Australia

Australia faces Pacific Islands Forum showdown on climate

The Forum is meeting this week in Papua New Guinea’s Port Moresby, with leaders hoping to thrash out a shared position to take to the UN Paris climate change conference in December.

Kiribati President Anote Tong Tuesday said the future of his nation was threatened by climate change and raised the prospect of Australia and New Zealand being asked to leave the grouping if they undermined a consensus on taking serious ­action.

Kiribati urges Australia, NZ to be 'real friends' on climate change

Kiribati president Anote Tong made the call at the Pacific Islands Forum — which started in Port Moresby on Monday — where Pacific nations have gathered to form a united position to take to the Paris COP21 meeting in December.

“What we are talking about is survival, it's not about economic development... it's not politics, it's survival,” Tong said.

Tong said Australia and New Zealand should use their relative regional power to advocate for smaller countries.

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Australia's inaction on climate change set to dominate Pacific Island talks

The issue will likely dominate this week’s Pacific Islands Forum leaders’ summit in Port Moresby, ahead of the United Nations climate change conference in Paris later in the year.

Pacific leaders want the world to work on restricting the global warming temperature rise to 1.5C, fearing a 2C target will risk the survival of many tiny islands.

Natural disaster recovery will be fresh on their minds. The summit starts on Monday, six months after Cyclone Pam, which flattened much of Vanuatu and caused heavy flooding on Tuvalu, Kiribati and the Marshall Islands.

PIDF declaration seen as strong political move

Fijian Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama says the PIDF has never been stronger and will sign a Suva Declaration, described as a common position on climate change, to take to a global meeting in Paris.

Jenny Hayward-Jones from the Lowy Institute says if the Pacific Islands Forum was to try to do a similar declaration, there could be confusion about which reflected the region.

Hayward-Jones says the timing of the PIDF move, a few days out from the Port Moresby meeting, makes a strong political statement.

Pacific Islands Forum is stronger says Australia

Bainimarama in his opening message at the Pacific islands Development Forum said Australian and New Zealand needs to stop undermining the PIDF by actively lobbying governments and leaders of the South Pacific to not attend the Summit.

In a statement sent to FBC NEWS, the Ausralian High Commission says the PIF is stronger when it represents all of the Pacific region and works with one voice.

New Caledonian govt to hear nickel drivers' demands

A Memorandum of Understanding was signed by the drivers' union Contrakmine and the government last Friday, putting an end to 24 days of chaos in Noumea, during which drivers had used their trucks to block key access roads.

Although not providing any concrete response to the issue, the MoU says the territorial government will consider the drivers' demands on September 11th.

The nickel carriers and some miners had been protesting at the government's refusal to allow exports of ore to China after a slump in demand from Australia.

Nauru assaults and illness covered up by government, lawyers group says

This is showing the Australian federal government is aiding a "cover-up" of alarming conditions at the Nauru detention camp, a lawyers group says.

Data released under freedom of information laws to the Australian Lawyers Alliance shows serious incidents uncovered by the damning Moss review, and others detailed to a Senate inquiry, were not reported to Comcare, the nation's work safety regulator.

Torres-PNG border checks must be bolstered: Warren Entsch

Entsch, whose far north Queensland electorate takes in the Torres Strait, will today take Health Minister Sussan Ley and Attorney-General George Brandis to one of Australia’s most northerly points, the remote ­Saibai Island, to push his case for a greater government presence on the porous border.

Eye on UNSC seat, India woos Pacific islands with investments

Hosting the first regional summit of the NDA government, India was stitching a positive relationship with the Pacific Islands even as the India-Pakistan NSA talks were coming apart. Anil Wadhwa, Secretary East in MEA, told journalists there was widespread support by the Pacific Islands for India's candidature in the UNSC.