keywords: Alexander Downer

  • AUSTRALIA

    Reckoning is due after Afghanistan endgame

    • Jeff Sparrow
    • 31 January 2019
    18 Comments

    John Howard promised to 'stay the course' in Afghanistan. So too did Tony Abbott, Kevin Rudd and Julia Gillard. So complete was the political consensus that parliament didn't even debate the Afghan intervention until nine years after it began. Now that there's no longer a course on which to stay, we're due some accountability.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Witness K and foreign interference hypocrisy

    • Lizzie O'Shea
    • 03 July 2018
    10 Comments

    Over this last week, two remarkably contradictory things happened in Canberra. The Attorney-General shepherded through some of the most significant changes to foreign interference laws in recent times. It was also reported that he signed off on charges laid against Witness K, a former officer of ASIS, and his lawyer.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Our flailing aid created a Pacific problem

    • Eliza Berlage
    • 19 April 2018

    China and India are rising global powers, thanks to a burgeoning middle class, huge export markets and military might. So why wouldn't they take the western retreat from the Pacific as an invitation to dance? But their support comes with a crippling debt levels and the potential for a favour to be called in down the line.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Edging closer to a just regime in the Timor Sea

    • Frank Brennan
    • 05 March 2018
    5 Comments

    On Tuesday the governments of Timor Leste and Australia will sign a maritime boundary treaty in New York in the presence of Antonio Guterres, the Secretary General of the United Nations. This day has been a long time coming. It will be a day of great celebration for the Timorese. They've taken a big gamble and it seems to have paid off.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Netanyahu visit drives the Palestine wedge deeper

    • Andra Jackson
    • 22 February 2017
    15 Comments

    Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's visit to Australia this week is having precisely the opposite impact to what he no doubt intended. Instead of shoring up support for Israel's flagrant disregard for United Nations resolutions condemning its continual annexation of Palestinian land, it is driving a deep wedge into what was previously unflagging bipartisan Australian political party support for Israel. Australia's connection with Palestine actually predates the creation of the state of Israel.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Timorese have had a win but could still lose big-time

    • Frank Brennan
    • 17 January 2017
    17 Comments

    Without any media fanfare, Foreign Minister Julie Bishop published a statement on 9 January 2017 announcing that Australia and Timor Leste had agreed to terminate the 2006 Treaty on Certain Maritime Arrangements in the Timor Sea. This news is more welcome to the Timorese government than to the Australian government. But the uncertainty created by this Timorese win might in time impact more adversely on Timor than on Australia. Only time will tell.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Another win for 'David' Timor against 'Goliath' Australia

    • Frank Brennan
    • 27 September 2016
    19 Comments

    Timor has scored another win in the international legal forum, this time before a five-member Conciliation Commission convened under the auspices of the Permanent Court of Arbitration. In response, George Brandis and Julie Bishop regurgitated the Canberra mantra: 'We have a strong interest in Timor-Leste's stability and growing prosperity, and in providing a stable and transparent framework for investment in the Timor Sea.' They have no idea just how patronising this sounds in Dili.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Deja vu for Timor as Turnbull neglects boundary talks

    • Frank Brennan
    • 21 March 2016
    10 Comments

    Rui Maria de Araujo, the prime minister of Timor-Leste, wrote to Malcolm Turnbull inviting him to turn a new leaf in the Australia-Timor relationship. It was not to be. But the Timorese are well used to winning the hearts and minds of Australians even when our political leaders appear to be tone deaf to their pleas. This time they have convinced the Labor Party about the justice of their cause, and there is every chance that the Australian community will rally behind them after the federal election.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Finding a just oil and gas settlement between Australia and Timor-Leste

    • Frank Brennan
    • 25 September 2014
    1 Comment

    There is nothing to be gained for Australia and Timor as neighbours airing dirty laundry in exalted international fora.  It is time for both countries to agree to put the unresolved boundary issue to bed, seeking an agreement or determination by conciliation of the differences between them concerning the Timor Sea.  The situation is similar to neighbours agreeing not to settle the boundary of their back fence.  That is all very fine unless and until there is a problem. 

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Bishop's aid crusade must heed the poor

    • Paul O'Callaghan
    • 20 June 2014
    3 Comments

    Pope Francis and Julie Bishop both spoke this week, with passion and within days of each other, about how to address poverty in the world's poorest countries. Bishop launched a framework of new performance benchmarks, and her desire to improve accountability and transparency in Australia's aid program is to be commended. Hopefully the framework holds the voices of the poor and marginalised at its centre.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Let's be good neighbours with Timor

    • Frank Brennan
    • 21 May 2014
    10 Comments

    In 2006 Australia and Timor Leste hastily signed the Treaty on Certain Maritime Arrangements in the Timor Sea (CMATS) at a time of considerable political instability in Timor. After last year's revelation of evidence of Australian spying on the Timorese during the negotiation of CMATS, the Timorese decided to challenge its validity, and in March this year they had a spectacular win in the International Court of Justice that caused great embarrassment to Australia.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Is our morality at sea with the refugees?

    • Frank Brennan
    • 11 April 2014
    8 Comments

    'We should abandon talk of taking Australia off the table. We should also abandon talk of taking the sugar off the table. The collateral damage of that is too great. The best we can do ethically and practically is to put the sugar out of reach while leaving it on the table for those who make it here with a visa or in direct flight from persecution.' Frank Brennan contributes to a Palm Sunday panel at St Michael's Uniting Church, Melbourne.

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