In the aftermath of the Bourke Street attack in Melbourne last month, Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced two updates to Australia’s citizenship laws: increasing power to revoke the citizenship of dual nationals, and a period of exclusion from re-entry of foreign fighters returning to Australia.
Fractious domestic politics have made it all but impossible for the country to formulate coherent policy on critical regional and global issues.
Dr Bates Gill
After changes of leadership and of government in Canberra, those of us who work on Pacific island issues are usually inclined to be optimistic. We hope that the incoming Australian Prime Minister and Foreign Minister might care more about the Pacific, might be inclined to spend more time in the region, might have more empathy with their Pacific island counterparts and might develop constructive policies.
Australia’s international voice, once strong, influential and broadcast across much of the Asia-Pacific, has become little more than a croak into the ether.
Allan Gyngell, ANU
The White House announcement that Admiral Harry B. Harris, the current commander of the US Pacific Command, is President Donald Trump’s choice for ambassador to Australia is unambiguously good news for our alliance relationship. The posting sends the clearest possible signal that the US is intent on strengthening its Asian alliances. Europeans may still puzzle over Trump’s disaffection with NATO, but there should be no doubt that the White House sees America’s alliances in Asia as critical to sustaining an increasingly challenged strategic balance.
Peter Jennings is executive director of ASPI
Authors: Peter Drysdale, ANU and John Denton, Corrs Chambers Westgarth