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Hockey Presents Credentials To Obama; Abbott Meets Kissinger

The former Treasurer, Joe Hockey, has presented his credentials to President Barack Obama as the new Australian Ambassador to the United States, whilst his former leader, Tony Abbott, has met with Dr. Henry Kissinger in New York.

Within ten minutes of each other this morning, Hockey and Abbott both posted pictures of their meetings on Twitter.

Hockey

Hockey, 50, replaces the former Labor leader Kim Beazley, who held the post for 7 years. Hockey was the Liberal member for North Sydney from 1996 until his resignation last October. He was Treasurer from 2013 but was dropped by Malcolm Turnbull last September in the aftermath of the toppling of Tony Abbott.

Abbott

Kissinger, 92, was Secretary of State under Presidents Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford between 1973-77. Abbott, 58, has been the Liberal member for Warringah since 1994. He was prime minister between 2013-15.


Barack Obama Highlights Climate Change In Speech At University Of Queensland

Ahead of the G20 meeting, President Barack Obama has placed climate change at the centre of a speech to students at the University of Queensland.

Obama

Obama told the gathering that no region had more at stake than the Asia-Pacific. He said climate change was causing more wildfires, flooding, extreme storms and rising seas. “The incredible natural glory of the Great Barrier Reef is threatened,” he said.

Obama pledges $3 billion to the Green Climate Fund to assist developing countries. “Let them leap frog some of the dirty industries that powered our development, go straight to a clean-energy economy that allows them to grow, create jobs and at the same time reduce their carbon pollution,” he said. [Read more…]


Tony Abbott’s Remarks At G20 Leaders’ Retreat

Prime Minister Tony Abbott has welcomed world leaders to the G20 meeting in Brisbane.

AbbottSpeaking in the former Legislative Council chamber of the Queensland Parliament, Abbott said: “This room symbolises the limitations on our power.”

Abbott emphasised the importance of economic reform. He told the gathering his government had repealed the carbon tax, stopped the “illegal boats”, started building roads and getting the Budget under control. [Read more…]


Widodo Inauguration: Abbott Stresses Jakarta Focus In Foreign Policy

Prime Minister Tony Abbott has flown to Indonesia to attend the inauguration of its new President, Joko Widodo.

In his weekly video message, Abbott repeated his earlier remarks that “our foreign policy needs a ‘Jakarta’ focus rather than a ‘Geneva’ one”.

He said one million Australians visit Indonesia each year. “It has the world’s largest Muslim population, it is the world’s third largest democracy and, along with India, it’s the emerging democratic superpower of Asia.” [Read more…]


We Shirtfront The Tsar; Abbott Says He Will Confront Putin Over MH17 At G20

Prime Minister Tony Abbott says he will “shirtfront” Russian President Vladimir Putin over the shooting of Malaysian Airlines Flight MH17.

Abbott

Abbott made his comments at a media conference at Caval Ridge Mine in the Queensland electorate of Capricornia, held by Michelle Landry. He defended and praised the coal mining industry. [Read more…]


Abbott Government Commits Defence Aircraft To Coalition Airstrikes Against ISIL In Iraq

The Abbott government will commit up to eight Australian F/A-18F Super Hornet aircraft to participate in airstrikes against ISIL in Iraq.

Abbott

Prime Minister Tony Abbott announced the decision at a joint press conference with the Defence Minister, Senator David Johnston, and the Chief of the Defence Force, Air Chief Marshal Mark Binskin, following a Cabinet meeting.

“This is not a decision the Government has taken lightly,” Abbott said. “Ultimately it is Iraq that must defeat ISIL, but it cannot do it alone.” [Read more…]


G20 Finance Ministers And Central Bank Governors Meeting Concludes In Cairns

The meeting of G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors has broken up in Cairns and Treasurer Joe Hockey says progress has been made on the group’s aim to lift global economic growth by 2% of the next five years.

Hockey

Hockey said: “The IMF and OECD have looked at over 900 measures put forward by countries – of which 700 are new – and estimate our efforts could lift global GDP by 1.8 per cent through to 2018. Their analysis has been released. We are 90 per cent of the way there to meet our 2 per cent goal.” [Read more…]


New Zealand PM John Key Wins Third Consecutive Election; National Triumphs, Labour Humiliated; “A Victory For Those Who Kept The Faith”

New Zealand’s National Party government has won its third consecutive election, increasing its vote and trouncing the Labour Party.

Key

Echoing Paul Keating’s true believers speech, Key said of his win: “This is a victory for those who kept the faith.”

As counting drew to a close tonight, National had won 48.1% of the vote, an increase of 0.8%. It appears certain to win 61 seats in the 120-member House of Representatives, an increase of two. [Read more…]


ALP Supports Military Commitment To Iraq, Greens Opposed

The Labor Opposition has given its support to the government’s commitment of RAAF aircraft and military personnel to the fight against ISIL in Iraq, whilst the Greens have opposed it.

Opposition Leader Bill Shorten described ISIL as a “barbaric organisation” and said: “Labor supports today’s announcement of the deployment of an Australian military force – including RAAF assets and personnel – to the United Arab Emirates.”

Shorten said the ALP didn’t do so lightly: “But we support the Government’s decision that Australia has a role to play in eradicating this evil and we are reassured that our support is being provided at the request of, and in full coordination with, the Iraqi Government.” [Read more…]


Combat Aircraft To Join Coalition Against ISIL; Advisers But No Combat Troops; Australia Responds To US Request

Prime Minister Tony Abbott has announced that Australian combat aircraft will join the international coalition against ISIL in Iraq.

Abbott

Abbott said up to eight RAAF F/A18 aircraft, an E-7A Wedgetail Airborne Early Warning and Control aircraft, and a KC-30A Multi-Role Tanker and Transport aircraft will be deployed to the United Arab Emirates. [Read more…]