Australia

The Liberal-National Coalition, after being behind in the polls for years, has won the Australian general election. With 78, seats the Coalition have a majority in the lower house to pass legislation, but will have to rely on cross-bench support in the Senate (upper house) to get their legislation through.

This month was significant in Australian politics, because it was the first time since 1929 (a period of over 90 years) that the sitting government lost a vote in the House of Representatives. The vote was over Australia’s controversial immigration policy, and the bill – proposed by the opposition party and opposed by the government – would make it easier for sick refugees held offshore to enter the country for medical treatment.

On Saturday, eight and half years of Liberal/National coalition rule came to an end in Western Australia with the landslide election of a Labor government. Labor won 42.6%, an increase of over 9% on its previous vote, while the Liberals won 31.6%, losing 15.5% on its previous result. Labor are on track to win 41 seats out of 59 in the legislative assembly (lower house) and be the biggest party in the senate (upper house) once all preference votes are counted.

We publish here a report that highlights the attack on workers in the Carlton United Brewery, a subsidiary of the giant multinational SAB Miller, whose headquarters are based in London. Denis Rogatyuk reports on the solidarity shown by trade unions in Britain towards their comrades in Australia.

The recent crushing defeat of the Australian Labor Party (ALP) in the Federal Election and the election of a viciously right-wing Liberal-National Coalition government has opened up a period of soul-searching in the Australian labor movement.

In last week’s elections the Australian Labor Party (ALP) suffered a historic defeat, with its lowest primary vote since 1903, at just 33.8 percent. In 2007 the ALP won 43.4%, but since then there have been six years of Labor governments, first under Rudd and then Gillard, in which the working class saw the party they had voted for implement policies demanded by big business while real wages stagnated.

The Australian Labor Party, according to current opinion polling, is facing a crushing defeat at the ballot box come the next Federal election. With a primary vote of only 27%, Labor’s looming annihilation could be on par with or worse than the recent historic defeats suffered in NSW [New South Wales] and Queensland.

Facing an increasingly angry public backlash, the latest version of the industrial court used to decide labour disputes between the unions and bosses, the so-called “Fair Work Australia” court, stepped in and ordered the cessation of Qantas’ lockout of its workers and for the company to immediately resume flying.

The former Labor Prime Minister of Australia was right about one thing when he said on 23rd June 2010, that Labor should not and by implication could not, win a “Race to the Right” with Tony Abbott.

The Australian Labor Party won a landslide victory in the recent elections. At the centre of the election campaign was Howard’s hated anti-trade union legislation. The workers of Australia voted massively against this. But as the new Labor leader, Rudd, is no different from Blair, what are the tasks facing genuine socialists in Australia?

Piero Barrachi was a pioneering Australian Communist, who threw himself into the struggle for a revolutionary party in Australia after the Russian revolution. Initially he did not understand the Stalinist degeneration but eventually he saw through it and joined the Trotskyists. Simon Williams reviews a book about his life.

Australian Capital Reserve recently went bust leaving thousands of small investors at risk of impoverishment, among them pensioners who were convinced to sink their life savings into their various speculative schemes. It has already been made clear that the small investors will be the last to receive any compensation, an example of what we may see elsewhere.

One year since the massive mobilisations against the introduction of draconian anti-trade union laws, the workers of Australia today showed their determination to keep the struggle alive. Over 250,000 turned out across Australia in rallies to protest.

The recent Queensland election was called against a backdrop of crisis in the public health system and problems with water and electricity supply. The choice was between between a right-wing Labor party and the avowedly anti-worker policies of the Coalition.

Construction workers in Western Australia are in the front line of a vicious attack under the Coalition government's anti-union laws. This Tuesday, one hundred and seven workers will be in court where they face ruinous fines of up to AU$28,600. The fines are for a strike which was called to protect safety at work and to defend a sacked union representative.

On Tuesday over 500,000 Australian workers came out on demonstrations across the country to protest against the latest draconian anti-trade union laws, with 200,000 at the Melbourne rally. The mood on the rallies was very militant. The Australian working class is returning to its best traditions of struggle, and this is only the beginning.

There was a massive demonstration on the day the war started. The write-up in the Sydney Morning Herald made things clear...

Tomorrow, November 11, 2000, marks the 25th anniversary of the dramatic dismissal of the Whitlam Labor government in Australia. For the generation entering the ranks of the Labour movement today, 25 years on, the experience of the Whitlam Labor government holds many valuable lessons besides the clear demonstration of how the ruling establishment is prepared to act in defence of its interests against a properly elected Labor government.