Indonesia's New Power Industry Ministers Face Big Challenges

25 October 2016


In surprise appointments of not one but two ministers to the energy and mineral resources portfolio earlier this month, Indonesian President Jokowi acknowledged the complexity and strategic and economic importance of the sector.

New Energy and Mineral Resources Minister Ignasius Jonan and Vice Minister Arcandra Tahar take on a portfolio that, including processing, contributes around 24% of Indonesia’s GDP. Key portfolio functions include primary mining (minerals, coal, oil and gas), processing of energy and mineral products; electricity generation, transmission and distribution; gas supply; and renewable energy and energy conservation.

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Caught between China and US, what Australia has to fear from a Trump presidency

9 October 2016


When Australian Defence Minister Marise Payne said her country would share the US$1.52 billion costs of stationing American troops in Darwin, the justification she gave in many ways summed up Australian policy.

Speaking in Washington on Thursday, Payne said the deal over the troops – deployed since November 2011 under an agreement between Australia’s then Prime Minister Julia Gillard and US President Barack Obama – was “consistent with Australia’s long-standing strategic interests in supporting US engagement in our region in a manner that promotes regional security and stability”.

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A Trump Presidency Could Be Disastrous For Australia And The U.S. 'Pivot' To Asia

8 October 2016


Perth, Australia is far from Washington. The view from here, as elsewhere, of this U.S. election season is one of bemusement, undercut by vague fear: what will it mean for Australia if Donald Trump is president? How will it affect relations with nations that both Canberra and Washington share important ties with?

Recently returned ambassador to the U.S. and longtime Australian politician Kim Beazley has some ideas, none of them very pleasant.

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A Modern Partnership for Indonesia and Australia

14 September 2016


The need for a modern Australia–Indonesia partnership was emphasized in Yogyakarta last month with the holding of the Third Indonesia–Australia Dialogue.

The Indonesia–Australia Dialogue was introduced in 2010 as a second track bilateral dialogue to enhance people to people links between our two countries.

The Dialogue provided a forum for frank discussion about the essential need for closer cooperation between Australia and Indonesia, Australia's nearest Northern neighbor. It also allowed a strong case to be made for Australia and Indonesia to together play leading roles in promoting regional innovation and investment.

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Mainstreaming Renewable Energy for Green Growth

14 September 2016


Article via The Jakarta Globe

As the community of nations scrambles to limit climate change to below 2 degrees Celsius, one question looms large: Can we scale up and mainstream renewable energy in a world addicted to fossil fuel? The simple answer is yes, we can. But how do we get there and how fast can we make the transformation?

It is plainly clear that transitioning to a greener model of growth without renewables is not possible. Even though we expect that fossil fuels will continue in the short and medium terms to dominate world energy consumption — around 80 percent of world demand – there is plenty of room for renewable energy to grow.

Indeed, worldwide trends suggest that green energy is making very promising gains.

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Indonesia's Energy Expansion: Delayed and Uncertain

13 September 2016


Indonesia’s ambitious 35,000 MW (megawatt) electricity expansion is falling behind schedule. How the project will be expedited in the context of organisational changes within government is unclear, as is the status of remote power delivery and progress on renewables.

A decision in May by state-owned electricity operator PLN to cancel the tender process for the 2000 MW Java 5 power plant as it neared the final stage, as well as delays in construction of a further 10,000 MW worth of new plants, make it impossible to meet the schedule set by the President Joko Widodo. Acting Minister for Energy and Mineral Resources (EMR) Luhut Panjaitan expects only 20,000 to 25,000 MW of new generation plants to be commissioned by the target date of late 2019.

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Business Groups Release Input into Indonesia-Australia Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement

15 August 2016


Business groups from Indonesia and Australia are today releasing Two Neighbours: Partners in Prosperity, their position paper to the governments of both countries to inform negotiations on the Indonesia-Australia Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (IA-CEPA)...As the position paper explains, the IA-CEPA must create an environment to enable business from Indonesia and Australia to trade, invest and cooperate. If business does well, it also has the power to do good by creating new jobs and new wealth and by underpinning inclusive economic growth and higher standards of living.

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Understanding Australia’s Global Leadership in Mining

10 August 2016


A report released today finds that traditional approaches by the Australian Government to collecting trade and investment data have generally missed a major shift in Australian mining from being largely domestic in focus to becoming a global industry. Australia is lagging behind its main competitor nation, Canada, not only in data collection but also in strategic use of economic diplomacy, including development assistance.

The report, Sharing the Benefits: enhancing Australia’s global leadership in the mining value chain, finds that during the past decade, Australian mining has grown well beyond Australia’s borders, powered by leading practice in knowledge and technology, and a reputation for quality governance.

The report is available here.

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A Trump Victory and the Alliance - a Preliminary Cut

9 August 2016


US Defence Secretary Ashton Carter told the world at this year’s Shangri-La Dialogue, that ‘the US-Australia alliance is more and more a global one. As our two nations work together to uphold the freedom of navigation and overflight across the region, we’re also accelerating the defeat of ISIL together in Iraq and Syria’.

The ANZUS alliance isn’t necessarily the most significant allied relationship for the US. However, it is arguably the most productive. The other allies draw the US into their affairs and spend American security capital. The Australian ally demands nothing, in the current environment, of American security that can’t be met with (albeit lopsided in Australia’s favour) intelligence exchanges, paid-for access to the best American equipment, joint scientific research projects, and mutually useful exercises. We don’t spend American capital obliging the US to confront dangerous possibilities. Our military is also capable of enhancing American capacity, supporting the American forces anywhere with effective force. We are more than just a flag.

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July 2016 Newsletter

31 July 2016

July 2016 was a busy month for our Centre! Natalie Sambhi, Perth USAsia Centre Research Fellow, was recently invited to speak at the Sixth Annual South China Sea Conference hosted by the Center for Strategic and International Studies. The Conference took place in Washington D.C. on July 12, just hours after Arbitral Tribunal issued its findings on the legal basis of China's territorial claims in the South China Sea and the legal status of features therein. You can view a webcast of the panel discussion here. Another highlight in July was hosting Richard Fontainepresident of the Center for a New American Security (CNAS), in Perth as the first Alliance 21 Fellow. Other exciting events included hosting Mr Scott Snyder from the Council on Foreign Relations in Washington, D.C and Professor Michael Evans from the Australian Defence College. To find out more, click here for the July newsletter.

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