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A good week for Australia in the Pacific

By Jeffrey Wall - posted Friday, 15 July 2022

This has been a good week for Australia in the Pacific, coinciding with the Prime Minister's attendance at the Pacific Islands Forum in Fiji.

Before I elaborate on the positives there are a couple of negatives that deserve a dishonourable mention.

At the very time China is trying to split the forum, and undermining Australia's role as a good regional leader, the New Zealand Prime Minister doesn't want our island neighbours to be "coerced" into taking sides!


What planet is she living on? China is pushing our neighbours to align with China especially when it comes to military activity, and of course trade.......all heavily in China's favour especially when it comes to forestry, fisheries and minerals.

She is effectively saying we should continue to pour aid into the region to countries already aligned with China and all the strings attached to that. And we should not be lobbying our neighbours to reject China's dangerous "proposals".

Is it any wonder her approval and that of her left-wing government are on the slide?

New Zealand has a key role to play in securing stability in our region. It can't do that if it follows the advice of its Prime Minister!

Then there was an amazingly foolish intervention from the low-profile Australian Minister for the Pacific, Pat Conroy. Speaking in Fiji he offered the view that the Australian construction sector was open to partnering with China's construction companies in the Pacific.

If that was contained in the brief he received from the Office of the Pacific then it's time that office was cleaned out as well!


As I have written about on a number of occasions the Australian construction Industry has been devastated in PNG, along with the local construction operators who China totally bypasses. That has also happened in the Solomon Islands where China has ruthlessly crushed the local construction sector.

Despite overwhelming evidence the Minister has put forward a thought bubble the Chinese must today be laughing at.

The problem with such loose talk by a responsible member is the signal it sends to the region and. In every country where China dominates construction in particular, that rather than resist China's heavy handed intervention Canberra is prepared to join it!

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About the Author

Jeffrey Wall CSM CBE is a Brisbane Political Consultant and has served as Advisor to the PNG Foreign Minister, Sir Rabbie Namaliu Prime Minister 1988-1992 and Speaker 1994-1997.

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