House debates

Tuesday, 3 June 2014

Questions without Notice


2:05 pm

Photo of Tanya PlibersekTanya Plibersek (Sydney, Australian Labor Party, Deputy Leader of the Opposition) Share this | | Hansard source

My question is to the Prime Minister. It has been 180 days since the government said it would work to agree a code of conduct with Indonesia. On the front page of today's Jakarta Post, a spokesperson for the Indonesian President said 'the ball is in Australia's court'. Will the Prime Minister sign a code of conduct during his visit to Indonesia later this week? And, if not, when will normal relations be restored?

2:06 pm

Photo of Tony AbbottTony Abbott (Warringah, Liberal Party, Prime Minister) Share this | | Hansard source

I am very pleased that Ambassador Najib is back in Australia. I am obviously very pleased that I will be meeting with President Yudhoyono tomorrow, because it is important that the relationship between Australia and Indonesia continues to improve. This is a very important relationship; in some respects, our most important relationship. I am determined to do everything I can to improve the relationship. I am particularly keen to ensure that the relationship improves while President Yudhoyono is in office, because, not only has he been a great president of his country, he has also been a very good friend to Australia.

As the member opposite should know, these international agreements sometimes take a little while to negotiate. There were free trade agreements that members opposite tried to negotiate; they took years and years and years. It has taken a little while to negotiate. The Indonesians took some time to give us their draft, and we are now working on their draft. I am confident that, when the foreign ministers and the defence ministers sit down for the two-plus-two dialogue in a few weeks' time, that would be a very good time to finalise this code of conduct.