Australia. The Australian government's policy of blocking
asylum seekers continued to attract criticism, including
from the UN Refugee Agency UNHCR. The criticism was
particularly true of the harsh conditions in the camps in
Curtin and Woomera located in inaccessible desert areas.
Attention was also drawn to the fact that children were
also kept imprisoned. The processing of asylum applications
can take several years. In April, riots broke out in Curtin
after information that the refugees would be deported. Most
of them were Afghans, Iraqis, Iranians and Palestinians. At
the end of the year, a number of fires broke out in four
different refugee camps. Authorities accused asylum seekers
of being behind the fires. Prior to this, restrictions on
women and children had been eased by giving them the right
to live outside the camps in supervised homes.
An inquiry by the Senate suggested that the government
had mislead the public in the fall of 2001, claiming that
boat refugees threatened to throw their children overboard
if they were not admitted into Australia. The video images
shown to prove this represented refugees who were about to
leave a sinking ship.
Countryaah website, Pauline Hanson, of the xenophobic One Nation, was
indicted in May for fraudulent election fraud for his party.
Hanson resigned as party leader in January.
Having had a surplus in government finances six years in
a row, it looked as if it would end up minus the 2001/2002
financial year. One reason was said that the
Conservative-led government raised its spending before last
year's parliamentary elections. promised more money to the
pensioners, while a great effort was made on the defense.
In June, Australia declared that it did not intend to
sign the Kyoto Agreement, which aims to reduce
industrialized greenhouse gas emissions unless the United
States and developing countries such as China and India are
also covered by the agreement. Otherwise, the costs would be
too great for the Australian industry, said Prime Minister
John Howard. Earlier reports showed that Australian
emissions had increased by almost 17% in 1990-98.
Around 100 Australians were killed in a terror attack on
Kuta Beach, Indonesia, on October 12. About a week after the
deed, Australia held a national day of mourning to honor the
dead. Australian police were sent to Indonesia to assist
their colleagues in the criminal investigation.
In January 2006, Australia and East Timor signed an
agreement to share revenue from oil extraction in the Timor
Sea between the two countries. The agreement postponed
negotiations on the sea border between the two countries.
In 2006, the country was hit by the worst drought in 100
years. The drought exacerbated the unrest in the population
over the global climate change.
In April 2007, the government decided to double
Australia's troop quota in Afghanistan in 2008. According to
Prime Minister Howard was far from being weakened in
Afghanistan by the Taliban, so a "renewed and stronger
force" was needed to win the war.
That same month, Howard announced that the country's
immigrant laws will be amended to prevent the entry of
immigrants and refugees infected with HIV or AIDS. The
number of HIV/AIDS cases has increased by 41% in 2000-05.
In July, Secretary of Defense Brendan Nelson admitted
that the background to the presence of Australian troops in
Iraq is the desire to secure the oil supply. It was the
first time since the occupation of the country in March 2003
that this relationship was publicly admitted.
In November, the Labor Party won the parliamentary
election by a landslide victory over the incumbent
Liberal-Conservative government, and party chairman Kevin
Rudd took the post of prime minister in December. His first
act as prime minister was to sign the Kyoto Protocol. The
previous government had stood on the United States side and
had refused to fight CO 2 emissions and climate
change. Yet Australia will no longer move away from its
traditional ally the United States. Rudd supports the
deployment of Australian troops in Iraq and Afghanistan.
In February 2008, the Australian government, and thus the
Australian government, offered an official apology to the
country's indigenous people, Aborigines, for the persecution
they had been facing for centuries.
In December 2008, the government released its Carbon
Pollution Reduction Scheme - a program to reduce Australia's
CO 2 emissions by 5-15% by 2020 (according to the
2000 emissions). As early as May 2009, however, the Rudd
government had to announce that the reductions would be
postponed for several years as a result of the global
The government removed some of the anti-payer legislation
that the former Conservative government had implemented: the
legislation on unfair layoffs now also applies to companies
with less than 100 employees, the right to strike is
reinstated, unions must have access to jobs, and secondary
boycott actions are made legal again.
By July 2009, Australia had withdrawn all combat troops
from Iraq. In April 2009, however, the government sent
another 450 Australian soldiers to Afghanistan, bringing the
number to 1550. In April 2010, however, it refused to send
more troops to replace the Dutch troops who were then
withdrawn from Uruzgan province.
Australia implemented two packages to rescue the banks
and stimulate the economy as the international financial
crisis broke through in 2008. The first was worth $ 10.8
billion. AU $ and the next one published in February 2009
had a value of 42 AU $. In May 2009, the government
estimated that the state budget deficit for 2009-10 would be
$ 57.6 billion. AU $ and in 2010 was budgeted with a deficit
of AU $ 40.8 billion.
The government changed the internment policy towards
refugees introduced by the former Conservative government.
It decided from 2008 to allow 300,000 emigrants to
Australia, leading to a drastic increase in the number of
boat refugees in 2009. The increase was attributed to both
the changed policy, the violent repression in Sri Lanka and
Afghanistan where most refugees come from, and unscrupulous
middlemen in refugees trade. In April 2010, the government
decided to suspend the processing of applications from
refugees from Sri Lanka and Afghanistan for 3 and 6 months
respectively. 80% of the refugees who reach Australia come
from these two countries.
In January 2010, terrorists from the state-run Israeli
terrorist organization killed Mossad Hamas' representative
in Dubai, Mahmoud al-Mabhouh. Israel mostly murders
Palestinians inside the occupied territories, but has also
liquidated dozens of Palestinians outside Palestine over the
past 40 years. However, the new aspect of the Dubai
liquidation was that the terrorists had used counterfeit
passports from Australia, Ireland and the UK to enter Dubai.
That led to a diplomatic crisis between the three countries
on the one hand and Israel on the other, and to the
expulsion of several Israeli diplomats. Australia decided to
expel the Israeli ambassador to the country. The situation
was further aggravated as pirates from the Israeli navy on
May 31, 2010, attacked a ship in international Mediterranean
waters en route to Gaza. During the Israeli attack, an
Australian was injured. The Australian government condemned
After becoming the country's most popular prime minister,
Rudd's popularity plummeted in 2010. This was partly because
it failed to obtain a majority for CO 2
reductions, and a planned 30% tax on the country's mineral
exports - especially of iron and coal. The mineral tax
triggered an intense propaganda campaign by the country's
powerful mining industry that wanted Rudd removed. At the
same time, dissatisfaction with Rudd's authoritarian
leadership style rose internally in Labor, and in June
convened an extraordinary national meeting to choose between
him and Deputy Prime Minister Julia Gillard. Rudd had to
admit not to have the backing of the party, and Gillard took
over the prime minister post that month. She also printed
election elections in August.
The new prime minister negotiated a change to the
proposed mineral tax in place with the largest mining
companies at the beginning of July, but opposition remained
high in the mining industry.
In the opinion polls up to the August 21 elections, the
Labor Party made progress, but still declined 11 seats. The
biggest increase was the Greens, who went 3.8% to 11.6%.
However, neither of the two major blocs was able to obtain a
parliamentary majority, which threw the country into a
parliamentary crisis that ended with Gillard forming a
In January 2012, Prime Minister Gillard was attacked by
Aboriginal protesters during an awards ceremony at a
restaurant alongside opposition leader Tony Abbott on
Australia Day. The protests were targeted mainly at Abbott,
who was accused of being a racist, but they were also
directed at Gillard, who had declared the day before that
she thought the natives' tent camp in front of Parliament
should look to move on. Gillard was dragged away from the
restaurant under the protection of his bodyguard.
Gillard brought his rival Rudd into the government as
Secretary of State after the change in 2010, but the split
between the party's wing continued and in February 2012,
Rudd resigned from the post after unsuccessfully trying to
overthrow Gillard. However, they succeeded in June 2013,
when the party once again voted on who should be chairman.
Gillard then withdrew from politics as she did not
subsequently stand in the parliamentary elections.
Australia was hit by the global economic crisis in 2008,
with growth falling to 0%, but in 2012 economic growth again
reached over 3% and the IMF estimated that year it would be
the best performing developed capitalist country in the
following years. It is especially the country's mineral
resources that are driving this economic growth. Almost 30%
of the country's exports go to China, which is predominantly
Tony Abbott won the lead of a liberal-conservative
coalition parliamentary election in September 2013 over
Labor parties led by Kevin Rudd. The Labor Party lost 17
seats while the Coalition won 18. The Labor Party was still
marginally the country's largest with 33.4% of the vote in
the House of Representatives election, but the split and
power struggles in the party had cost it dearly. Australia
is Murdoch country - the right-wing media mogul who controls
much of the world's media. Only one newspaper supported the
Labor Party, while the rest supported the right wing. Rudd
acknowledged the party's defeat, resigned as its leader and
declared that he would not take part in later elections for
the presidency. Nova Maree Peris won the senatorial election
in the Northern Territory and thus became the first
Aboriginal woman in the country's parliament.Wikileaks
founder, Julian Assange ran for his party Wikileaks Party in
Victoria, but the party only got 0.62% of the vote, so he
was not elected. It was Assange's attempt to return to his
homeland with parliamentary immunity and thus security
against being extradited to the United States.
The new Prime Minister Abbott's coalition had primarily
led refugee camps, and after his accession, he announced
that the government would implement a "enforce the country's
borders" policy, which meant that all boat refugees should
be rejected. At the same time, he cut 4.5 billion.
Australian $ in the country's aid to developing countries
and abolished the tax on CO 2 emissions. He was
congratulated on the election of US Barrack Obama and
Britain's David Cameron.