Turnbull Meets With Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe have held a press briefing, following their talks in Sydney.

Abe

The two leaders spoke of their commitment to free trade and open markets. Turnbull said that both countries are committed to the Trans Pacific Partnership because “protectionism is not a ladder to get us out of the low growth trap, rather a shovel to dig us deeper into it”.

Abe said: “To ensure free and open international order based on the rule of law, our bilateral cooperation and trilateral cooperation with the United States is of course important.”

  • Listen to the Turnbull-Abe press briefing (21m)
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Transcript of remarks by PM Turnbull and PM Abe, in Sydney.

TURNBULL: Welcome, Prime Minister, it is wonderful to be hosting you and your party here in Sydney.

We’ve already had a very good constructive discussion this morning as we walked around beautiful South Head. [Read more…]


Keating Warns Against Tillerson’s South China Sea Adventurism

Former prime minister Paul Keating has criticised remarks by the US Secretary of State-designate, Rex Tillerson, regarding what he terms “adventurism” over the South China Sea.

Keating issued a statement following remarks by Tillerson at his confirmation hearings in Washington DC. Tillerson said that a “signal” should be sent to China over its access to islands in the South China Sea. He said that American allies should be there to “show back-up”.

Keating says Australia should have no part of such adventurism, as it should have had no part in the Iraq war 15 years ago.

Statement by Paul Keating.

Keating


Chris Bowen: The Case For Openness

The Shadow Treasurer, Chris Bowen, has delivered a speech in defence of openness in trade and immigration, and against nativist populism.

BowenAddressing the Crescent Institute, Bowen said: “In the United States, Europe and recently in Australia, simple solutions are being proposed to solve complex problems.”

Bowen said he wanted to make “the case for trade and immigration… for an outward looking, modern nation, at peace with itself and comfortable with the world around us.”

He said “the believers in a connected world” also need “to meet the concerns of those who are hurting” and who are tempted by “the chimera of a solution proposed by those who are speedily trying to raise the national drawbridge”. [Read more…]


Chinese Own Less Than 1% Of Agricultural Land; Figures Show 86% Land Australian-Owned; Half Of All Foreign Investment Is From UK

Figures released today by the Australian Taxation Office show that 86.4% of the nation’s agricultural land is held by Australians. Foreign interests hold 13.6%, whilst Chinese interests control just 0.4% of the total.

Figures from the Register of Foreign Ownership of Agricultural Land show that over half of all foreign investment in Australian agricultural land is held by the United Kingdom (52.7%), which has 27.5 million hectares, or 7.2%, of total agricultural land.

United States interests hold 14.8% of all foreign investment in land. This represents 7.7 million hectares, or 2% of the total.

The Netherlands, Singapore, China, Philippines, Switzerland, Jersey, Indonesia and Japan hold 21% of all foreign investment. Together, the top 10 countries account for 88.5% of all foreign investment in agricultural land.

The figures debunk claims by populist and fringe political groups about Chinese holdings of land. Just 2.8% of all foreign investment in land is Chinese, or 0.4% of all agricultural land. [Read more…]


Turnbull’s Economic Policy Speech To CEDA Disrupted By Refugee Protesters

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s speech to CEDA today was interrupted by a group of refugee protesters.

Turnbull

Turnbull was addressing the Committee for Economic Development of Australia, in Melbourne, on economic policy. The female protesters gained entry to the event by posing as members of the press. About ten minutes into the speech, they began yelling and waving banners that called for the closing of offshore refugee detention camps. One woman stood on the stage near Turnbull with a poster that read: “FFS Close the Bloody Camps”. The protesters were quickly dispersed and evicted from the event.

Turnbull’s speech contained little new. It centred on the government’s commitment to Budget repair and its election campaign themes of innovation and science, investment in the defence industry, trade agreements and taxation.

The Prime Minister said: “In the upcoming sittings, we will introduce an Omnibus Bill that puts together all the Government’s savings measures that we understand from the election campaign the Labor Party is prepared to support.” [Read more…]


John Howard Responds To Chilcot Report On Iraq War

The former prime minister, John Howard, has defended his government’s 2003 decision to join the US-led invasion of Iraq.

Howard held a press conference today, in response to the UK’s Chilcot report on the war that characterised the invasion as ill-conceived and based on faulty intelligence.

The essence of Howard’s defence was that no lies were told at the time and that it is only in retrospect that the decision can be faulted. He said he was on record as having criticised aspects of the invasion, particularly the dismantling of the Iraqi army. [Read more…]


Liberal Party Free Time Advertisements: 2016 Federal Election

These are four freetime advertisements for the Liberal Party, broadcast on ABC television.

The advertisements feature Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, Foreign Minister Julie Bishop and Treasurer Scott Morrison.

The Australian Broadcasting Corporation is statutorily obliged to provide free radio and television time to the major political parties during elections. [Read more…]