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Is our borrowed annual $365m aid payment to Indonesia protection money?

indo-troops

107,538,660 fit for service Indonesian troops at our doorstep

This year Australia will hand out a borrowed $365.7 million in foreign aid to Indonesia, an Islamic regime, which is seen by some as a mafia-styled protection payment.

In effect, Australia in 2015 supported the world’s 12th largest army with an annual budget of IDR95 trillion($6,900,000,000 AU).

According to the manpower statistics below, the Indonesian Armed Forces (Tentera  Nasional Indonesia, or TNI) could easily overrun Northern Australia in a few days.

Total Population: 253,609,643
Available Manpower: 129,075,188
Fit for Service: 107,538,660
Reaching Military Age Annually: 4,455,159
Active Frontline Personnel: 476,000
Active Reserve Personnel: 400,000    (source WowShack)

Australian military strength is too pathetic to publish.

Even more worrying is the military training being offered by the Australian duopoly government to our potential, greatest enemy.

Indonesia’s military control in West Papua today

In November an Indonesian instructor complained that “offensive” material about West Papua displayed at an Australian Special Forces base. It prompted Indonesia’s defence chief to cut military cooperation, throwing future joint exercises into doubt.

Indonesian Special Forces group Kopassus trains with the Special Air Service at the unit’s Campbell Barracks in Perth.

Capitulating in normal Australian style, Chief of Army Lieutenant General Angus Campbell also wrote to his Indonesian counterpart on November 24 to reassure him that Australia did not endorse the material.

Never mind that over the last 20 years hundreds have been killed and thousands of West Papuans have been dispossessed of their land and homes by Indonesian armed forces.

Lt Gen Angus Campbell

Lt Gen Angus Campbell

The Indonesian President eventually poured cold water over the training officer’s complaint and assured the Federal Government military ties would remain.

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade says Indonesia is one of our most important bilateral relationships.

According to DFAT Australia and Indonesia have an extensive framework of cooperation spanning political, economic, security, development, education and people-to-people ties.

Sustainable and inclusive economic growth in Indonesia benefits Australia and contributes to regional growth and stability.

Indonesia has experienced steady economic growth in recent years. It has reached middle income status and achieved substantial development progress. However, economic growth is now slowing and inequality is rising.

At least 100 million people in Indonesia continue to live on $2 or less per day. Slow growth will make it more difficult for Indonesia to meet its development goals. Furthermore, low growth means the poor will find it harder to escape poverty, DFAT said.

In 2014-15, Australia exported 1.38 million cattle to Indonesia, valued at A$1.35 billion FOB.

This reflected a 22% increase on 2013-14. Indonesia was Australia’s largest live cattle export market, taking 746,193 head, up 20% year-on- year and was valued at A$601 million FOB.

Indonesia accounted for 54% of total Australian live cattle exports in 2014-15. In 2014-15, the second largest market for Australian cattle was Vietnam, taking 309,505 head (up 136% on 2013-14), valued at A$328 million FOB.

Inquest in 2014 finds against Indonesian military

balibo-five

Murdered Australia news reporters 1975

Seven years ago the AFP launched an investigation into the deaths of Brian Peters, 29, Malcolm Rennie, 28, Gary Cunningham, 27, Gregory Shackleton, 29, and Anthony Stewart, 21, who were killed in October 1975 reporting on Indonesian military action.

In 2007, New South Wales deputy state coroner Dorelle Pinch found the five men died at Balibo in Timor Leste, also known as East Timor, on October 16, 1975.

yunus_yosfiah

Captain Yunus Yosfiah

In her inquest into the death of Peters, Ms Pinch concluded the men “died from wounds sustained when (they) were shot and or stabbed deliberately, and not in the heat of battle, by members of the Indonesian special forces, including (Commander) Christoforus Da Silva and Captain Yunus Yosfiah on the orders of Captain Yosfiah to prevent (them) from revealing that Indonesian special forces had participated in the attack on Balibo”.

The AFP confirmed in a statement to the ABC they had abandoned their investigation into the killing of the men, who came to be known as the Balibo Five.

“The AFP has conducted an extensive review of the investigation,” the statement read.

“During the investigation the AFP identified challenges associated with establishing jurisdiction. The investigation continued in an effort to overcome those issues.

“However, the AFP has concluded that there is currently insufficient evidence to prove an offence.

“As a result, the AFP has exhausted all inquiries in relation to this matter and will be taking no further action.

“The AFP has had ongoing consultation with the families throughout this complex and difficult investigation. Family members based in Australia and the United Kingdom were briefed by senior AFP investigators this evening.”

The AFP said the men’s families had been informed of the decision.

The AFP has a reputation for botched investigations particularly the questionable circumstances leading to the conviction of Shapelle Corby and the Bali Nine in 2005.

In 2009, former Indonesian soldier Gatot Purwanto  said the men were shot deliberately but not executed. (from ABC)

It is no secret that most Muslim Indonesians dislike Australia yet Australians flock to the tourist destination of Bali spending millions of dollars a year.

Tourism bodies say that the numbers of Australian travellers has levelled out due mainly to executions of Australian drug dealers, volcanic eruptions and terrorist attacks.

While 16,000 Indonesians visited Australia in 2016, 1 million aussies on average visit Indonesia each year worth a projected $1 billion to its economy by 2020.

Large oil producer

Oil Production: 983,000 bbl/day
Oil Consumption: 1,355,000 bbl/day]
Proven Oil Reserves: 4,030,000,000 bbl/day

Air force capability

 Total Aircraft: 405
 Fighters/Interceptors: 30
 Fixed-Wing Attack Aircraft: 52
 Transport Aircraft: 187
 Trainer Aircraft: 104
 Helicopters: 148
 Attack Helicopters: 5

indo-navy

Indonesian Navy and Airforce

Our nearest neighbour could one day become our nearest aggressor and paying the Indonesian military government protection money will be unnecessary should the military decide to move on Australia.

Four years ago when Rudd was Prime Minister a northern development paper was released describing millions of acres that were “available for development by other nations.”

The Australian Government will borrow to provide an estimated $365.7 million in total ODA to Indonesia in 2016-17, including an estimated $296 million in bilateral funding also borrowed and managed by DFAT.

Indonesia is one of Australia’s most important bilateral relationships. Australia and Indonesia have an extensive framework of cooperation spanning political, economic, security, development, education and people-to-people ties. Sustainable and inclusive economic growth in Indonesia benefits Australia and contributes to regional growth and stability.

Indonesia has experienced steady economic growth in recent years. It has reached middle income status and achieved substantial development progress. However, economic growth is now slowing and inequality is rising. At least 100 million people in Indonesia continue to live on $2 or less per day. Slow growth will make it more difficult for Indonesia to meet its development goals. Furthermore, low growth means the poor will find it harder to escape poverty.

Australia works in an economic partnership with Indonesia, supporting its efforts to leverage its own resources to generate growth and distribute those benefits to a larger number of its people. Australia provides policy and technical advice that will improve the quality of Indonesia’s investments in infrastructure, economic governance, human development and social policy.

At last the Liberals officially reveal the salient details of TransPacific Partnership

The Liberal Member for the Federal seat of Leichardt, FNQ, Warren Entsch has released the official explanation of the TPP:

On behalf of theHon Warren Entsch MP
Office of the Hon. Warren Entsch MP
Federal Member for Leichhardt
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Thank you for your email regarding the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Agreement negotiations. Mr Entsch has asked that I respond on his behalf. We have had a number of our constituents contact us regarding the TPP and so contacted the Minister’s office responsible for this matter, because it is quite a complex issue and the following response hopefully will allay your fears. Before actually becoming law it will be openly discussed in Parliament and have to pass through both the Lower and Upper Houses.

As a region-wide free trade agreement, the TPP offers an opportunity to strengthen job-creating trade and investment, and further integrate Australia into the fast-growing Asia-Pacific region by pursuing common and liberalising policy outcomes.

The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Agreement will be unprecedented in its scale and level of ambition. The twelve countries that have negotiated the TPP – Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Chile, Canada, Japan, Mexico, Malaysia, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, the United States, and Vietnam represent almost 40 per cent of the global economy – or around US$28 trillion.

Benefits of the TPP will be broad-ranging;

  • for Australian businesses – by creating more export opportunities in the Asia Pacific;
  • for Australian consumers – by lowering the costs and increasing the variety of goods available in Australia; and
  • for the Australian economy – by promoting economic growth in the Asia Pacific, further integrating Australia into the region, and creating a common platform for expanding trade into the 21st Century.

Once concluded the TPP will be the largest trade agreement since the creation of the World Trade Organization, and represents the most significant restatement and enhancement of trade policy rules since the mid-1990s. Once finalised, TPP membership will be open to other economies in the Asia Pacific to promote prosperity and strategic stability.

Because we have received a number of constituent concerns regarding the TPP and its effects and we have therefore compiled a number of answers to cover all situations as follows:

Restricting the Government’s ability to regulate

The Australian Government is not intending to sign up to international agreements that would restrict Australia’s capacity to govern in our own interest – whether in the area of healthcare, the environment or any other regulated area of the economy.

Investor-State Dispute Settlement

Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) provides an opportunity for Australian investors to protect their investments overseas against expropriation and to ensure that they are afforded a certain minimum standard of treatment, and treated in a non-discriminatory manner.

ISDS provisions have been included in agreements over the past three decades to provide protection for those who choose to pursue new opportunities for Australia by investing abroad. Australia has ISDS provisions in place with 28 economies.

The Government is considering the inclusion of ISDS provisions in Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) under negotiation on a case-by-case basis. In the TPP negotiations, the Government will agree to ISDS if certain conditions are met by other TPP countries.

Contrary to some public commentary, ISDS does not protect an investor from a mere loss of profits and does not prevent a Government from changing its policies or regulating in the public interest. A loss of profits, by itself, does not amount to a breach of an FTA.

Should the Government agree to the inclusion of ISDS provisions in any of the FTAs under negotiation, we will seek to ensure that the Government is not restricted in its ability to protect public health and the environment. Further information can be found at www.dfat.gov.au/fta/isds-faq.html.

Pharmaceuticals

The Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) is an integral part of Australia’s health system and the Government will not agree to an outcome in the TPP negotiations which would adversely affect the PBS or Australia’s health system more generally.

Australia’s position on Intellectual Property

The Government considers that the TPP negotiations provide an important opportunity to establish effective and balanced protection and enforcement of intellectual property (IP) across the region, in the interests of Australian importers, exporters and consumers. The Government is seeking an outcome on IP in the TPP negotiations that is consistent with Australia’s existing laws, improves transparency and which will streamline the processes for protecting and enforcing IP rights in the region.

Australia has an effective and balanced intellectual property regime, and the Government does not intend to alter the current system through the TPP.

Copyright and the digital environment

I would like to assure you that the Government fully understands the importance of maintaining policy flexibilities, especially for the digital environment. Australia is supporting effective and balanced commitments on copyright in the TPP negotiations that retain the policy flexibilities we currently have. This is particularly important to enable the Government to consider domestic developments, such as the Australian Law Reform Commission’s report following its inquiry into copyright and the digital economy.

Access to medicines

Also issues regarding intellectual property provisions of the TPP and access to medicines. The Government understands the need for access to affordable medicines, both in Australia and in other countries. The Government is working to negotiate a TPP that is in Australia’s national interests, and that supports each Party’s right to protect public health and promote access to medicines. In particular, Australia’s TPP negotiating position takes into consideration input and advice on the potential impact of TPP proposals on Australia’s overseas aid program and developing TPP countries.

At the same time, the Government recognises the role of intellectual property in providing incentives and rewards for investment in pharmaceutical research and development. Ultimately, any outcome on pharmaceutical intellectual property issues in the TPP negotiations must strike an appropriate balance for Australia in promoting investment in innovation, and supporting timely and affordable access to medicines.

Tobacco

Australia is carefully analysing the inclusion of tobacco control language in the TPP negotiations. Under existing international trade obligations, Australia has the right to implement tobacco control measures, such as plain packaging for tobacco products, in the interests of public health. Australia will consider any proposal in the TPP negotiations that confirms this right.

Labeling

Nothing being discussed in the TPP negotiations will weaken Australia’s policies or regulations on food or alcohol labeling. Australia’s ability to regulate food labeling will not be diminished. All Parties will retain their current rights under the World Trade Organization to make policy related to human health, safety and the environment.

State Owned Enterprises

The Government supports disciplines on State Owned Enterprises (SOEs) in the TPP negotiations that will ensure that entities compete in their commercial activities on an equal footing with the private sector and do not benefit from advantages provided by government. Australia will continue to pursue disciplines that would maintain the Government’s right to use SOEs that serve a public purpose.

Labour

Concerns about labour issues under discussion in the TPP. We expect the TPP Labour Chapter will set a new benchmark that will benefit workers across the region by promoting compliance with internationally-recognised labour rights and the effective enforcement of labour laws. While dispute settlement for the Labour Chapter remains subject to negotiations, we expect that the final outcome will include an effective enforcement mechanism.

Environment

The TPP Environment Chapter will promote high levels of environmental protection in the TPP region. Australia is seeking to negotiate environmental commitments on issues where trade rules can help to address environmental challenges, including through liberalising trade in environmental goods and services and disciplines on fish subsidies that contribute to over-fishing. We are also working with other parties on trade-related ways to support objectives on conservation, biodiversity and other pressing environmental issues.

Leaked Negotiating Text

The Government is aware that documents purporting to be a leaked version of the TPP have been made public. As is normal practice in trade negotiations, the parties have agreed to keep negotiating documents, including text, confidential, though allowing for governmental consultation processes with stakeholders. The Government will not speculate on the accuracy or otherwise of so-called ‘leaked text’. Negotiating text is a dynamic document, changing regularly, and has no status until all parties have agreed to it.

Consumer protection

Consumer protection and best practice regulation is an important aspect of the TPP negotiations. Australia does not intend, through the TPP negotiations or any other trade negotiations, to diminish the level of consumer protection available in Australia. DFAT works closely with key agencies and consults with groups such as CHOICE in developing Australia’s approach to these issues.

Geoblocking

The Government is aware that Australians consumers are concerned about the price they pay for items purchased via the internet. As part of TPP negotiations, Australia has raised the profile of ‘geoblocking’ as a commercial practice which has an impact on how consumers engage in electronic commerce.

Transparency in TPP negotiations

Contrary to some reported claims, the TPP negotiations are not secret. The Australian Government made a public announcement about involvement in the TPP negotiations in late 2008 and has been carrying out domestic stakeholder consultations since that time.

As is standard practice with the negotiation of international treaties, draft TPP negotiating texts are not public documents. The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade is however taking every opportunity to ensure that stakeholders are adequately consulted and able to express their views. There will be an opportunity for full public and Parliamentary discussion prior to any agreement being ratified. In accordance with the Government’s treaty-making process, once the TPP text is agreed it will be tabled in Parliament for 20 joint sitting days to facilitate public consultations and scrutiny by the Joint Standing Committee on Treaties (JSCOT) before any binding treaty action is taken. Once tabled, the treaty text and an accompanying National Interest Analysis will be published on the JSCOT website and in the online Australian Treaties Library. Further information about the TPP can be found on the Department’s website, at: www.dfat.gov.au/trade/agreements/tpp/.

Consultation – for stakeholder groups

The Australian Government commenced public domestic stakeholder consultations in late 2008 and they are ongoing. Australia’s negotiating positions have been, and continue to be, guided by consultations with a range of stakeholders. The Government will continue to take every available opportunity to consult with stakeholders and is always open to receiving written submissions and meeting with interested parties. I would encourage you to continue to participate in this consultative process.

I trust that this information is of assistance.

Here is a recent article you may wish to read.

Sid Maher, The Australian 13 April 2015

“Farmers predict Australian agricultural exports could double by 2030 if the Trans- Pacific Partnership trade agreement is clinched as the Coalition and Labor continue to back negotiations despite escalating attacks from the Greens and anti-trade activists”