AUSTRALIA IS WORLD HEADLINES
FOR ALL THE WRONG REASONS
No information released by the Morrison Flotilla of Rubber Ducks. The Minister for Foreign Affairs (ahem) has said that she has contacted Marty on the telephone and written to him as well.
After making a wild statement in the previous edition of this series, “A shooting skirmish may be closer than we think!” I felt a little silly. This sort of hyperbole is only suitable for a Cassandra. Oh, by the way, I am re-reading Lindsay Clarke’s “The Return from Troy” so I know all about Cassandra. Since then I have begun to worry.
I have read too much over the past 24 hours and not a lot of it is comforting. Beginning close to home and moving further and further away.
Independent Australia headlined “The inadvertent Abbott Government’s Indonesian crisis“
“So, you think relations with Indonesia couldn’t get any worse under the new Government? Well, buckle your seat belts, says Alan Austin, things may be about to get even more rocky. IT IS NOW UNDENIABLE. Nothing the Australian Government or military say about border protection can be believed.
SYDNEY MORNING HERALD reports that ‘Navy sailors now on ‘war footing’ to turn back boats’
David Wroe wrote, “Navy personnel carrying out border protection were quietly stripped of some workplace safety protections and obligations last month in an apparent preparation for dangerous operations such as turning back boats. The Chief of the Defence Force, General David Hurley, used his powers under workplace safety laws shortly before Christmas to exempt Navy sailors from their obligation to take ”reasonable care” to ensure their own safety and that of other sailors and asylum-seekers. The change aims to give sailors legal protection, meaning they would ”not face individual criminal sanctions under the Act for giving effect to Government policy”, an explanatory statement issued by General Hurley states. General Hurley acted in consultation with Employment Minister Eric Abetz to make the change, which effectively puts the sailors on a similar footing to military personnel fighting in battle.
Zee News in India reports (from 48 hours ago, “Indonesia criticises Australian use of lifeboats“
The Swiss Broadcasting Corporation has noted, “Indonesia bristles over ‘deplorable’ Australian sea incursions”
IN OTHER, UNREPORTED, NEWS
A study of the Maritime Live website reveals that there have been a number of Australian Naval vessels leaving Darwin and Fremantle (Stirling) bases heading West and North-West repectively. The waters off Christmas Island appear to be the common destination. The same waters which are about to be closely patrolled by Indonesian Naval vessels.
I do hope all the sailors involved return safely. Something the ADF cannot guarantee as we can see from the earlier report that “workplace safety protections and obligations ” have been removed.
Please, Mr Abbott, we do not need a regional conflict. Give it up NOW!
Christmas Island; The monsoon trough lies to the north Christmas Island.
Forecast for the rest of Sunday 19 January Chance of a shower. Winds: South to southwesterly 10 to 15 knots. Seas: 1.0 to 1.5 metres. Swell: South to southwesterly 2.0 metres. Max 29 (BOM)
Cocos Island; The monsoon trough is expected to remain to the north of Cocos Islands. Forecast for the rest of Sunday 19 January Chance of an shower, increasing in the evening. Winds: Southerly around 10 knots. Seas: Around 1.0 metre. Swell: Southerly 1.5 to 2.0 metres. Max 29 (BOM)
Cirabon; 28C, wind; 15-25 Kmh SE, showers est 4mm
The weekly figures I have collated.
This will be updated each week.