APSNet Semi-Weekly Bulletin, September 15, 2008

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"APSNet Semi-Weekly Bulletin, September 15, 2008", APSNet Semi-Weekly Bulletin, September 15, 2008, https://nautilus.org/apsnet/apsnet-15-september-2008/

APSNet 15 September 2008

  1. Santos Stuck in Mudflow Controversy
  2. Outcry in Indonesia over Australian Treatment of Fishermen
  3. $151m Planes a ‘Disaster’
  4. Remote Australia on the Verge of a ‘Failed State’
  5. Improving Development and Respecting Sovereignty: Australia and Papua New Guinea
  6. Restraining Nuclear Arms in the Asian Century: an Agenda for Australia
  7. Asia’s Arms No Cause for Alarm
  8. How We’re Helping the Philippines in its Dirty War

1. Santos Stuck in Mudflow Controversy, Angus Grigg, AFR*, 2008-09-15

Santos is facing a blow-out in the clean-up bill from the world’s largest mud volcano in East Java. A new (unpublished) report by UN environment Program and AusAid concludes the disaster cannot be contained and says transporting the mud 14 kilometres to the ocean and creating a new wetland is the only mitigation option available. Santos has yet to admit liability and has paid no compensation to the 75,000 people affected.
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2. Outcry in Indonesia over Australian Treatment of Fishermen, ABC, 2008-09-15

An Australian expert on Indonesia says the acquittal of three fishermen by the NT Supreme Court is likely to receive widespread attention in the Indonesian province of West Timor. The Supreme Court ordered a jury to acquit them because of lack of evidence. Professor James Fox, from the Resource Management in Asia-Pacific Program at ANU, says the fishermen’s plight has caused a real outcry in Kupang.

3. $151m Planes a ‘Disaster’, Frank Walker, SMH, 2008-09-14

An article in Janes Defence Weekly last week said the F-35 was ‘overweight and underpowered’, lacked manoeuvrability, could not carry enough bombs, was too delicate to withstand ground fire and was overpriced. The article, by US combat aircraft expert Pierre Sprey and defence spending analyst Winslow Wheeler, said production costs of the F-35 had already risen 54 per cent to $151million a plane, and were likely to increase.

4. Remote Australia on the Verge of a ‘Failed State’, Russell Skelton, Age, 2008-09-13 

Remote Australia has become a ‘failed state’ paralysed by a ‘perfect storm’ of dysfunction and neglect that threatens the nation’s security, social cohesion and rare ecosystems, a group of prominent Australians has warned. The Remote Focus Group argues remote Australia fits the criteria of failed states – endemic poverty, a paucity of services, financial mismanagement and high rates of homicide and violence.

5. Improving Development and Respecting Sovereignty: Australia and Papua New Guinea, Ronald May, Strategic Insight 43, ASPI, 2008-09-10

This report considers PNG government policies over the last decade which aimed to improve economic performance and governance. It considers in-depth the Australia-Papua New Guinea relationship and suggests ways in which the relationship could be enhanced.

6. Restraining Nuclear Arms in the Asian Century: an Agenda for Australia, Rory Medcalf, Lowy, September 2008

Australia could further invigorate its nuclear diplomacy. An Asian initiative would pursue regional nuclear restraint and non-proliferation as well as a united regional voice in global forums. It would thus need to begin well ahead of the 2010 Review Conference of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

7. Asia’s Arms No Cause for Alarm, Sam Roggeveen, Canberra Times, Lowy, 2008-09-13

Australia does not need to react to what the Prime Minister wrongly called an ‘explosion’ in regional defence spending. In fact, a modest cut to our defence budget would help our regional diplomacy.

8. How We’re Helping the Philippines in its Dirty War, Peter Sales, New Matilda, 2008-09-12

Why do we provide assistance to the ruthless, coup-prone AFP and bring scores of their officers to Australia for training? Australian taxpayers’ money goes towards financing a reprehensible military machine which Australian companies such as Sagittarius Mines, Oceana Gold, and others employ to protect their own rapacious concerns throughout Mindanao.

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Richard Tanter,
Project Co-ordinator