Tag Archives: indonesia

Barnaby Sells Out?

4 Oct

From the Australian:

BARNABY Joyce, who has built his political career opposing foreign investment, is under fire for hypocrisy after giving his blessing to the sale of two of the Northern Territory’s best known cattle stations to Indonesia’s biggest live cattle importer.

The Agriculture Minister, who two weeks ago asked Australians to “make a big noise” and oppose the Indonesian government’s plan to purchase a million hectares of cattle country, said he supported the latest sale after talking to the Northern Territory cattle industry.

The Santori company – a subsidiary of the Indonesian agribusiness Japfa group – is purchasing two large Northern Territory cattle properties, Riveren and Inverway stations.

Mr Joyce said last night he made the decision to support the sale after talking to northern Australian cattlemen.

“They wanted the sale to go forward,” he said.

The Deputy Nationals Leader said the purchase of the two cattle stations was a joint venture on lease-hold land, that would kick-start the live cattle trade to Indonesia.

He dismissed the charge of hypocrisy, declaring the Greens wanted to “shut down the trade all together” and Labor had created the slump in cattle exports in the first place. “We are just trying to sweep up the dishes they dropped,” he said.

Mr Joyce’s decision to support the sale is a stark departure from his public call – about two weeks ago, before being appointed to the ministry – for Australians to “make a big noise” and oppose a similar plan from the Indonesian government to buy farmland and raise cattle for the domestic market.

“I cannot possibly see how it is in the national interest, what benefit is it to Australian farmers, to Australian taxpayers, if another entity buys our land to breed their cattle, exports them to their own facilities and pays tax in another country,” Mr Joyce said at the time.

The Nationals deputy leader’s about-face received a mixed reception from his party colleagues yesterday. Some of them have flagged a tough fight on the potential sale of Australia’s largest listed agribusiness, GrainCorp, to US firm Archer Daniels Midland if it is approved by Joe Hockey.

NSW Nationals senator John Williams said Australia should own its own farmland, with the profits going back into regional and rural towns.

“Have the owners of those stations had them on the market for a long time?” Senator Williams said. “Are they desperate to get out? If they can’t get a local buyer, then I wouldn’t blame them for selling to a foreign buyer. But I like to see Australians own our farmland. I want to see the profits of those farms spent locally in our regional towns.”

Queensland LNP MP George Christensen said Mr Joyce was only meeting the demands of industry.

“You have to talk to the local industry, and my understanding is that they are all behind it.

“In that case, as Australia’s Agriculture Minister, he is (fulfilling) the wishes of the Australian agricultural industry,” he said.

Advertisements

Could This Be Gillard’s Biggest, Most Epic Fail Yet?

21 Nov

Remember how your humble blogger described the Gillard “deal” to base US troops in Northern Australia?

In just a few words … “This Will End Well”:

More brilliant strategy from our government.

Ill-considered.

Counterproductive.

Dangerous.

Unnecessary.

And sure enough, barely four days later, and it is already becoming clear that I was right.

What has been achieved, is another Labor epic FAIL.

They have antagonised not only China, but Indonesia as well.

Not that you would think so from the government and media “spin” lies about those nations’ reactions:

Smith downplays US-China crossfire claim

Defence Minister Stephen Smith has downplayed suggestions of China’s displeasure with a new military arrangement between Australia and the United States, saying the official response has been measured and appropriate.

Under the new arrangements announced during US president Barack Obama’s visit to Australia, US marines will start training in the Northern Territory from next year, increasing to a force of 2500 by 2016.

Liu Weimin, a spokesman of China’s ministry of foreign affairs, said the move may not be in the interest of countries in the region and questioned the expansion of military ties while global economics were still shaky.

But an editorial in China’s state-run People’s Daily goes further, saying if Australia uses its military bases to help the US hurt Chinese interests, then “one thing is certain … Australia itself will be caught in the crossfire”.

Mr Smith said media commentary should be “divorced” from China’s official response.

“And the official response has quite frankly been a measured one,” he told Network Ten on Sunday.

“It hasn’t been over the top.”

Ahhhh … Steve, ‘ol son. Two points.

One. The Chinese are famously circumspect in their language. An official response saying that our government’s decision “may not be in the best interest of countries in the region” is a pretty big red flag.

Two. The People’s Daily is state-run. The regime can, will, and does, make clearer statements in its media organs, than it ever does in official diplomatic comments. So you can probably take as gospel that if The People’s Daily speaks of Australia being caught in “crossfire”, that is exactly what the regime is really thinking.

Indeed, they said a little more than that, didn’t they?

A strongly-worded editorial in the state-owned People’s Daily said the new Australian-US defence pact posed a security threat to Australia.

“Australia surely cannot play China for a fool. It is impossible for China to remain detached, no matter what Australia does to undermine its security,” it said.

“If Australia uses its military bases to help the US harm Chinese interests, then Australia itself will be caught in the crossfire.”

The editorial admonished Australia for relying on China for its economic interests while turning to the United States for political and security purposes.

No question about it.

You have antagonised the Chinese. Best get yourself a copy of Sun Tzu’s “Art Of War”, Mr Smith. It might help you get a clue.

And what about Indonesia? We’ve long had a tetchy relationship with them.

Did our government consider the possibility of “blowback” from our nearest big neighbour?

Gillard reassures Indonesia in bilateral talks

Prime Minister Julia Gillard says the Indonesian president understands Australia’s growing military ties with the United States are not a threat.

Ms Gillard says she discussed the issue with president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono on the sidelines of yesterday’s East Asia Summit and during their bilateral meeting in Bali today.

Yesterday Mr Yudhoyono told reporters that both Ms Gillard and the US President, Barack Obama, had guaranteed they had no intention of disturbing Australia’s neighbours.

Ms Gillard says Indonesia has no reason to be concerned.

“President Yudhoyono certainly understands that this is a step forward in our defence cooperation with the United States,” she said.

“We are a long-term ally of the United States. That this step forward in our defence cooperation is not aimed at any nation in our region.”

The very fact that reassurances have had to be given, proves two things.

1. The prospect of a US-Australia military deal was not discussed with the Chinese or the Indonesians prior to announcing it. FAIL.

2. They are concerned … else there’d be no need for reassurances. FAIL.

This grandstanding decision by Gillard, part and parcel of nauseatingly brown-nosing the warmongering Peace Prize winner Obama during his flying visit Downunder in order to get a desperately-needed lift in the polls and save her leadership during “killing season”, may very well turn out to be Gillard’s biggest, most epic fail yet.

Big call.

But then, so is pissing off (1) your biggest customer, (2) your biggest creditor, and (3) your biggest neighbour, all just to lift your own beleaguered standing within your own party.

%d bloggers like this: