Melanesia

Behind the “day of action”: Australian university union enforces government agenda

By Mike Head, 22 September 2009

The purpose of the limited “day of action” called by the National Tertiary Education Union was to suppress any political struggle against Labor’s agenda, while cementing the union’s place in implementing it.

Australian academics’strike at UNSW: a few observations from the ISSE

By Mathew Benn, 19 September 2009

Academics and general staff at the University of New South Wales went on strike last Wednesday as part of the National Tertiary Education Union’s “National Day of Action”. Members of the International Students for Social Equality—which has a club on campus—visited the picket lines and spoke to strikers.

Australian court told witnesses were threatened in Julian Moti case

By Patrick O’Connor, 18 September 2009

The Queensland Supreme Court has heard allegations that witnesses called by counsel for the former Solomon Islands’ attorney general Julian Moti were threatened with the termination of their employment if they gave evidence.

Australia: University staff strike for “day of action”

By our reporters, 17 September 2009

Members of the National Tertiary Education Union (NTEU) at 16 universities stopped work yesterday to fight increased workloads, a blow-out in class sizes, casualisation and other attacks on jobs and conditions.

Australian court hears Julian Moti’s challenge to “politically motivated” prosecution

By Patrick O’Connor, 17 September 2009

The Queensland Supreme Court yesterday commenced hearings on an application made by former Solomon Islands’ attorney general Julian Moti for a permanent stay of proceedings in his prosecution by Australian authorities on statutory rape charges.

Rudd’s Education Revolution “a disaster for universities”

By our reporters, 17 September 2009

Macquarie University’s National Tertiary Education Union (NTEU) branch president Carolyn Kennett speaks with the World Socialist Web Site about the deepening assault on public tertiary education that sparked yesterday’s industrial action

Australia: UN envoy denounced after he describes Northern Territory “intervention” as racist

By Richard Phillips, 16 September 2009

All factions of the political elite came together last month to denounce the UN’s Special Rapporteur on Indigenous Rights after he criticised the federal Labor government’s policies towards Aborigines.

Paltry GDP growth promoted as proof of Australian “recovery”

By Alex Messenger, 15 September 2009

Quarterly growth of 0.6 percent might mean that Australia has dodged a so-called ‘technical recession’, but a closer study of the figures reveals that Labor’s massive stimulus package is far from the much touted “road to recovery”

Gillard’s “Teach for Australia”: a corporate-backed assault on teaching

By Katrina Morrison and Laura Tiernan, 14 September 2009

Teach for Australia will parachute unqualified teachers into disadvantaged government schools. Part of the Rudd government’s “education revolution”, the initiative is modelled on Teach for America and the UK’s Teach First.

Education deans oppose Teach for Australia

“Teachers need a depth of theoretical understanding”

By Laura Tiernan, 14 September 2009

Since the Rudd government’s Teach for Australia program was first publicly mooted at the start of 2008, it has been condemned by education deans at universities in Sydney and Melbourne.

Hundreds die in disease outbreaks in Papua New Guinea

By Frank Gaglioti, 12 September 2009

Outbreaks of dysentery, influenza and cholera have hit remote communities in the northern Morobe Province of Papua New Guinea in recent weeks. According to local authorities, more than 400 people have died so far.

Australia: Bail denial in terrorism case sets dangerous new precedent

By Mike Head, 11 September 2009

Three men accused of a terrorist conspiracy have been denied bail, with a magistrate saying they were politically opposed to the existing legal and political system.

Australia: Ambulance union sells out MICA paramedics campaign

By Terry Cook, 10 September 2009

The federal and state Labor governments, acting in concert with the Ambulance Employees Association (AEA), mounted a major operation this week to suppress a campaign by around 300 paramedics in defence of their wages and working conditions.

Australia: New details about “SIEV 36” refugee deaths expose official lies

By Richard Phillips, 8 September 2009

Detailed information about the explosion on a fishing vessel carrying Afghan refugees off the north-west coast of Australia last April underscores the seamless transition that has taken place from the former Howard government’s inhuman asylum seeker policy to that of the Rudd Labor government.

Australian car parts maker goes into administration

By Terry Cook, 8 September 2009

The jobs of hundreds of workers at car parts manufacturer ACL are in jeopardy after it went into voluntary administration despite a government bailout.

Australian government downplays huge oil slick

By Frank Gaglioti, 7 September 2009

A major oil and gas rupture from the West Atlas mobile offshore drilling rig off the northwestern coast of Australia is threatening to become a major environmental disaster. The leakage is unlikely to be plugged for weeks.

Australia: Specialist paramedics threatened with punitive sanctions

By Margaret Rees and Patrick O’Connor, 7 September 2009

Mobile Intensive Care Ambulance paramedics met in Melbourne, Victoria on Saturday and resolved to proceed with their planned resignations, to take effect this Wednesday, in protest over a proposed industrial deal agreed by the state Labor government and the Ambulance Employees Australia union.

Australia: Bushfire investigation report a whitewash

By Richard Phillips, 4 September 2009

The Victorian royal commission’s interim report into the February 7 bushfires makes no criticism of the state government, and its predecessors, whose policies are responsible for the tragic loss of life on February 7.

Australia: International students protest lack of access to student concession cards

By Mathew Benn, 4 September 2009

Hundreds of international students protested in Sydney and Melbourne on Wednesday to demand access to the same student concession cards provided to domestic students.

Australian companies write down $47 billion

By Alex Messenger, 3 September 2009

There have been massive corporate write-downs in the mining and property sectors, yet economists say that the downturn has already come and gone.

Former Solomon Islands attorney general challenges Australian government

Evidence backs Julian Moti’s allegation of “politically-motivated” charges

By Patrick O'Connor, 2 September 2009

International and constitutional law expert and former attorney general of the Solomon Islands Julian Moti is applying for statutory rape charges brought by the Australian government to be thrown out of court on the basis that the case is groundless and represents an abuse of judicial process.

Australia: Workers protest against Labor government assault on safety laws

By our correspondents, 2 September 2009

Workers in several cities demonstrated yesterday against moves by the Australian government to undermine occupational health and safety legislation. The trade unions, however, are merely seeking a place in drafting the new laws.

Unemployment and charity requests soar in Australia

By Chris Johnson, 1 September 2009

Applications for unemployment benefits and requests for emergency financial aid are rising rapidly, belying the official claims of a budding recovery.

Ten years since East Timor’s independence vote

By Patrick O’Connor, 31 August 2009

Yesterday marked the tenth anniversary of the referendum that saw nearly 80 percent of the East Timorese people vote to secede from Indonesia and become a separate nation-state.