Friday 10 Apr 2020 | 01:03 | SYDNEY
Friday 10 Apr 2020 | 01:03 | SYDNEY

Andrew Robb hits out


Sam Roggeveen


27 May 2008 11:16

Shadow Foreign Minister Andrew Robb ends his critique of the Rudd Government's foreign policy record like this:

To date, Rudd has offended or ignored most Asian countries and failed to present a coherent policy towards Asia, other than for China. The Howard government demonstrated that Australia could simultaneously deepen and broaden all of these relationships.

The Howard Government did establish a good record in this regard, but it took a lot longer than six months to create it. Of course, it's Robb's job to oppose, but I think a number of the issues he raises will likely be forgotten by the next election. The India uranium story might be the exception — it is enduring because it pits traditional Labor stances about nonproliferation against newer concerns about climate change. But Robb's charge that Rudd and Smith have offended regional governments through neglect is overcooked, I reckon. It just takes time for a new government to establish relations on its own terms.