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Thursday, September 19, 2013

Tony Abbott lays down the law to Indonesia

New faces with Governor-General Quentin Bryce

Tony Abbott and his 41 ministers, assistant ministers and parliamentary secretaries were sworn in yesterday by Govenor-General Quentin Bryce.  Just hours after the ceremony, the new PM announced the sacking of three public service chiefs and a major shake-up of federal bureaucracy.  Treasury chief Martin Parkinson will leave next year after helping new Treasurer Joe Hockey bring down his first budget in May.

The Abbott family with G-G

Dr Don Russell, head of the Department of Innovation, Industry, Science and Research is gone, so is Blair Comley, head of Resources, Energy and Tourism Department, and Andrew Metcalf has been sacked as head of the Agricultural Department.

AusAID, Australia's overseas aid agency will be integrated into Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) which leaves its Director-General Peter Baxter without a job. The new Foreign Affairs Minister Julie Bishop said the government looks forward to working with him in another senior role.

PM and new Foreign Affairs Minister, Julie Bishop

But there's a more pressing problem facing Tony Abbott - he's about to go to war with Indonesia over our biggest headache -asylum seekers.  

The Indonesian government has been extremely unhelpful and unsympathetic to our border protection problem and have allowed hundreds of old fishing boats headed to Australia, to leave Indonesian shores every month. 

Tony Abbott has promised the Australian people that he will fix the problem but Indonesia doesn't like his policies which includes turning the boats around and sending them back to Indonesia.  Julie Bishop said "We are not seeking Indonesia's permission......we're seeking their understanding."

Angus Campbell 

The Deputy Chief of Army, Angus Campbell will be promoted to undertake his new position as coordinator of the 16 departments and agencies under the Operation Sovereign Borders policy and he will report directly to Immigration Minister Scott Morrison.

Tony Abbott, Julie Bishop and Scott Morrison will visit Indonesia on 30th September to explain their polices to President Susilo Bambang Hudhoyono.

Former Foreign Affairs Minister in John Howard's government Alexander Downer said "never, never, ever did we ask another country's permission to protect our borders, no self-respecting government would ever do that - ever!"