Australian Social Issues & Inequality
By our reporters, 20 May 2014
By Patrick O’Connor, 10 May 2014
This week’s budget saw the state government trumpet its pro-business and pro-austerity credentials.
By Peter Symonds, 7 May 2014
Nothing could more clearly expose the entire political establishment than the hysterical opposition to a small, temporary tax on the top 15 percent of taxpayers.
By Nick Beams, 29 April 2014
Far from being for the good of the “country,” as Abbott claims, the planned budget cuts hit hardest at those on the lowest incomes.
By Nick Beams, 17 April 2014
The scandal that led to NSW Premier O’Farrell’s sudden resignation is about effecting a further lurch to the right by governments at the state and federal level.
By Mike Head, 11 April 2014
Australian Treasurer Joe Hockey outlined a fundamental assault on social spending in Australia and internationally, in line with the demands of the global financial elite.
By Eduardo Ballesteros, 28 March 2014
The Papua New Guinea government, at Canberra’s behest, is blocking a judicial inquiry into abuses against refugees inside Australia’s detention camp on Manus Island.
“No section of public housing is safe”
By our reporters, 26 March 2014
Following the New South Wales Liberal government’s announcement that it was privatising all public housing in the area, WSWS reporters spoke with residents of Millers Point and The Rocks.
By Stephen Griffiths, 26 March 2014
The NSW government aims to drive low-paid workers and pensioners out of inner Sydney.
By Daniel Saul, 22 March 2014
The official response underscored the utter contempt for working class communities like Morwell and neighbouring towns.
By Eduardo Ballesteros, 21 March 2014
A construction site blaze highlights the drastic deterioration of health and safety in Australian workplaces.
By Terry Cook, 19 March 2014
Martin Ferguson accused the Abbott government of being too “timid” on industrial relations “reform.”
By Alan Leigh, 10 March 2014
Joblessness among young workers is comparable to levels across southern Europe, where governments have imposed savage austerity measures.
By Patrick O’Connor, 1 March 2014
The unions have no problem with making workers bear the cost of the Qantas crisis, but want to maintain their privileged position within the airline industry.
By Joshua Newsham, 1 March 2014
In one shutdown after another, the unions have functioned on behalf of management to suppress any struggle to defend jobs.
By Daniel Saul, 28 February 2014
Despite health warnings about the dangers of toxic smoke and ash, residents of Morwell have received virtually no assistance from the government or the corporate mine owners.
By Stephen Griffiths and Richard Phillips, 26 February 2014
New South Wales minister attacks residents, claiming they are responsible for conditions produced by decades of poverty, government cost-cutting and social neglect.
By Zac Hambides, 22 February 2014
The official unemployment rate in Australia has hit a ten-year high.
By Max Newman, 21 February 2014
The closure of Newcastle’s Stockton Centre exposes the purpose of the former Labor government’s National Disability Insurance Scheme.
By Mike Head, 20 February 2014
CEOs are being rewarded for slashing costs, along with the livelihoods of many thousands of people.
By Mark Church, 11 February 2014
By forcing the unemployed to perform demoralising work, the program seeks to humiliate, harass and coerce them into low-paid jobs.
By Mark Church and Mike Head, 8 February 2014
Despite the concerns of local residents, Monika Chetty’s plight was ignored by authorities until she was found with fatal burns.
By Patrick O’Connor, 6 February 2014
Howes appealed for a new “Grand Compact” between unions, business and government.
By Will Morrow, 6 February 2014
The wealth of the top 50 Australians increased by 49 percent over the past three years.
By Patrick O’Connor, 5 February 2014
The government has rejected calls for a subsidy for SPC and vilified workers for their “extraordinary” wages and conditions.
By Will Morrow, 29 January 2014
In contrast to previous years, the official celebrations last Sunday took on a distinctly militarist tone.
By Mark Church, 25 January 2014
A comparison between Mosman, on Sydney’s north shore, and the working class suburb of Liverpool provides a glimpse of Australia’s social polarisation.
By our reporters, 25 January 2014
The WSWS interviewed people in Liverpool’s shopping mall about the increasingly obvious inequality in Sydney.
By Patrick O’Connor, 22 January 2014
The review is part of the preparations for an austerity budget but has a longer term agenda involving the elimination of entire welfare programs.
By Joe Lopez, 18 January 2014
Following major bushfires in the Perth Hills, the state government attempted to blame residents for not maintaining “private” power poles.
By Oliver Campbell, 17 January 2014
The political establishment cannot allow any objective discussion of the social factors that produced the death of 18-year-old Daniel Christie.
By Terry Cook, 16 January 2014
While the causes of the death remain unclear, the circumstances raise questions about poor conditions and safety standards on construction sites.
Australia: Former Labor prime ministers call on conservative government to slash spending more quickly
By Richard Phillips, 11 January 2014
Hawke and Keating are calling for immediate austerity measures to cut the projected $47 billion deficit.
By Will Marshall, 9 January 2014
SPC’s closure would devastate Shepparton, which has a population of just over 60,000 and an already high official unemployment rate of 8.6 percent.
By Terry Cook, 8 January 2014
Under the AMWU’s plan, the very future of thousands of workers is to be tied directly to the war aims of Australian and US imperialism.
By Oliver Campbell, 7 January 2014
The protest was called in response to proposals for upfront fees for visits to doctors.
By Tania Baptist, 28 December 2013
Working class youth are systematically targeted and harassed by ticket inspectors, security personnel, and police, who know they are essentially immune from prosecution.
By Zac Hambides, 18 December 2013
The gutting of manufacturing since the 2008 global crash is being compounded by rising job losses in the mining sector, retail closures and public sector cuts.
By Patrick O’Connor, 30 November 2013
The decision underscores the sharp divisions wracking the unstable coalition government of Prime Minister Tony Abbott.
By Patrick O’Connor, 27 November 2013
The Abbott government will next year unveil a new funding model that will be even more heavily skewed against public schools.
By Gabriela Zabala, 30 October 2013
Many homes will be valued at a higher rate, which will push up the rents by $40 to $100 per week.
By our correspondents, 30 October 2013
Tenants across the city discuss the impact of the new “bed taxes” and “market rents” and the government’s refusal to carry out basic repairs.
By Will Marshall and Patrick O’Connor, 29 October 2013
Each year, between 20 and 40 percent of teachers will be arbitrarily declared “underperforming,” denied incremental salary increases and threatened with dismissal.
By Alex Messenger, 22 October 2013
More than 50 percent of those receiving Foodbank services have a job, reflecting the rise of casual and part-time work, as well as declining real wages.
By Will Marshall, 26 August 2013
Thousands joined protests in Australian capital cities against the brutal anti-refugee policies of the Labor government and opposition Coalition.
By Zac Hambides—SEP Senate candidate for NSW, 20 August 2013
Rising homelessness is a product of the worsening social crisis generated by the global breakdown of capitalism and compounded by government austerity measures.
By Gabriela Zabala—SEP Senate candidate for Queensland, 13 July 2013
The National Disability Insurance Scheme is not just consistent with Labor’s broader cost-cutting agenda, but pivotal to it.
By Patrick O’Connor, 12 July 2013
The speech, a pro-business manifesto, marked the first elaboration of Rudd’s economic program since he returned as prime minister late last month.
By Terry Cook, 11 July 2013
Prime Minister Rudd cynically apologised to the families of four young men killed when working for contractors under the home insulation scheme.
By our correspondents, 29 June 2013
Young workers spoke about the social impact of job destruction, rising levels of unemployment and financial stress.
By Terry Cook, 15 June 2013
The 41 cents an hour pay rise will further entrench the social hardship facing 1.5 million minimum wage workers.
By Terry Cook, 12 June 2013
Slowing growth and falling international demand for minerals is producing escalating job destruction across Australia.
By Terry Cook, 8 June 2013
There is a widening gulf between a thin super-rich layer and millions of ordinary people facing worsening economic hardship.
By Mike Head, 12 April 2013
Hundreds of refugees are leaving because of severe economic hardship and repression by the Sri Lankan government and the military.
By Dragan Slavkov and Celeste Lopez, 9 March 2013
The escalating assault on jobs, living standards and basic services will widen the already glaring levels of inequality.
By Will Morrow, 24 January 2013
While being presented as accounting corrections, these cutbacks are entirely in line with the federal Labor government’s so-called health care reform program.
By Mark Church, 5 January 2013
As well as suffering a drastic drop in income, sole parents will be forced to actively search for work.
By our correspondents, 5 January 2013
The WSWS interviewed unemployed workers in Sydney and Melbourne about the Labor government’s latest welfare cut.
By Mike Head, 31 December 2012
At least 155 people, including about 30 children, are now detained on Manus Island, with many housed in tents and shipping containers.
By Mark Church, 24 December 2012
The sharp economic downturn, compounded by federal and state government cuts, is driving new layers of the working class into poverty.
By Patrick O’Connor, 16 October 2012
The findings are a devastating indictment of the Labor government and its pro-business restructuring agenda.
By Zac Hambides, 21 March 2012
All the evidence indicates that police used potentially lethal force against an innocent young man, Roberto Laudisio Curti.
By Alex Messenger, 26 October 2011
The statistics indicate that the wealthy have been able to exploit the global financial crisis to profit at the expense of ordinary people.
By Eduardo Ballesteros, 21 October 2011
The Moody’s report provides a glimpse of the mounting financial distress being experienced by working class households, even before the current barrage of manufacturing job losses.
By Joe Lopez and James Cogan, 29 July 2011
Official figures disguise the immense contradictions and regressive social impact of the mining boom.
By Will Morrow, 1 July 2011
The WSWS spoke to unemployed people in the Sydney suburb of Bankstown, one of the working class areas selected by the Gillard government for welfare-cutting trials.
By Tania Baptist, 29 June 2011
The scheme is part of various measures aimed at forcing the disabled, the long-term unemployed, and single mothers off welfare and into the workforce, where they will become a new source of cheap labour.
By Tania Baptist, 29 June 2011
The WSWS interviewed advocates for single mothers and welfare recipients about the implications of the Gillard government’s trials, which will suspend welfare payments for teenage parents.
By Mike Head, 27 June 2011
The ruling is part of a concerted government-backed drive to slash wages and conditions of low-paid retail workers amid falling sales, a wave of store closures and signs of deepening slump.
By Peter Byrne, 15 June 2011
Four out of the top five on the Rich 200 List made their fortunes in the mining sector, pointing to the growing weight of the major miners within the ruling elite.
By Terry Cook, 1 December 2010
Two reports on executive remuneration reveal that Australia’s corporate and financial elite are taking home millions of dollars while workers and their families suffer increasing levels of financial and social stress.
By Will Marshall, 24 November 2010
Successive Labor and Liberal governments in Victoria have starved public housing of funds. The most disadvantaged people in the state currently languish on waiting lists for almost three times as long as they did when the Labor government was first elected in 1999.
By Alex Messenger, 16 November 2010
With privatisation driving an expected rise in electricity prices by 100 percent in the next five to seven years, growing numbers of working people are having difficulties paying their bills.
By Mike Head, 4 November 2010
Beneath the surface of the mining-led “recovery”, millions of ordinary people are suffering economic insecurity, acute financial difficulties and housing stress.
By Tania Baptist and Socialist Equality Party candidate for Gellibrand, 23 July 2010
Prime Minister Julia Gillard has made clear that Labor’s construction halt on new childcare centres, which was imposed at the behest of the private for-profit childcare operators, will be maintained.
By John Mackay, 23 June 2010
Diabetes patients are to be a test case for a new health blueprint designed to ration access to medical care.
By James Cogan, 12 June 2010
Hundreds of thousands of people who want and need full time jobs do not show up in the figures because they are not counted as unemployed.
By Margaret Rees and Mike Head, 26 April 2010
The Rudd government’s hospital plan centres on using the “casemix” funding model to slash costs and ration patients’ access to services.
By Chris Johnson, 6 April 2010
Australia’s richest 200 executives saw their wealth rebound 72 percent last year, in a list dominated by mining and finance companies.
By Patrick O’Connor, 2 April 2010
Encouraged and emboldened by what was said during the televised debate between Rudd and Abbott, the media is now urging the Labor government to go further.
By Mike Head, 6 March 2010
Despite being presented as an historic “reform,” the plan has nothing to do with resolving the worsening crisis in the chronically under-funded health system.
By Tess Gordon, 16 February 2010
In a trial scheme in Queensland, parents in the impoverished working class suburbs of Logan are having their welfare payments stripped if their children fail to attend school.
By Margaret Rees, 11 July 2009
In an extraordinary political manoeuvre, Victorian premier John Brumby has moved to pre-empt potentially damaging findings by the state’s royal commission into the February 7 “Black Saturday” bushfires.
By Mike Head, 9 July 2009
Australia’s Fair Pay Commission has inflicted a real pay cut on 1.3 million low-paid workers by freezing the minimum wage for the first time in 27 years.
By Laura Tiernan, 10 June 2009
Protests by Indian students studying in Australia that erupted in Melbourne on May 31 have spread to Sydney over recent days.
By Noel Holt, 26 May 2009
Just as a court ruled that former directors of James Hardie Industries had issued a false statement in 2001 about the company’s asbestosis compensation fund, the company revealed that its current fund might be unable to meet its commitments by 2013.
By Margaret Rees, 16 May 2009
Criticism of the government’s “stay or go” policy has followed the devastating firestorm, now known as Black Saturday, that hit the Australian state of Victoria on February 7.
By Tess Gordon, 2 May 2009
A research report has warned that suburbs in Australia’s middle and outer suburban mortgage belts could become “hot spots of home repossessions” as unemployment strikes.
By Will Marshall, 28 April 2009
Labor government promises to support the victims of the “Black Saturday” bushfires have proven hollow. The small amount of compensation for those whose homes were destroyed will mean that hundreds may never rebuild again.
By a reporting team, 16 February 2009
As evidence grows of government culpability in last week’s Australian bushfires, hundreds of survivors are living in temporary accommodation across Victoria or in tents.
By Terry Cook, 12 February 2009
Recent reports show that public hospitals are so under-funded that many cannot pay pharmaceutical companies, food providers, maintenance contractors and security firms for supplies and basic services.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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
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.