Australian Social Issues & Inequality

Australian welfare agencies warn of growing social crisis

By Mike Head, 12 December 2008

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

Doctors declare Australian hospital system on the brink of collapse

By Alex Messenger, 11 December 2008

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

Amid Allegations of Enron-style Fraud

Major Australian child care corporation at risk of bankruptcy

By Katrina Morrison, 30 September 2008

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

Australia: Methane gas landfill leak forces residents to evacuate suburb

“The land should never have been sold”

By Peter Byrne, 25 September 2008

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

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

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

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

Australia: Labor to strip welfare from parents of truant children

Punishing the poor

By Laura Tiernan, 4 September 2008

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