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Byron Shire
February 27, 2021

Indonesia to reject Abbott boat plan

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boats
The luxury end of Indonesian boat-building. Image from boatbuildingindonesia.com

Prime minister-elect Tony Abbott is facing stormy seas over his asylum seeker plans, with the Indonesian government already declaring that it will reject his proposals.

Under plans announced by Mr Abbott during his election campaign, the government would launch a $20 million community engagement program to pay Indonesian village ‘wardens’ to provide intelligence about people smugglers.

There would also be bounty payments for information leading to a conviction or major disruptions.

However, Indonesia Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa says the country will not accept the policy, The Jakarta Post reports.

‘We will have a discussion with Abbott prior to the APEC Summit in October,’ Mr Natalegawa told a House or Representatives meeting on Wednesday.

‘We will reject his policy on asylum seekers and any other policy that harms the spirit of partnership.’

The newspaper quoted another Indonesian politician, Tantowi Yahya, who said the plan could potentially harm relations between the neighbouring countries.

‘Our bilateral relations with Australia were good during Kevin Rudd’s leadership, but they may not be during Abbott’s leadership.’

Meanwhile, Mr Abbott may also faces diplomatic tension over Indonesia’s plans to buy a million hectares of Australian land for cattle breeding.

While farmers have welcomed the plan, incoming Nationals MP Barnaby Joyce has raised concerns, noting that the size of the land is ‘quite a substantial chunk of Australia’.

Read The Jakarta Post story


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