In 2013 Abbott killed Radio Australia. He Cut Foreign Aid and commercialized it, turning it into a Q uid pro Quo program. Fiji warned us that LNP policies were alienating our Pacific relationships. Since then Morrison has shown little interest and has had a tin ear. We even saw the lack of regard with which he treated the French a Pacific neighbor. Basically treating them like mushrooms. in the dark and feeding them bullshit.
The sun may have set on Australian leadership in the Pacific. In 2019 I passed through French Polynesia, the Cook Islands and Tonga. Much of the experience was beautiful, although living conditions, including shipping crates as accommodation, spoke of the poverty that is just below the surface. But what struck home was the sight of the two wharves in Nuku’alofa, Tonga: the old crumbling one built by Australia, and the impressive new structure built by China.
Australia and India struggle to break through ‘’curry, cricket and the Commonwealth’’. In the Pacific it seems to be climate, China and condescension. The week’s events show that Australia and Pacific nations live in separate worlds. What we’ve got here is failure to communicate. Some men you just can’t reach. – Cool Hand Luke