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Tony Abbott

This tag is associated with 60 posts

Australian Prime Minister commits to cutting Australia’s international reputation by 30% before 2015


Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott has set an ambitious target to reduce the nation’s standing in the international community by almost a third over the next seven months. The Prime Minister hit back at critics who suggested the status abatement target is too high, saying much of the work is already underway. “In just nine … Continue reading

Australians trying to work out which government policy is an April Fools gag


One of the Australian Government’s policies is an April Fools hoax, but they won’t say which one. The Prime Minister, Tony Abbott,  made the announcement early this morning, describing the prank as a bit of lighthearted fun. But the news has already caused mass confusion. Many Coalition MPs were themselves caught unawares. “Just one?” one … Continue reading

Australia to reinstate imperial measurement system


Yesterday, Australia’s Prime Minister Tony Abbott unexpectedly announced that Australia would be returning to the appointment of Knights and Dames, an outdated system which ceased 30 years ago. This was done without any consultation, discussion or prior notice. Now comes this: Australia will revert to using miles, ounces, yards and furlongs next year, more than … Continue reading

Hong Kong signs up for Australian undergraduate study and internship plan


Australia’s Foreign Minister Julie Bishop has signed up the fourth and final destination, Hong Kong, for next year’s trial of the government’s New Colombo Plan, which will send Australian undergraduates into the region for study, internships and long-term diplomacy. “Australian students will benefit from the opportunity to study at Hong Kong’s world-class institutions and the … Continue reading

Mining magnate calls on Australian government to use FTA’s to attack slavery


Australian mining magnate Andrew Forrest has called on Tony Abbott to insist new global trade agreements have clauses prohibiting forced labour, as he launched a global slave index in London. The chairman of Fortescue Metals Group said slavery was “as common as church mice, and an insistence on an enforced labour-proof supply chain in any … Continue reading

Australia backs Japan’s military buildup at risk of upsetting China


Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop threw Australia’s support behind Japan’s attempts to shift its military to a more “normal” defence posture in a speech in Tokyo yesterday. Australia’s backing for Japan’s proposed move away from a purely defensive military runs the risk of sparking resentment in China, which retains deep suspicion of the hawkish Abe … Continue reading

Australian government fails to honour promised crime prevention program grants


The Australian Coalition government has backed away from distributing millions of dollars in grants promised to dozens of charities, community groups and local councils under Labor’s national crime prevention program. In some cases, small charities say their existence is under threat because they have spent money based on draft funding agreements that will no longer … Continue reading

Australian government to drastically lower foreign investment thresholds as bargaining chip against China


Coalition tensions are growing, with the Nationals expected to insist on a lowering of foreign investment thresholds as Liberals push for them to be used as a bargaining chip with China. The Nationals partyroom meeting next Thursday is expected to endorse the lowering of the threshold for purchases of farmland from $248 million to $15m, … Continue reading

Australian Prime Minister says “Japan is our closest friend in Asia”


Tony Abbott has declared Japan Australia’s “closest friend in Asia”, elevating the former World War II aggressor past both China and Indonesia as he continued his regional charm offensive. Mr Abbott met the conservative Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on the sidelines of the 18-member East Asia Summit being held over two days in the tiny … Continue reading

Australia’s Prime Minister apologises to Malaysia for second time in a week


Tony Abbott has apologised to an Asian leader for the second time in a week over his robust political campaigning before he was elected, offering an “act of contrition” for Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak. The Australian Prime Minister acknowledged in a meeting with Mr Najib at the APEC conference late on Monday that … Continue reading

Australian government’s information control policy fails dismally, reflects badly


Despite his habit of making bewildering proclamations (”Some of the worst mistakes of my life have been haircuts”), Jim Morrison is responsible for a piece of wisdom that has resonated through the ages: ”Whoever controls the media, controls the mind”. Control or limit the information available to people, and you frame the debate to your … Continue reading

Australian senator wants to charge asylum seekers $50,000


  Australia‘s Liberal Democratic Senator David Leyonhjelm has proposed a radical plan to charge asylum-seekers $50,000 to come to Australia “through the front door”. Mr Leyonhjelm, who will join the Senate on July 1, will be one of eight crossbench senators who will hold the balance of power in the new Senate. Speaking on Sky … Continue reading

Recognition of Aborigines in Australia’s Constitution is a priority


Australian Attorney-General, George Brandis, has declared that despite being a constitutional conservative, he has an “open mind” about the way the Constitution should be altered to recognise indigenous Australians, vowing to have a form of words settled by July next year. Senator Brandis revealed that work on developing constitutional change would begin immediately and be … Continue reading

New Australian government adopts policy of media silence


You can tell that something has shifted in Canberra. The hourly, daily thunder of the hung parliament and campaign and the whirl of the election result have been replaced with something more subdued, even mild-mannered. Prime Minister Tony Abbott has signalled a desire to take politics off the front pages. Parliament may not be back … Continue reading

Asylum seekers drown on way to Australia


About 20 people, mostly children under 15 years old, died when an asylum seeker vessel sank off the southern coast of Java on its way to Australia. Adjunct Commissioner Warsono from the Agrabinta Police has confirmed that 25 people were rescued before the search was called off at nightfall. He could not say how many … Continue reading

Australia bans Malaysian human rights activist; government’s new stance


A leading Malaysian rights activist who faces sedition charges at home says he was denied a visa to enter Australia, raising suggestions Canberra had buckled to pressure from Kuala Lumpur. Haris Ibrahim, a strident campaigner against the Malaysian government now headed by Prime Minister Najib Razak, said he was seeking a meeting with Australian officials … Continue reading

Indonesia warns Australia against turning back asylum-seeker boats


Indonesia has raised the ante in its dispute with the Abbott government over turning back asylum-seeker boats, saying its plan puts at risk Jakarta‘s “close cooperation and trust”. The warning came as Tony Abbot sought to reassure the Jakarta “we absolutely respect Indonesia’s sovereignty and we would never do or propose anything which is contrary … Continue reading

New Australian government has only one female cabinet member


It’s a sad day for the nation when the cabinet of Afghanistan has more women in it than the cabinet of Australia, says acting Labor leader Chris Bowen. Prime Minister-elect Tony Abbott unveiled his ministerial line up on Monday, revealing the only woman in the cabinet is Foreign Affairs Minister Julie Bishop. The outgoing Labor … Continue reading

Australia’s military takes over border protection; SAS commander in charge


Deputy Chief of Army Angus Campbell will be named Tony Abbott‘s three-star military commander of border protection, with the job of co-ordinating the new government’s tough asylum-seeker policies. The former SAS commander and deputy National Security Adviser has emerged as Defence’s choice to head up the 16 departments and agencies under the Coalition’s Operation Sovereign … Continue reading

Indonesian asylum-seekers give up hope on Australia


As the realisation takes hold that they are shut out of Australia, growing numbers of asylum-seekers trapped in Indonesia are considering voluntarily returning to their homelands. Asylum-seekers in Cisarua, south of Jakarta, told The Australian that Tony Abbott’s election victory was the final blow to lingering hopes of getting to Australia by boat and being allowed … Continue reading

Indonesia rejects Australian people-smuggler plan


Jakarta has signalled its reluctance to embrace a key plank of Tony Abbott‘s asylum-seeker policy, with the Indonesian Foreign Minister criticising the plan to pay villagers for information about people-smugglers, saying it risked undermining his nation’s sovereignty. In a day of tension between Australia and its nearest neighbour, a policy row also erupted over foreign … Continue reading

Indonesia invites Australia for controversial “turn back the boats” asylum-seeker talks


Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono has opened the way for Australia’s Tony Abbott to make his first foreign visit as prime minister to Indonesia, with bilateral talks on the controversial policy of turning around asylum-seeker boats possible within a fortnight. The development came as another key plank of Mr Abbott’s asylum-seeker policy began to take … Continue reading

Australia to continue Papua New Guinea asylum seeker scheme


Papua New Guinea Prime Minister Peter O’Neill says he expects a Tony Abbott-led government to respect the asylum-seeker processing arrangements made with former prime minister Kevin Rudd. But Mr O’Neill says he is open to the scheme being reviewed. “The resettlement program (asylum-seeker deal) and the infrastructure development program associated with this, negotiated and agreed … Continue reading

New Australian leader likened to George W Bush


A “compassionate conservative” in the tradition of George W Bush, a “bigoted air-head” and a leader with a markedly different view on a strike on Syria were among the international assessments of Australia’s prime minister elect Tony Abbott. UK Prime Minister David Cameron called to congratulate Mr Abbott following the election before taking to Twitter … Continue reading

Australia has a new government


Tony Abbott has become Australia‘s 28th prime minister, declaring from today “Australia is under new management .” Abbott said he was “proud and humbled” to “shoulder the duties of government”, as he spoke to his supporters today after his victorious win. “I now look forward to forming a government that is competent, that is trustworthy, … Continue reading

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