contemporary relevance of Karl Marx at Australian universities

By our reporters, 31 October 2018

Beams’ lectures were the only events on Australian university campuses outlining the revolutionary perspective of Karl Marx, two hundred years after his birth.

Australia: Victorian Labor government promotes bogus community contest

By Jason Quill and David Cohen, 30 October 2018

“Pick My Project” saw proposals pitted against one another, with the “winners” and “losers” determined via an online ballot.

Spy and police chiefs demand passage of Australian encryption access law

By Mike Head, 29 October 2018

The heads of the “security” apparatus spoke on behalf of the US-led “Five Eyes” intelligence network, which conducts mass monitoring of the world’s population.

Geoffrey Rush defamation trial against Murdoch media begins in Sydney

By Linda Tenenbaum, 27 October 2018

Over the past nearly 50 years, Rush has won numerous awards, including the “Triple Crown;” helped establish the Australian Academy of Cinema, Theatre and Acting Arts; and in 2014 received an Order of Australia for Service to the Arts.

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

Strikes in India, Bangladesh and Pakistan

27 October 2018

The stoppages are part of an emerging movement of the working class the Indian sub-continent.

Australia: Tasmanian public sector workers strike over wages and conditions

By Oscar Grenfell, 26 October 2018

The stoppage reflected a growing militancy among workers, but the unions are desperately seeking to channel anger behind the Labor Party.

Tensions continues to wrack Australian government after by-election defeat

By Mike Head, 25 October 2018

The parliamentary set-up in Australia, as in other countries, is being torn asunder by economic, geo-strategic and class tensions.

Australian workers at mass rallies speak on growing inequality, denounce Labor

By our reporters, 24 October 2018

“I know Fair Work laws were brought in by Labor. We elected them and then they kicked us in the teeth.”

Australia: Victorian Labor government makes election pitch to big business

By David Cohen, 24 October 2018

The state Labor government has cut corporate tax rates, slashed social spending and presided over a major build-up of the police force.

Australian government suffers major defeat in Wentworth by-election

By Oscar Grenfell, 22 October 2018

The swing against the Liberal candidate was the largest ever against a government candidate in a federal by-election.

The political issues posed by the Australian Council of Trade Unions’ “Change the Rules” campaign

By the Socialist Equality Party (Australia), 22 October 2018

The very “Fair Work Australia” industrial legislation the unions claim to be fighting to change were imposed with their support.

New Zealand opposition in crisis over links to Chinese businessman

By Tom Peters, 20 October 2018

Allegations that the National Party leader failed to disclose a donation have been seized on by the media and NZ First Party to ramp up the nationalist anti-China campaign.

Nauru expels another doctor amid growing protests over Australia’s refugee detention centres

By Oscar Grenfell, 20 October 2018

International rights organisations and thousands of doctors have condemned the persecution of refugees.

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

Police attack striking workers in India and Bangladesh

20 October 2018

Police opened fire on garment workers demanding unpaid wages in Bangladesh, while Indian authorities attacked protesting health workers.

Australian government backs far-right “OK to be white” motion in Senate

By Mike Head, 19 October 2018

The government’s embrace of the slogan, long championed by alt-right and neo-Nazi groups, has a far-reaching significance.

Meetings in Australia and New Zealand to celebrate the 80th anniversary of the Fourth International

19 October 2018

The meetings in December will enable workers, youth and professionals opposed to social inequality, authoritarianism and war to discuss the critical political lessons drawn by the Trotskyist movement during eight decades of struggle.

Australia: Horse-racing lobby forces Sydney Opera House to advertise $13 million horse race

By Richard Phillips, 18 October 2018

Racing industry, media and government bullying of Opera House management was angrily rejected by tens of thousands of Sydney residents.

Australia backs Trump as US ramps up anti-China drive

By Peter Symonds, 17 October 2018

There is an intense discussion in Australian think tanks and military and intelligence circles over the need to accelerate preparations for regional and global war.

Australian housing market slumps toward potential crash

By James Cogan, 17 October 2018

Many borrowers face becoming “mortgage prisoners,” condemned to paying off loans greater than the value of their homes.

Australian Labor Party leader vows to cut taxes for the rich

By Mike Head, 16 October 2018

The handouts to business and high-income households demonstrate the fraud of Labor’s claims to be tackling “fairness.”

Australia: Hutchison pushes cuts to waterfront workers’ wages and conditions

By Terry Cook, 16 October 2018

The Maritime Union of Australia has cleared the way for the latest attacks by collaborating in the destruction of jobs, wages and conditions for decades.

Ecuador to partially restore Julian Assange’s access to communications and visitors

By James Cogan, 15 October 2018

Ecuador’s decision does not end the danger Assange faces or his effective imprisonment inside the small embassy building in London.

New Zealand to fine travellers who refuse to unlock electronic devices at border

By Tom Peters, 15 October 2018

Under a new law, anyone entering New Zealand can be fined $5,000 for refusing to provide passwords and encryption keys, enabling Customs agents to search their electronic devices.

Australian government flags forcing new immigrants to live in designated zones

By Mike Head, 13 October 2018

The scapegoating of immigrants underscores the wholesale lurch to the right within the political establishment signalled by Prime Minister Morrison’s installation.

Indian sanitation workers union shuts down month-long strike; Western Australian bus drivers strike over pay

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

13 October 2018

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

Australian encryption bill becomes a global test case for surveillance

By Mike Head, 10 October 2018

Internet service providers would be compelled to facilitate the cracking of encryption codes.

Australian union prepares sellout after ending Alcoa strike

By Terry Cook, 9 October 2018

Alcoa’s “job security” promise, touted by the union to end an indefinite strike at the company’s Western Australian operations, is worthless.

Sharp rise in child protection interventions in Australia

By Michelle Stevens, 8 October 2018

The statistics point to a deepening social crisis, particularly in working class and rural areas, with the worst impact on indigenous families.

US envoy to Australia reveals joint bid to block Huawei in Papua New Guinea

By Mike Head, 8 October 2018

Sharing a land border with Indonesia, PNG is the most populous, strategically-located and resource-rich state in the southern Pacific.

Australian government hands private schools another $4.6 billion

By David Cohen, 6 October 2018

The latest windfall will accelerate the gulf between well-resourced private schools and cash-starved public schools in one of the world’s most unequal education systems.

Indian police arrest 600 striking Yamaha workers; Pakistan teachers, municipal employees and other workers demonstrate for unpaid wages

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

6 October 2018

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

Australian banks downgraded as concerns mount over falling property prices

By Mike Head, 5 October 2018

The loss of “unquestionably strong” status is another indicator of a potential property and financial crash, with devastating consequences.

Australian academics union tries to impose another sellout agreement at University of Melbourne

By Patrick O’Connor, 3 October 2018

On virtually every substantive issue concerning staff wages and working conditions, the NTEU made significant concessions in line with the management’s requirements.

Australia: “Terror case” against university employee falls apart

By Erika Zimmer, 2 October 2018

Nizamdeen, a 25 year-old business analyst, was released on bail after the prosecution admitted it could not link him to their main piece of “evidence.”

More than eight hundred dead after earthquakes and tsunami strike Indonesia

By John Braddock, 1 October 2018

Fourteen years after the 2004 tsunami killed up to 230,000 people, governments throughout the region and internationally have done nothing to prevent a similar mass tragedy.

Julian Assange appoints new WikiLeaks’ editor-in-chief

By Patrick O’Connor, 1 October 2018

Kristinn Hrafnsson’s appointment is testament to WikiLeaks’ invaluable contribution to genuine journalism.

Senior management implodes after exposure of government interference at Australia’s state-funded media

By Richard Phillips, 1 October 2018

Australian Broadcasting Corporation chairman Justin Milne demanded senior journalists be sacked in order to curry favour with the federal government.

New Zealand primary teachers reject sellout pay offer

By Tom Peters, 29 September 2018

The Labour Party-NZ First government’s offer of a meagre 3 percent per year for three years, with no measures to address the staffing crisis, was resoundingly rejected by primary school teachers.

India police attack striking auto workers in Tamil Nadu; New Zealand bus drivers walkout

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

29 September 2018

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

Australian unions enforce low pay for pathology workers

By Terry Cook, 28 September 2018

The Fair Work Commission’s wage ruling for Dorevitch Pathology workers is far from the “big win” proclaimed by the Health Services Union.

Australia: Commemoration rally held for youth killed in racist attack

By our reporters, 27 September 2018

Liep Gony’s mother is clearly alarmed at the renewed government-media campaign scapegoating of youth of African origin.

Australian royal commission reveals predatory practices of insurance companies

By Oscar Grenfell, 26 September 2018

Testimony indicated that the major insurance companies had breached their own regulations more than 30,000 times without incurring any substantial penalties.

Guardian newspaper condemned for publishing “deliberate lies” about Julian Assange

By James Cogan, 25 September 2018

Former British whistleblower Craig Murray linked the newspaper’s allegations directly to the Mueller investigation in the United States.

Australian university students face unprecedented financial pressures

By Martin Scott, 24 September 2018

Students confront a housing affordability crisis, low-paid work and a mountain of tuition debt.

Rupert Murdoch accused of insisting on Australian prime minister’s removal

By Mike Head, 22 September 2018

Behind the façade of elections, the reality is that powerful figures in the corporate ruling class make or break governments.

Rising homelessness among older people in Australia

By Margaret Rees, 22 September 2018

After working their entire lives, older workers are not guaranteed even a roof over their head.

Rajasthan bus drivers strike in India; New Zealand Ministry of Justice workers walkout

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

22 September 2018

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

Australian government planning to reopen strategic Papua New Guinea naval base

By Mike Head, 21 September 2018

The return of the Australian and US navies to Manus Island would be a significant preparation for a US-led war against China.

New Zealand government extends troop deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan

By Tom Peters, 21 September 2018

The announcement that troops will remain in Iraq and Afghanistan further demolishes claims that the NZ Labour Party-NZ First-Greens coalition government is a “progressive” alternative.

Australia’s financial newspaper warns of another global crash

By Mike Head, 19 September 2018

The prospect of a financial meltdown is propelling a drive to refashion the political establishment to suppress the anticipated eruption of working-class unrest.

Western Australia: Indigenous boys drown trying to escape police

By Richard Phillips, 19 September 2018

The two teenagers were so terrified of being taken into police custody that they tried to escape by swimming across a dangerous river.

Australian government calls royal commission into aged care but numerous reports have already exposed major crisis

By Clare Bruderlin, 17 September 2018

Neglect, mistreatment and shocking conditions are an everyday reality for many now living in residential aged care.

Australian unions amass wealth as membership plummets

By Mike Head, 14 September 2018

The transformation of the unions into corporate operations cannot be explained by corruption and it is not unique to Australia.

Australia: Union calls one-day stoppage at University of Newcastle

By John Harris, 14 September 2018

The National Tertiary Education Union’s demands centre on maintaining the “consultative” and “committee” structures through which it has helped management impose restructuring and job cuts.

Chelsea Manning speaks in New Zealand

By Tom Peters, 13 September 2018

After being denied entry to Australia, Manning spoke to audiences in New Zealand about her decision to leak US military documents, her time in prison and her political activism over the past year.

British nationalist Nigel Farage addresses co-thinkers in Australia

By James Cogan, 13 September 2018

Farage was sponsored by corporate interests and welcomed by prominent powerbrokers within the governing Liberal Party.

Workers and youth oppose Australian government ban on Chelsea Manning

By our reporters, 13 September 2018

“The government wants to shut all dialogue down and uses the ogre of terrorism as a shield to do that.”

Australia: Reject NTEU sellout at Macquarie University! For a unified national struggle against cuts!

By the Committee For Public Education, 13 September 2018

The rush for a vote on the union-negotiated agreement is a warning of its thrust and content.

Pacific Islands Forum intensifies anti-China push

By John Braddock, 12 September 2018

The forum’s enhanced “regional security” agreement signals deepening tensions in the Pacific between Washington and its allies, Australia and New Zealand, and Beijing.

Australia: The pseudo-left Victorian Socialists and its pro-capitalist election manifesto

By Patrick O’Connor, 12 September 2018

What is underway ahead of the November state election is a somewhat desperate effort by the pseudo-left to revive illusions in Labor, the Greens and the trade unions.

Poor and unhealthy: Australia’s artists in social free-fall

By Kaye Tucker, 12 September 2018

Professional performing artists and support crews have a 74-year average life expectancy, ten years less than the general Australian population.

Hundreds of Australian Aborigines killed in state custody

By Richard Phillips, 10 September 2018

Figures published last week by the Guardian reveal that over 400 Aborigines have died whilst in the custody of Australian police and prison officers since 1991.

Home loan stress threatening millions of households in Australia

By Mike Head, 7 September 2018

Nearly one in four households are already “mortgage prisoners”—trapped in debt while house values are falling.

Australia: Factory fire sends toxic smoke over western Melbourne

By Eric Ludlow, 7 September 2018

Authorities tried to reassure concerned residents, but hundreds of dead fish, eels and birds have been found in nearby waterways.

Socialist Equality Group (New Zealand) forum reviews lessons of nursing union sellout

By our reporter, 7 September 2018

Participants discussed the need for health workers to rebel against the New Zealand Nurses Organisation, build rank-and-file committees and unite with workers internationally, based on a socialist perspective.

SEP Australia to livestream meeting in Sydney on the political issues behind the coup against Turnbull

6 September 2018

The meeting on Sunday, September 30 will be addressed by Nick Beams and James Cogan. WSWS readers across Australia and internationally can watch it live or later on the SEP's Facebook page.

Family speaks to World Socialist Web Site

Unanswered questions surround the suicide of Australian paramedic Tony Jenkins

By Cheryl Crisp and John Mackay, 6 September 2018

On April 9, the 28-year veteran paramedic took his own life within two hours of being called into a meeting with New South Wales Ambulance senior managers.

Australian unions exploit childcare strike to promote Labor

By Oscar Grenfell, 6 September 2018

The Sydney protest was effectively an election rally for the Labor Party, which has spearheaded the privatisation of childcare.

US whistleblower Chelsea Manning defies ban to speak in Australia

By Linda Tenenbaum, 5 September 2018

“Once you’re immersed in a war zone, you realise that it isn’t statistics anymore. These were human lives and flaws and all of the vulnerabilities that people have.”

“Five Eyes” summit in Australia ramps up internet censorship

By Mike Head, 5 September 2018

Ministers from the US-led global surveillance network revealed stepped-up measures against Chinese and Russian “foreign interference” and greater control over social media.

Severe drought hits large regions of Australia

By Frank Gaglioti, 5 September 2018

Government indifference has exacerbated the plight of many farmers and rural communities that are reeling under the dry conditions.

Australian media promotes right-wing Steve Bannon and calls for confrontation with China

By James Cogan, 4 September 2018

The logic of Bannon’s positions is a devastating military conflict.

Australian government rushes to deport Vietnamese refugees

By Max Newman, 3 September 2018

After a manhunt in a Queensland rainforest, 17 Vietnamese men were rounded up for deportation “at the first available opportunity.”

Australia: Aurizon coal train crews face union sell-out

By Patrick Davies, 1 September 2018

The Rail Tram and Bus Union is working to conclude yet another regressive enterprise agreement covering coal haulage crews in the Hunter Valley.

Widespread opposition to Australian government ban on Chelsea Manning

By Oscar Grenfell and James Cogan, 31 August 2018

The attempt to prevent Manning visiting Australia followed a high-level meeting of the Five Eyes spying network, which called for a campaign against those who “sow discord.”

Conflicts inside Liberal Party shed light on lurch to right in Australian government

By Mike Head, 31 August 2018

In a clear overture to the right faction, Morrison has appointed Tony Abbott to a newly-created position of “special envoy on indigenous affairs.”

US ambassador praises New Zealand’s Pacific “reset”

By John Braddock, 30 August 2018

Brown’s comments are an enthusiastic endorsement of Labour’s strengthening of New Zealand’s support for Washington’s drive to war against both China and Russia.

National Party seeks to prevent Chelsea Manning from entering New Zealand

By the Socialist Equality Group (New Zealand), 30 August 2018

The National Party’s attempt to bar Manning, who exposed war crimes committed by the US, is part of a worldwide assault on free speech and other democratic rights.

Oppose the ban on Chelsea Manning speaking in Australia!

By the Socialist Equality Party (Australia), 30 August 2018

The SEP demands that Manning be granted her visa and restates its demand for the unconditional freedom of WikiLeaks editor Julian Assange.

New Australian government to intensify pro-US militarism and class war

By James Cogan, 29 August 2018

The policies being rolled out underscore the fact that one of the objectives behind ousting Turnbull was to refashion the Liberal Party into a far more right-wing movement.

Whistleblowers expose Australian government crimes at Nauru refugee camp

By Oscar Grenfell, 29 August 2018

Medical professionals have warned that children suffering severe mental illness are at risk of dying at the Australian-operated detention centre.