20 Mar 2012

New Australian Foreign Minister feels heat on Papua issue

8:52 pm on 20 March 2012

An Australian Greens Senator has expressed disappiontment over the new Foreign Minister Bob Carr's response to his calls for action on Indonesia's Papua region.

Richard Di Natale took Bob Carr to task over not raising the issue of ongoing rights abuses in Papua while meeting with Indonesia's Foreign and Defence Ministers.

Mr Carr has responded that his government defends Indonesia's territorial integrity on the issue.

However Mr Di Natale says Australia cannot continue to ignore a high-level 2006 report recommending Canberra push for Indonesia to open up access in Papua for journalists and human rights monitors..

"We have got a situation which frankly is untenable and secondly we have a situation where the Australian government is financing the Indonesian military and parts of that financing are contributing to human rights abuses on our doorstep. It's simply unacceptable and the recommendations of that treaty must be upheld."

Richard Di Natale