Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s election pledge to turn Australia’s remote north into a food bowl for Asia has set him on a collision course with his own government over foreign ownership of agricultural land.
Archer-Daniels-Midland Co.’s A$2.2 billion ($2 billion) takeover of GrainCorp Ltd. was blocked by Australia, prompting a record drop in shares of the east coast’s biggest crop handler and a slide in the local currency.
The Australian government’s decision to block Archer-Daniels-Midland Co.’s takeover of GrainCorp Ltd. comes 12 weeks after Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s election-night vow that Australia is open for business.
Prime Minister Tony Abbott said Australia wants to create a “security round table” with Indonesia as its neighbor pledged to assign a senior official for talks, a sign that tensions over spying claims are easing.
Tony Abbott’s Liberal-National government’s poll ratings slipped behind the opposition as a diplomatic row with Indonesia threatens efforts to curb the number of asylum seekers arriving in Australia by boat.
Protesters in Jakarta burned Australian flags and called for a break in diplomatic ties as tensions between the two countries escalated to their highest level in 14 years over claims the phones of Indonesia’s leaders were tapped.
Indonesia called a halt to cooperation with Australia on asylum seekers and intelligence sharing as the biggest dispute between the two countries in 14 years deepened over claims the phones of leaders in Jakarta were tapped.
Prime Minister Tony Abbott said he won’t apologize as Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono recalled his envoy from Canberra and warned of damaged ties after media reports that Australian spies tried to tap his phone.