The termination of the Certain Maritime Arrangements in the Timor Sea agreement means that Timor-Leste and Australia will have to settle their maritime boundary and, possibly, negotiate a new revenue split for the Greater Sunrise area. From a purely realist perspective, it is in Australia’s economic interests to secure as much of the Greater Sunrise area as possible in future negotiations, but there are other important strategic factors that should also be taken into consideration.
Though the Israeli settlements issue will no doubt be on the agenda, Prime Minister Malcom Turnbull should use the visit to take advantage of the water management expertise of the Israelis.
The CSIRO claims that Australian wheat yields have stalled while farmers suggest that statistics do not present an accurate state of the industry.
As he hands down this year’s national Budget, Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan finds himself challenged – once more – by both the poor state of the country’s finances and by political manoeuvrings from within the government.
The vegetation patterns in Australia’s north are changing as higher rainfall and improved growing conditions promote the growth of native woody species and introduced noxious weeds.
Initially economically and socially successful, Pakistan subsequently became less so because of political decisions. While problems abound, there is much to celebrate as Pakistan’s economy is again on the upswing.
Allowing foreign defence forces to access Australian military establishments and field training ranges is fundamental to maintaining regional security and long-standing strategic alliances. Military facilities can, however, be environmentally and culturally disruptive and can prevent land use for other purposes. The negative aspects of permanent, foreign military bases in Australia notwithstanding, they can be used strategically as a development tool for northern Australia.
It is more the fact that neither Washington nor Tehran can be seen to be backing down from their stated agenda rather than any missile test that could lead both states into conflict with each other.