Australian Politics


More Snowden spying leaks coming

From The Australian: The Abbott government is bracing for a new series of disclosures about Australian intelligence activity, which is likely to include fresh details on Indonesian spying that will further test the relationship with Jakarta. Snowden, a former US National Security Agency contractor, is also believed to have extensive material involving Australian intelligence efforts


Business, nation, pine for Turnbull

Laura Tingle today gives voice to the not too secret hopes of the nation: …the strange thing over the past month or so is having been out talking to different groups of company directors, bank customers, economists and the like about the new government, the same question has inevitably surfaced: when will the Coalition bring Malcolm


Abbott’s Asian enragement moves to China

From the SMH: The Chinese government has delivered an angry rebuke over “irresponsible remarks” made by Foreign Minister Julie Bishop regarding its newly declared air defence zone in the East China Sea, in the latest diplomatic headache for the Abbott government in Asia. Ms Bishop summoned Chinese ambassador Ma Zhaoxu on Monday to express the


Abbott caves on spying, pivots to Asia

From The Australian: INDONESIA has accepted Tony Abbott’s explanation of the 2009 spying scandal but says the bilateral relationship will not fully resume until a new “protocol and code of ethical conduct” is agreed and implemented between the two countries. …”What we’re going to do in the future, at least what I suggest, is after


Abbott needs a lesson in real politik, fast

It’s been quite something to watch the Abbott Government’s international forays in its early months. I can’t recall a new Government being so internationally oriented in its early days, a good thing in principle. Upon his election, Prime Minister Abbott immediately toured south east Asia, aiming to deliver on his “stop the boats” election commitments.


Honeymoon schmoneymoon

From the AFR: In the first The Australian Financial Review/Nielsen poll since the September 7 election, Labor leads the Coalition on a two-party preferred basis by 52 per cent to 48 per cent, a post-election swing towards Labor of about 6 percentage points. Labor’s primary vote rose 4 points from its election result to 37 per cent and the Coalition’s fell


Gary Banks: Policy must transcend the spin cycle

By Leith van Onselen Speaking at the Institute of Public Administration annual conference in Canberra yesterday, the former head of the Productivity Commission, Gary Banks, criticised “a decade in which spin has often triumphed over substance in policy making”, lambasting a range of poorly thought-out government policies that have come “out of the blue”, introduced


Indo pulls military as Textor rules Abbott

From the SMH: Australia’s asylum-seeker measures in Indonesia have been thrown into disarray with Jakarta pulling the plug on all military co-operation in retaliation for the Abbott government’s refusal to explain the phone tapping of Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono. Relations between Canberra and Jakarta have descended to their lowest level since the East Timor


Business turns on Abbott’s Indo “machismo”

From the AFR, not that business interests are the be-all and end-all in foreign policy but when so little as actually at stake it seems pretty stupid to just throw money away: Australian companies invested in Indonesia have become collateral damage in the spying row that continues to escalate between the two countries. Such companies


Turnbull shows path to better government

Cross-posted from The Conversation Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull has called for politicians to take up their “megaphones” to explain policy and argue for reforms. Launching the book Dog Days: Australia After the Boom, by leading economist Ross Garnaut, Turnbull said the era when policy makers were greeted with unexpected revenue to prop up populist policies