Australia. The state elections held during the year meant
success for the Labor Party. In Western Australia in
February, Labour's success led to a regime change. According
Liberal Party made a bad choice and lost votes to the
xenophobic One Nation. In the Queensland election a few
weeks later, the ruling Labor went ahead by over 10%. In the
Northern Territory, Labor won the August election for the
first time ever.
In June, there were press reports that gravely disabled
Britons were deliberately exposed to radioactive radiation
during the UK's nuclear test in Australia. 1952-57. It was
also alleged that a commission that investigated the issue
in 1985 had omitted the names of Aborigines who had been
exposed to radioactivity in connection with the tests.
Ahead of the November federal election, there was a lot
of loss in the bourgeois coalition government. But the hard
line that Prime Minister John Howard took in refugee policy
led to increased support for his party, the Liberal Party.
This restrictive policy attracted considerable attention
when a Norwegian freighter, MV Tampa, who in August rescued
refugees on a sinking boat was not allowed to enter the
Australian port. On board there were over 400 refugees,
mainly Afghan. The Australian Government's actions have
attracted strong criticism both domestically and
internationally. After several weeks, the refugees were
welcomed by Nauru and Papua New Guinea. Since then,
Australia - in exchange for increased aid - has set up
refugee camps in several poor island states in the region to
allow asylum seekers to have their cases examined there.
In September, the federal parliament passed new and
tougher asylum laws, including the definition of who should
be considered a refugee was sharpened and the right to
appeal asylum refusal was restricted. At the same time, a
minimum sentence of five years for human smuggling was
introduced. However, the number of boat refugees trying to
get to Australia increased.
Prime Minister Howard's strong support for the United
States in its war on international terrorism also had
support in public opinion. The Australian government decided
to send 1,550 soldiers and military equipment to
In the elections, the Liberals and its coalition partner
National Party went up by almost 2% and received 80 of the
150 seats in the House of Representatives. Labor received 68
seats and Kim Beazley resigned as party leader. In the
election to the Senate, however, the left went ahead.
Violent protests erupted in December in an inaccessible
detention camp for asylum seekers in a desert area in
Woomera, South Australia. Several buildings are on fire. A
number of protest actions have been carried out in various
camps during both 2000 and 2001. People can be detained in
the camps for up to five years pending their application for
asylum to be tried. The detention camps have been severely
criticized by various human rights organizations.
Severe forest fires caught fire during the Christmas
holiday in New South Wales and approached Sydney. The
situation was made worse by harsh winds and dry weather.
Many of the fires were said to have been set on fire.
In October 2013, Austria was hit by the worst forest
fires in many years. Over 100,000 acres burned down in New
South Wales. The fires in the country had gradually become
more extensive over the previous 10 years. The country's
meteorologists and climate scientists have found a clear
link with global climate change. However, the country's
liberal-conservative government denies that there should be
As part of the bourgeoisie's war on the trade union
movement, Abbott set up in February 2014 a "Royal Commission
to investigate management relations and corruption in the
trade union movement".
In August, the country joined the United States' new
attack war against Iraq and Syria and then participated
daily in anti-target bombings in the two countries. As the
only other country, Australia, on December 31, 2014, agreed
with the United States against setting a timeframe for the
return of the Israeli-occupied territories to Palestine.
Britain and France voted blankly. Australia's vote cast
fierce criticism in the Arab world, which found that the
country was not contributing to peace in the Middle East but
only by violence.
In September-October, the country signed free trade
agreements with Japan, South Korea and China.
In October, Amnesty International sharply criticized
Australia for its inhumane refugee policy. Refugees are kept
in remote islands at refugee centers under inhumane
conditions, contrary to, among other things. The torture
convention and returned to their home countries. A 2011
study found that 20 Afghan nationals Australia had sent back
to Afghanistan had been killed. Amnesty further criticized
an agreement Australia had made in September with Cambodia
to send unwanted refugees there. In September 2013,
Australia signed a similar agreement with Papua New Guinea
on the export of asylum seekers.
Australia has a chronic problem of unemployment among
recent graduates and the problem is getting worse. The worst
was the case for psychologists, with 48% of graduates in
2014 being full or part-time unemployed. An increase of
11.6% compared to 2011. The biggest deterioration was for
mechanical engineers. Here, 29% of newly graduated
unemployed were in 2014. An increase of 16.1% compared to 3
The country continued its program of rejecting asylum
seekers and off-shoring refugees. In December 2014, 2,040
asylum seekers sat in Australian refugee centers in Papua
and Nauru. This includes 155 children.
The Liberal government implemented major cuts in the
public sector and similarly lowered taxes for the country's
wealthiest and businesses. The growing economic problems for
the population and the dismantling of the welfare state
helped the Abbott government's popularity plummet throughout
2014 and 15.
After prolonged bad polls for incumbent Prime Minister
Abbott, in September 2015, this was challenged by another
member of his party, Malcolm Turnbull. Turnbull won the
internal vote in the party over Abbott among its MPs by 10
votes, taking over the day after the post of prime minister.
He lies to the left of the former prime minister in the
issues of same-sex marriage, global warming and the
country's relationship with the British Queen. At the
beginning of December, the Queen's regulation changed so
that she could no longer designate Australians as "knights"
Impressed by the giant refugee disaster of the West
(including Australia) and its allies' war in Syria,
Australia decided in September to accept 12,000 Syrian
refugees. The first arrived in the country in November.
In April 2016, the Papua New Guinea Supreme Court issued
a ruling that the Australian-run refugee concentration camp
on Manus Island was illegal and should be closed. However,
the ruling did not include a deadline and neither of the two
countries' governments had responded by the end of the year.
In August 2016, the United Nations High Commissioner for
Refugees and a number of international human rights
organizations condemned Australia for its treatment of
refugees in the Australian-organized concentration camp in
Nauru. Conditions in the camp are so severe that in May,
23-year-old Iranian refugee Omid Masoumali poured gasoline
on himself and set fire to it. After that, doctors waited 2
days to send him to Brisbane, Australia, but he was dead
before arriving. In a report, the UN was able to document
that asylum seekers - including many children - are
subjected to abuse similar to the US used against Iraqi
prisoners in the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq in 2003-05.
(Nauru files: widespread condemnation of Australian
government by UN and others, Guardian 10/8 2016).
A Danish delegation from the Danish Parliament's Foreign
Affairs Committee should have visited the Australian
concentration camp in Nauru in August. This was done on the
initiative of the Danish People's Party who wanted to learn
from Australia's repression of refugees. But the delegation
never came residents Australia refused entry for the Unity
List integration mayor, Johanne Schmidt-Nielsen, and SF
group chairman Jacob Mark. The other politicians in the
delegation - who had otherwise been granted permission by
the apartheid state - then gave up visiting the
concentration camp. (Australia denies Danish politicians
access to refugee camp, TV2 30/8 2016).
In 2016, the UN criticized the 10-year criminal age in
Australia. In all states, children are imprisoned for ages
10 and 11, and Aboriginal people have a 24-fold greater
chance of incarceration than whites. 75% of 10-11 year old
are Aboriginal. Secret footage was leaked to the media of
mistreatment of imprisoned children in, among other things.
Northern Territory and Queensland.
In November, the Australian government announced that
some of the refugees interned on Nauru and Manus Island
would be resettled in the United States.
The July parliamentary election was a defeat for the
ruling Liberal/Conservative coalition, which went back 14
seats and had to settle for 76. Although the Labor Party
similarly went 14 seats up to 69, it still provided a narrow
majority for the government that continued.
In January 2017, US President Donald Trump found that the
United States had committed to accept 1,000 refugees
annually from Australia's concentration camp at Nauru. Trump
scolded Turnbull honors and honors and refused to decline
the agreed-upon refugee quota. However, Vice President Pence
subsequently announced that the United States would abide by
the agreement reached with Australia, but that refugee
conditions would be closely scrutinized.
In a November poll, 61.6% of Australians endorsed
same-sex marriage. The voting turnout was 79.5%. The vote
was not binding, but three weeks later, on December 7,
Parliament voted for the introduction of gay marriage.
(Australia says yes to same-sex marriage in historic postal
survey, Guardian 14/11 2017)
In June 2018, Australia adopted a far-reaching "security
levy" that curtailed democracy. Formally, the law amendment
introduced new and more extensive definitions of
"espionage", stricter penalties for "espionage" and the
establishment of a register of "foreign political agents".
The aim was to criminalize foreign political influence in
Australia in light of the alleged Russian interference in
the 2016 US presidential election, but the law could also
hit journalists, whistleblowers, aid and volunteer workers.
However, the parties behind the law argued that changes to
the legal text made this impossible. (Sweeping foreign
interference and spying laws pass Senate, Guardian
In August, the Guardian published a study showing that
147 Aborigines had died in government custody over the
previous 10 years. Although Aboriginal people make up just
2.8% of Australia's population, they make up 27% of prison
inmates, 22% of those who die in prisons and 19% of those
who die in police custody. Australia was founded on genocide
of the indigenous population and the abuse continues in the
21st century. ('National shame': 147 Indigenous people in
custody in Australia in a decade, Guardian 28/8
"Kill me, I can't cope anymore. Only death can rescue me
”(Kill me, I can do no more. Only death can save me). These
are statements made by women during the day in Iran in
common with women deployed in Australia's concentration camp
in Nauru. While parts of the world still perceived Australia
as a democratic state, the reality was quite different in
the regime's concentration camp. ('Kill me, I can't cope':
Refugee women on Nauru robbed of their dignity speak out,
Guardian 18/9 2018)
Australia has a long tradition of pursuing foreign policy
in the wake of the United States. Therefore, unlike the rest
of the western colonial world, the country participated in
the US war against Vietnam in the 1960's and 70's. In
December 2018, things went less well. The government
announced that it recognized West Jerusalem as the capital
of Israel - without, however, immediately moving its embassy
there. In an attempt to balance, the government announced at
the same time that it recognized East Jerusalem as the
capital of a future Palestine. Israel applauded the first
part of the decision, but sharply criticized the second
part. The Arab equal condemned both. According to
international agreements, the status of Jerusalem will first
be determined according to. a final peace settlement between
Palestine and Israel. (Split reaction to Australian
recognition of West Jerusalem as Israel's capital,
Guardian 16/12 2018)