Scott Morrison’s failure to engage with Pacific leaders in the wake of the new AUKUS partnership shows the Prime Minister is only interested in making flashy announcements, instead of doing the whole job.
The president of Kiribati, Tanati Maamau, has said he has not been engaged by the Australian Government following the AUKUS announcement and has had no response to an official complaint.
Mr Morrison’s disregard for his Pacific Island counterparts is damaging to Australia’s Pacific relationships and our regional interests.
Mr Morrison’s idea of diplomacy is a text message to the President of France dumping the $90 billion subs program, and now ignoring Pacific Island country leaders.
With his aggressive approach to Pacific leaders on climate change, and his plans for an agriculture visa that will undermine Pacific labour mobility programs, Mr Morrison’s failures of diplomacy have turned his so-called Pacific Step-Up into a series of Pacific stuff-ups.
Instead of just making announcements, Mr Morrison needs to do the diplomatic legwork and speak to our Pacific partners directly.
Despite his talk of the Pacific family, Mr Morrison’s failures of diplomacy in the Pacific are contrary to Australia’s national interests in ensuring an open, free and prosperous region.