Australian Social Issues & Inequality
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.
“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.
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.
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.