‘Building an Indonesia-Australia Relationship for the 21st Century’

Tony Abbott promised that Indonesia would be the first foreign country he would visit upon taking office and he held true to that promise, knowing it was crucial to sit down and talk with Indonesia about what the two countries could do together. More than anybody else, it was in his own best interests to do so given his reliance on Indonesia to be a cooperative ally in his promise to stop the boats.

While in Jakarta, on October 1 he addressed a breakfast meeting of business leaders from both countries, naming his the talk “Building an Indonesia-Australia Relationship for the 21st Century” which had the aim of encouraging Australian and Indonesian businesses to increase two-way trade and investment flows. It was now more than being about just him. The country came first. He didn’t mention boats. Here is the transcript of his address:

“I’m here in Jakarta within two weeks of being sworn in as prime minister because of the importance I place on the relationship between two great neighbours and two major economies.

Australia currently has more significant economic relationships – but we have no more important overall relationship because of Indonesia’s size, proximity and potential.

Indonesia is a member of the G20 and a leader of ASEAN as well Australia’s most important neighbour.

It’s the world’s most populous Muslim nation.

It’s the world’s third largest democracy.

And along with India, it’s the emerging democratic superpower of Asia.

At present, Indonesia’s annual GDP per person is less than $4000 – or a tenth of Australia’s – but it’s growing at about 6 per cent a year.

It may be many years before individual Indonesians’ standard of living equals that of Australians but it probably won’t be very long before Indonesia’s total GDP dwarfs ours.

From Australia’s perspective there should be an urgency to building this relationship while there’s still so much that Australia has to give and that Indonesia is keen to receive.

There’s been trade of one sort or another between Australia and Indonesia at least since the 17th century and it’s now 80 years since the first trade commissioner was appointed to what was then Batavia.

Despite these connections and despite the annual pilgrimage that hundreds of thousands of Australian tourists make to Bali and elsewhere in the archipelago; and that tens of thousands of Indonesian students make to our universities and colleges, a fully mature economic relationship is yet to be achieved.

Annual two-way trade between Australia and Indonesia is still only about $15 billion.

In fact, our two way trade with New Zealand, with just four million people, exceeds our current two way trade with Indonesia with its 250 million people.

Obviously, there’s plenty of room to improve.

That improvement should start today with me and my ministers and with the business leaders in this room.

Australia and Indonesia have so much we can do together.

The global centre of economic gravity is shifting to Asia and on present trends, Indonesia will be the number four economy in the world by mid-century.

Fifty per cent of Indonesians are aged under 30, ready to play their part in this economic miracle.

Even now, they make up a technologically literate workforce, enjoying a standard of living their parents or grandparents could not have imagined.

There are more billionaires in Indonesia today than in Japan and, here in Jakarta, the minimum wage has risen by 44 per cent in the past year.

There are still 100 million Indonesians living on less than $1000 a year.

Within two decades though, there will be 135 million middle class Indonesians whose demand for goods and services – including financial services, health services, educational services, infrastructure and food – will be backed by purchasing power.

Protein is becoming a more important part of the Indonesian diet, particularly among prosperous urban communities and, within two years, beef consumption in Indonesia is expected to exceed domestic production by about 21,000 tonnes a year.

This is a chance here for each of us to play to our strengths: Indonesia, an acknowledged world leader in fattening and finishing, with some of the world’s finest intensive feedlots; and Australia, with our vast grazing lands and our long pastoral history, skilled at breeding beef cattle at a globally competitive price.

We can work together – but it will take some effort, especially after the shock of the former Australian government cancelling the live cattle export trade in panic at a TV programme.

Nothing like this can ever be allowed to happen again.

Last year, I visited abattoirs in Indonesia which were quite comparable to those in Australia and reject any notion that Indonesian standards are lower than Australia’s.

The new Australian government is determined to put this episode behind us and to build on the joint Red Meat and Cattle Forum established in July to foster partnership between the meat industries here and in Australia.

Australian business has rarely been keener to explore investment opportunities and build partnerships that transfer skills and build local industries – here and at home.

I also welcome Indonesia’s desire to invest in Australia – including in agriculture.

As I said on election night, Australia is under new management and is once more open for business.

We are open to investments that will help to build the prosperity of both nations.

Food security is just one area of opportunity – another is the rapidly expanding demand for services.

Educational services are a good example. Indonesia is already home to 100,000 former students from Australian universities.

Of those Indonesian students who choose to study abroad, roughly one in four make Australia their destination.

While tens of thousands of Indonesian students are studying in Australian universities and colleges, only a few hundred Australians are returning the compliment by studying in Indonesia.

Starting next year, the new Australian government will establish a new Colombo Plan that doesn’t just bring the best and the brightest students from the wider Asia-Pacific region to Australia but takes Australia’s best and brightest to the region.

The Colombo Plan, operating from the 1950s to the 1980s, saw tens of thousands of the future leaders of our region educated at Australian universities.

A contemporary, two way street version of the Colombo Plan, would acknowledge how much the region can teach us as well as how much we can offer our region.

Operating at different levels and for different periods of time, and often with a business internship component, this new Colombo Plan could provide us with a new and more contemporary version of Rhodes scholars and Fulbright fellows, this time with a strong Asia-Pacific orientation.

As well, within a decade, working with the Australian states and territories, the new government aims to have 40 per cent of high school students studying a foreign language – as was the case in the 1960s – only this time the emphasis will be on Asian languages as well as European ones.

This New Colombo Plan aims to ensure that we are a more Asia literate country, more able to play our part in the Asian Century.

Specific policies like these will have an impact, over time.

Still, deepening and broadening the Australia-Indonesia relationship means millions of human interactions, tens of thousands of business deals and hundreds of institutional arrangements in which Australians and Indonesians get to know each other, learn from each other and help each other.

National leaders can do so much – but only so much.

That’s why Foreign Minister, Julie Bishop, Trade Minister, Andrew Robb and I are accompanied by a strong business delegation of leaders from Australia’s financial services, health, agriculture, resources, infrastructure, telecommunications, office management and manufacturing sectors.

I thank each of you for taking the time and trouble to make this trip and to build these links. Government initiatives mean little if they are not backed by dozens, hundreds, and ultimately tens of thousands of individual contacts between Australians and the people in other countries that we deal with.

As befits a country that’s under new management and once more open for business, it’s my intention to take a trade delegation with me on all significant overseas trips to showcase Australia and to let our partners know more about how we can work together to mutual advantage.

We’re establishing a register in the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade for businesses that want to be part of trade delegations accompanying ministerial visits.

I also thank the organisations working tirelessly to promote Australia-Indonesia business links such as the business partnership group, Kadin, and the Indonesian-Australian Business Council.

Such organisations are indispensable because they know their way around the local scene.

At another level, governments come together bilaterally to forge formal arrangements like the Indonesia-Australia Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement.

One of my first acts as prime minister was to ask the Minister for Trade and Investment, Andrew Robb, to accelerate the work with his Indonesian counterparts towards this new deal.

The new government’s approach is very straightforward: we will take a respectful, consultative, no-surprises approach to relations with Indonesia.

Our aim is to rebuild confidence so that both sides respect each other and trust other to keep commitments.

Trust is essential to the future success of the businesses represented here today.

There’s the hard grind of establishing regulatory certainty.

There’s the patient negotiation that helps to eliminate barriers to trade and investment and facilitate market access.

Then there’s the further engagement that takes place in the regional and global forums – such as ASEAN, the East Asia Summit, APEC, and the G20.

Forums like these are critical to the long-term prosperity of every country – and Australia hosting the G20 in a year’s time; and Indonesia, hosting APEC in a week’s time, will both be pushing for regional and global strategies to promote economic growth.

The new Australian Government intends to showcase fiscal restraint, deregulation, tax cuts and investment in economic infrastructure.

Another example is the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, currently being negotiated under the auspices of ASEAN.

Australia and Indonesia have much to gain from a regional free trade area encompassing ASEAN member states and the nations with which they have existing free trade agreements.

The 16 nations that this would cover account for roughly half of the world’s population, about a third of world GDP and a quarter of global exports.

This further agreement would not just cover trade in goods and services, but such matters as competition, dispute resolution, intellectual property and technical cooperation.

It’s negotiations like these – hard, open, with no surprises – that deliver the transparent and stable regulatory regimes that give companies the confidence to make the long-term investment decisions that boost economic growth and ultimately deliver a safer and freer world.

Early next year, right across Indonesia, Australia will present a major cultural festival to strengthen our engagement here, beyond the cabinet room and beyond the boardroom.

The aim is to showcase Australian creativity and innovation and to foster creative collaborations between Indonesians and Australians.

A business programme operating in parallel with this cultural festival will help promote trade and investment.

Then there’s the new Australia Indonesia studies centre at Monash University to be jointly funded by government and the private sector to build business, cultural, educational, research and community links and to promote greater understanding of Indonesia and its growing importance to Australia.

A more culturally aware Australia and an economically stronger Indonesia would mean more Australian students in Indonesia and more Indonesian tourists in Australia.

More and more Australians now see Indonesia as a place to do business and to embark on joint ventures, as well as to have a holiday, as the business leaders’ presence here testifies. Our challenge is to ensure that more and more Indonesians see Australia as a good place to invest and do business: in short, as a trusted partner.

I am proud to be here in Jakarta with such a group of business leaders acting as ambassadors for our country.

I’m confident you can engender the trust in Australia that’s essential for our future”.

It was actually a good talk. And a necessary one. Abbott clearly had a grasp of Indonesia’s economic importance to Australia and a realisation that it needed to be both nurtured and protected.

Now compare what he had to say on October 1 with what he has said and done since. Haven’t his actions made mockery of his promises? How much has he put at risk?

What do you think?

51 comments on “‘Building an Indonesia-Australia Relationship for the 21st Century’

  1. I agree it was a good speech. Why do I always have a very uneasy feeling that Tony has no clue how to negotiate anything at all?

    There have been two important international forums recently and, at both, we have pursued a domestic agenda – stop the boats and axe the tax.

    We have abrogated any global responsibility. About Syria, Tony kept saying we are bit players who aren’t important enough to have an opinion, regardless of the fact that we were head of the Security Council at the time. At the climate talks in Warsaw, we couldn’t even be stuffed sending any politicians and told our representatives to make no promises, to block all initiatives and, above all else, pledge no money. We praise Indonesia for their rape and pillage of West Papua and arm Sri Lanka in reward for their kidnapping and torture of an ethnic minority. We ignore whaling when talking to Japan and won’t upset Russia by asking for the release of peaceful activists who are being detained there.

    The only place where we want to play globally is in big business and I shudder to think of this inept lot as our negotiators up against the strongest and best in the world. They will be eaten alive and won’t even know the implications of what they are signing. There will be lots of photos and smiles and handshakes – and the deal will be an “operational matter” that cannot be released for fear of “harming relationships”. And then we will watch as we too submit to the rape and pillage of our country whilst praising those who do it.

  2. ..plus Abbott thinks that he is God’s-gift..literally. From the day that little Tony could walk he was told how perfect he was, hence the reason Abbott cannot say Sorry. Why would anyone who is perfect need to say sorry?

  3. Tony fulfilled his part by getting elected. The rest will be up to those who got him there – Murdoch, Rinehart, the Business Council, the IPA and the Tea Party collaborators.

  4. MT – agree with what you say for once just this time.
    All countries have the desire and the need to spy on each other prevails.
    How much intel you get is another thing, it is more of a feeling of intrusion
    of your personal space.Obama takes a ‘security tent’ with him worldwide. This is
    erected in an adjoining hotel room and all conversations are held within.
    The moral of life even for us humble mortals is : Do Not say things on any
    phone that you would not like repeated!

  5. You make the same mistake as Omni VOYAGER, Abbott’s major diplomatic fuck up is not about the spying. This is not about the spying, Indonesia has admitted they spied on us.

  6. Burke forced to move another dissension motion against the speaker.

    It appears, that according to this government, amendments are not allow and will not be debated.

    Burke did all in his power, not to go down this path.

    By the way, the gag motion is well in play.

  7. Although most countries rely in some part on covert operations, however diplomacy dictates that if one is sprung, then one does the right thing and apologies profusely. The fact that Tony Abbott has egotistically refused to provide the Indonesian President with even a generalised explanation means that he has given the Indonesians no option but to withdraw from all co-operation. This of course leaves Tony up sh*t creek without a paddle as far as his Turn Back the Boats plan goes. Common sense would dictate that if you need the co-operation of another country, then Sorry wouldn’t be too hard…but not for our Tony. 🙄

  8. Papua New Guinea’s foreign minister will raise concerns with Australia that his people are not benefiting from hosting the asylum-seeker detention centre on Manus Island.

    Prime Minister Peter O’Neill told the nation’s single house of parliament that Rimbink Pato will discuss the matter with Australian counterpart Julie Bishop next month.

    ‘This is a matter of great significance and I can assure you the Foreign Affairs Minister will consider this a high-priority agenda,’ Mr O’Neill told the chamber on Wednesday.

    Mr O’Neill said in a statement he agreed the Australian government could hire local earthmoving and construction companies for projects in and around the centre.

    Australia is flying in food items, toiletries, timber, machineries and other accessories, which companies in Manus are capable of supplying.

    The Australian government is also flying in drinking water, MP John Hickey said.

    Mr O’Neill said despite Australia using its own funding for procurement purposes, it should honour its commitments by utilising and engaging local suppliers.

    The comments come amid heavy criticism of the centre by a long-term supporter of the scheme, Manus MP Ron Knight.

    Mr Knight, who is currently in Port Moresby to attend parliament, told the ABC he had received reports some guards at the centre were harassing locals.

    ‘They have been getting drunk in town and other areas,’ Mr Knight on Wednesday……………

    http://www.skynews.com.au/national/article.aspx?id=926626

    I take it, that all the woes of this government is caused by Labor.

  9. What a bunch of diplomatic dickheads.

    Tony Abbott’s response to the phone tapping revelations of the Indonesian president and his wife’s phones highlights his inability to grasp the depth of a particular problem. His comments in parliament that he deeply and sincerely regrets the embarrassment caused by recent media reporting sounds like something out of the Howard handbook of “non-apologies”. He can’t even accept that the problem is NOT the media reporting, it’s the phone tapping. The Indonesian president’s response to suspend military exercises and joint naval ‘people smuggling’ cooperation did not have to happen. Diplomacy of a very high calibre was required and Abbott failed miserably. Susilio Bambang Yudyono is not so naive as to pretend he didn’t know this sort of thing happens. It was Abbott’s insensitivity and sheer lack of professional diplomacy that has ignited the president’s anger. As The Age writer, Michael Gordon says, “pick up the phone, Tony.” If Indonesia is such a good friend one would assume as good friends do, Abbott would get on the phone and sort this out. He can’t do that for two reasons. One, he doesn’t believe his own rhetoric and two, he’s afraid of SBY.
    Abbott’s response to this soap opera only serves to demonstrate what a bunch of amateurs he and the rest of his team are. And that should come as no surprise to anyone. How do you think either Kevin Rudd or Julia Gillard would have reacted? I suspect with poise and diplomacy and with a keen sense of how not to inflame the situation any further. Abbott has exposed his naivety and his inability to deal with what is, in this case, a fairly minor international incident. There will be far more serious occasions in the future and our nation’s reputation is on the line. In the world of high-stakes diplomacy, this will cost us….big time. Have you noticed the deafening silence from the US? They are far too smart to get involved in this one. They are going to let us sink or swim on our own. Abbott has no friends there.

  10. Not a question for the government. Doers this government ever take responsibility for their own actions and policies.

    “………..1:06pm: Speaking of temperate language, Shorten’s first QT question is to Industry Minister Ian Macfarlane. It concerns reports of job losses at the CSIRO.
    Why are 600 staff to face the “Abbott axe”?
    That’s a decision for the CSIRO management, say Macfarlane………..

    Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/the-pulse-live/politics-live-november-21-2013-20131121-2xwo6.html#ixzz2lFJQ1C7g

  11. Yep, everyone might do it. Not sure though, they bother with private phones of leaders spouses.

    Yep, but as they say, get caught, own up.

    If it is the agency, get caught and you are on your own.

    Worse part, it was picked up with revelations that was found in the USA, not here.

    Maybe we should be more careful with out friends.

  12. and yes, following Obama’s experience, why was not Abbott ready. Must have known it existed. If not, why? Does not say much for our security services, unless they din not tell him, or no one in his office bothered to listen.

  13. The current government couldn’t care less about the CSIRO and it’s proud record of achievement. Science is not welcome with this lot. they prefer ignorance and the support of climate deniers. miners the, IPA , BCA. etc. That way you get money , not have to lay any out and you silence the informed opposition. It’s like burning books by the Nazi’s. get rid of facts and crank up the propaganda and spin. Keep being funded and serve those who fund you and you will be there forever, especially with a supportive media near monopoly, who will trash the opposition, ( for a PRICE, There’s always a price )

  14. @John Kelly, Liesalot is not naive; he is a cretin, but he has also had 11½ years polishing government benches during the wasteful & profligate Roodentochracy, so he should have some idea of how (not) to govern the country.

    I agree that he has neither the ability nor the intelligence to be PM, a fact which has been amply demonstrated since 8 September.

    Even a two-year-old would recognise the wisdom of an apology when sprung playing fast and loose with a country we at least pay lip service to feeling respect and friendship toward,

    But instead of doing the smart thing, the Prime Moron of this country has exacerbated a situation which could easily have been smoothed over with a few soothing words.

    If he had at least one positive quality, you could feel a modicum of respect for him, but it’s all negative-mendacity, rorting, bending over for Rupert & mining interests, dishonesty, obvious disinterest in representing this country in a positive light, utter inability to compromise to achieve a good outcome, refusal to countenance any evidence contradicting his opinions……..the list is endless.

  15. Of course the likes of Abbott would have brushed the social sciences aside, as a joke. He would have had no interest in studying how communities and societies work, outside his own,

  16. Personally I am enjoying Abbott stuffing up Big time, How stupid he Looks, The more stupid than Abbott Liberal stratagist Cloth head Twittering and then Denying and them apologising , What a Bunch of Fools out there speaking for Australia, I think the Bottom Line is The Indonesians Know they are Dealing with a fool and will squeeze Very Good Business deals out of the Mess, Once again Our Reverered Leader Has shown he is Not up to the Job, Sp Come On Rupert Tell your Editors to stop covering for Him and start being Honest to the People and Maybe then your Newspaper sales will start to rise, What an embarrassment to His Party and the Country, Remember Julia Gillard sacked her staffer For alerting Protesters As to where he was, and yet this Clown who thought he was so smart with his Twittering and has caused anger in Indonesia Has been slapped on the wrist with a wet tissue, Another Captains Decision,

  17. Jane, let’s go through your points. ‘He doesn’t have the intelligence to be a PM’. This is just a smear, including a smear towards all those who were not born with the gift of a high intellect.

    ‘A 2yo might think that apologising is appropriate’…but the government is not run by 2yo people. Some of the most influential foreign affairs spokespeople in Australia say that an apology is not the way to go.

    As for being negative and disinterested in presenting the country in a positive light, I don’t see evidence of this at all. Bishop and Abbott are doing a fine job in foreign relations…there was even an opinion piece on the ABC website by a foreign policy expert saying as much. You could have knocked me over with a feather seeing that on the ABC.

    Rorting? Both sides have had their entitlements approved and subsequently paid them back. Both sides (including Gillard when she wasn’t PM) used VIP aircraft. However I feel we should be a bigger country than to have to count every penny our politicians claim. They are in the spotlight 24/7 and travel a lot. We shouldn’t ruin this for cheap political point scoring on either side.

    Dishonesty? I’ve been following Abbott for many, many years. I feel he is one of the most honest politicians. It’s why he would find it hard to apologise for something he hasn’t done. I’d put him up against most politicians any day in this regard.

    Bending over for Rupert and mining interests? Well, there is no evidence for this unless you count getting rid of the mining tax and the carbon tax. So maybe that’s a point.

    As for not hearing other opinions, there are many productivity commission investigations that are being set up that would suggest that the opposite is true.

    One positive quality? Maybe it’s how he selflessly stayed with a Bali bombing victom who said he wouldn’t have survived without Abbott, maybe it’s his years of fund-raising for a women’s shelter in his electorate. Or maybe his long stated determination to improve the lives of indigenous Australians, where his sincerity is not questioned by anyone. Or most crucial, his policy to stop the boats, aped by Labor in the dying days of its grip on power.

    Abbott copped abuse that nobody should ever have to endure…but he stuck to his principles, knowing what was right…and the misery and the deaths at sea have stopped. An amazing achievement. That alone is enough. That alone is enough, although I’m sure many here will denounce his policies in this regard, such is the level of rabid hate for the man. Abbott is the type of leader I would have wanted when I was in the Labor party, before it became a party of the elites, whom I used to despise as Liberal voters, and who have now taken over the party I used to love.

  18. Abbott back peddling a thousand kilometres an hour and it’s so precious looking at all the right wingers blaming Indonesia for it. How dare they show up their Abbott as a total fool, we should cut off all aid and even go to war against them, that will show ’em.

  19. Oh what a load of crap Syd but I cannot let this go.

    Abbott copped abuse that nobody should ever have to endure…

    Bullshit. He’s had a dream run compared to the unfair and nasty stuff the right wingers gave her, and up there with them. So don’t come the Abbott saint routine with us, it’s bullshit.

    It’s telling that the right wingers were the cheer squad and instigators of abuse and denigration during the Labor government but now get all precious when their coward Abbott rightly cops it.

  20. I thought about answering Syd’s comment. Lord knows there is plenty I could say…

    “Bishop and Abbott are doing a fine job in foreign relations”

    “I’ve been following Abbott for many, many years. I feel he is one of the most honest politicians.”

    “Bending over for Rupert and mining interests? Well, there is no evidence for this ”

    “his long stated determination to improve the lives of indigenous Australians, where his sincerity is not questioned by anyone”

    “the misery and the deaths at sea have stopped”

    What can you say to someone who actually believes that crap. I think an “elite” must be anyone who gets their information from a source other than Larry Pickering, Andrew Bolt or Alan Jones.

  21. An Indo friend of mine was chatting with her friends in Indo tonight and said that the general feeling was that both sides – and the media – have not covered themselves in glory.

    I actually think that our relationship with Indo could be improved once this is over.

    Anyway, a bit of satire doesn’t hurt occasionally…
    ————–
    Indonesian president SBY today ruled Bali off bounds to Australian tourists. “This is the perfect opportunity” said the reserved SBY as he applied sunscreen at the eerily quiet Kuta beach.

    “These Aussies are always dropping in on the locals, one doesn’t get a chance to think”. Asked whether he was referring to a surfing term when he mentioned dropping in, Yudhoyono looked flustered, before saying “No, of course not…now if you’ll excuse me I’ve got to go and hang 10”.

    A perplexed press contingent watched as Yudhoyono picked up a surf board and wandered towards the surf. On his way to the water he was met by seemingly the only Australian allowed on the island “Great to see you SBY, have you been practising like we discussed,?” asked the svelte figure sporting red speedos.

    “As one friend to another I have” said Yudhoyono

    “By the way, next time your wife calls you to pick up some Indonesian ingredients on the way home, tell her that mee goreng isn’t Indonesian…”

    The two men paddled out to the breakwater together…One of them looking amused but perplexed, the other with a knowing grin on his face…

  22. Syd sounds quite like another right whinge troll who used to visit – also claimed former Labor status. Also FOS 😉

  23. The rest of the world is laughing at Australia…. because of tiny tough man’s man abbortt….. FFS how many Aussies are gunna lose out in Indonesia because tony doesn’t have to say sorry ’cause it t’wern’t on his watch…. if that’s having the “adults” in charge then we’re in a spot of bother or three.
    ( One wonders what war these RW nut jobs will involve us in next 🙄 )

  24. Not very proper to be criticising former Government publicly on international stage. Shows a lack of diplomacy.

  25. Syd @ November 21, 2013 @ 9:36 pm “An Indo friend of mine was chatting with her friends in Indo tonight and said that the general feeling was that both sides – and the media – have not covered themselves in glory.”
    Well, bowl me over with a wet fish called Bronwyn. I can’t believe myself I am agreeing with you on that one Syd! WOW!

    “I actually think that our relationship with Indo could be improved once this is over.”
    Hope a hopeful Vegemite there Syd. Just when I had hope for you, you dashed in on the rocks like a budget deficit under the control of Hopey Joe, who fixes it with an even bigger deficit, but ok when it is his deficit. WOW!, once again.
    Your amazing Syd.

  26. Rupert Famous for Phone tapping and Now disciple Tony Follows suit, Now we are getting the “Poor Tony ” rubbish Face the Facts He Is not Upto the Job

  27. If Tony Abbott picked up a map he would realise that Australia is a part of the Asia-Pacific region and that we have to look to our neighbours not only for economic security, but for our own national security. Like most liberals, I think Tony still looks to America and Britain for our security while Indonesia is seen as little more than a pesky neighbour. Tony needs to be reminded that the days of the great white powerful friends are over. Maybe he needs John Howard to remind him of that.

  28. ME @8.55pm, barrackers’ attempts to blame the Indonesians for Liesalot’s incompetence, ineptitude and downright stupidity in inflaming a situation that could have been dealt with simply, would be hilarious if they weren’t so pathetic.

    His childish kindy kid behaviour blaming the Labor government for spying on Indonesia when it’s been going on since 2000 shows him up internationally as the spoiled, petulant bully boy in a china shop he is.

    He’s fooling no one except his red neck barrackers, with his behaviour and is making this country a laughing stock.

    FFS all he had to do was say how sorry he is that a friendly neighbour was spied on, that he was mortified to find out that SBY & his wife were also victims and declare, hand on heart that it won’t happen again.

    Handshakes and smiles all round and honour is satisfied.

    Even that arrogant slug the Rodent would have made some sort of insincere conciliatory noise

    Unfortunately for them, Liesalot and his fellow cretins in the Liars Party have become so accustomed to Rupert & the msm stifling criticism and scrutiny and covering their arses here, they automatically assumed that Rupert could perform the same corrupt service in other countries.

    They’re discovering that Rupert’s influence is not as all pervading as they thought.

  29. Syd, Liesalot does not have the intellect to be PM, which has been amply demonstrated by his behaviour since being elected.

    He would be hard put to perform the duties of a lollipop man at a school crossing, unless he had Credlin gibbering into his earpiece and Rupert Murdoch running interference for him every time he makes a MSU.

    Frankly a bunch of 2 year olds couldn’t be any worse and probably a lot better..

    Even Murdoch must be starting to question his judgement in selecting this easily manipulated corrupt school bully to seamlessly hand this country to him and other special interests, on a platter.

    He and the rest of the buffoons polishing government benches are beholden to the likes of Rupert Murdoch, the mining lobby and the IPA who have manipulated the electorate and bankrolled this apology for a government into power.

    Rorting. Liesalot is up to approximately $100k for claiming expenses for weddings, book tours and charity rides amongst other things. Sloppy failed to register his wife’s various board memberships for 14 years.

    Brandis & Barnyard tried to flim flam attending a shock jock’s wedding as a work related expense.

    Then we have Rinehart flying Barnyard, Sloppy and Mesma to India for the lavish wedding of her business partner’s grand daughter, claiming expenses for their return flights and accommodation. Another big fat rort.

    And please provide instances of the “abuse” and “smear” heaped on Liesalot and by whom. I’m sure we’ll all be agog to see what you manufacture.

    As an example did a shock jock say he should be put in a hessian bag and dumped in the ocean?

    Or did a shock jock say his parents had died of shame because he’s such a liar?

    Was he portrayed as an SS officer on the front page of a newspaper?

    Was he portrayed as a bumbling Nazi on the front page of a newspaper?

    Was he ridiculed in the media for his dress sense, lack of earlobes, wearing glasses, losing a shoe, stumbling on uneven ground?

    Did he spend hours answering questions from a hostile press until they could find no more questions, only for them to say he had “questions to answer” in their reports?

  30. While Australia plans plain packaging for cigarettes in a bid to drive down sales, in Indonesia the tobacco business is booming. Close to half a million youngsters under 14 are reported to be smoking, with manufacturers making their products sweeter, allegedly to attract kids. The famous kretek cigarettes using cloves have a tar content more than double that allowed in Australia. Read more here:.

  31. So Australia donates 3 free planes to the Indos and in return, as they take delivery of this million dollar Charity in Darwin, their military personnel smuggle native Australian birds aboard said planes. Yep, trust an Indonesian? Sure can.

  32. So misnomer does the usual right wingnut thing and brands and entire people on the actions of a handful whilst deliberately overlooking the malfeasances and criminals under his nose.

    Way to go Omnia, prove to everyone you are a great hypocrite.

  33. On 1 October 2013, during his inaugural visit to Jakarta , Australia’s Prime Minister, the Hon Tony Abbott MP announced the establishment of the Australia Centre for Indonesia Studies . The Centre’s mandate will be to strengthen and deepen Australia-Indonesia business, cultural, educational, research and community links. It will promote greater understanding of contemporary Indonesia and its growing importance to Australia.

  34. Tony Abbott should be the first student to enrol – he obviously has no understanding of Indonesian business, culture, education or community now!

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