On 15 October 2013 Fifth Estate host Sally Warhaft was joined by a panel of experts including Greg Sheridan (the Australian’s foreign editor) and Dr Dave McRae (the Lowy Institute’s Indonesia expert) to discuss Australian-Indonesian relations, and the key responsibilities and obligations of both nations, in this new political climate.
At a state dinner in Jakarta, Tony Abbott’s first foreign destination as prime minister, the new Australian leader said that there have been times when ‘all sides of Australian politics could have said less and done more’. Australia’s recent handling of issues relating to asylum seekers and live cattle exports to Indonesia has at times been light on diplomacy. But does the new asylum seeker policy continue this trend?
How has Prime Minister Abbott fared in his initial dealings with Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono? And how will the Australian government fare in balancing its domestic policy agenda on asylum seekers with Indonesia’s desire for a multilateral approach?