Monday, February 27, 2017

1) Freeport needs to stand up to Indonesia over the CoW issue

2) Papua religious leaders calls on government to consider locals` interest
3) Showdown in Indonesia Brings World’s Biggest Gold Mine to Standstill
4) PNG group unfairly held by Indonesia last year
5) Minister: Gov’t Discusses to Take Over Freeport Mines  

1) Freeport needs to stand up to Indonesia over the CoW issue

Will Hickey Associate professor for the School of Government and Public Policy in Jakarta
Jakarta | Mon, February 27, 2017 | 05:28 pm

A copy of draft revision to Government Regulation No. 23/2010 on the management of mineral and coal businesses obtained by The Jakarta Post late on Thursday. (The Jakarta Post/Rendi A. Witular)
Normally, a 50-year mining project like Freeport’s Grassberg mine would deign it high time to turn its operations over to the local government, which would also be expedient politically.
However, in this case, Freeport is correct to stand its ground against Indonesia in insisting its contract of work (CoW) be honored, extended and not converted into a licensing agreement that has the potential to seriously disrupt operations.
Vincent Lingga in his Feb. 23 commentary in The Jakarta Post is wrong to paint this as an “arbitration ploy” by Freeport to block mining reform. Indonesia mining will certainly not reform with local owners bereft of legal enforcement. Why is this? Freeport is actually doing quite a good job with its localization initiatives in Papua, compared to that alternative, no localization. In other words, the operation is benefitting Indonesia not just with taxes, but also with human resource development.
It is commonly held knowledge in the Indonesian mining industry that Freeport and Theiss have the best mining training programs in Indonesia, followed by Newmont and BUMI Resources (courtesy of their legacy Rio Tinto and BHP operations). Western standards do in fact matter.
Freeport employs 32,000 people, many of them are well trained in best-practice mining standards and techniques, with good safety inculcated in their processes. This situation could/should be replicated in all Indonesian mining activities, not just Papua.
The real fear is that if this mine is nationalized (effectively what the divestment is), training and localization in Papua will suffer inversely. Localized owners will not carry the same safety and training mandates that Freeport does. They will also probably want to cut any “non-essential” (read: safety and environmental) staff to the bone.
If a licensing agreement (IUPK) is forced, local partners, via divestment, may insist on another avenue of production, with a lower environmental and safety risk profile, you can bet on that!
Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati is wrong to interject in this that a “management tweaking” is necessary. After her many run in with the Bakrie company she should know the reality.
These potential suitors (namely insider oligarchs favored by the Indonesian government) are playing the Indonesian nationalization card. That is simply a means to an end for them to gain control of operations either directly (Freeport divestment) or indirectly (licensing regime).
Once control is gained, any environmental promises or social obligations will quickly fly out the window because the Indonesian regulatory framework has weak enforcement power.
One needs only look further than substandard mining operations in Kalimantan that have cratered the earth with black, water filled holes for coal, or strip mined vast areas of pristine jungle for iron ore strip mining, in both cases, driving out many native and endangered species.
It is real and it has happened and will probably happen again. Freeport, as a US company, simply cannot play this game. If someone gets hurt, or standards are violated, they first of all will have to answer to the US Security and Exchange Commission (SEC) for any mal-activity that impacts shareholders.
Second, they would be subject to proceedings in a US court for personal injury, where awards damages may be unlimited.
An Indonesian company will be under no such qualms. The legal system on its own is far weaker here. If any doubt, consider the issue of uncontrolled peat burning in Sumatra, despite all the “laws” the all powerful palm oil industries continue to create haze unabated each year. Similarly, there will be no oversight authority looking out for the long-term welfare of Papuans.
Building a smelter is critical, but the focus cannot be based on hardware alone. Freeport is obviously opposed to building a smelter as the Indonesian government has proven wishy-washy on this critical investment issue for political, not economic, necessity, by allowing some concentrate to be exported.
If Indonesia is serious they need to have educational incentives in place that will enhance local know-how to actually run the smelter, lest they become giant turnkeys ran by foreign operators, mostly Chinese.
Ores or concentrate or finished product? What’s it going to be presents a “moving target”. Only the Chinese via their non-capitalism driven state-owned companies can afford to play this game of potentially unrealized “pseudo-investment” of smelter building. Of the 32 new smelters built in Indonesia since 2012, most are Chinese made.
Western companies that are responsible for quarterly profit statements to shareholders cannot take this risk.
Therefore, equating Chinese state-owned companies that operate on a realpolitik level, and not a “profit statement” like Western ones, is comparing apples to oranges. Chinese are interested in long-term resource access and they will give and take as is politically expedient.
Localization is the real key to the development of Papua, not more gimmicks like cheap fuel or cash transfers to locals.
Those things can be manipulated by insiders and rent seeking government officials, however a strong jobs program can turn the outlaid rupiah up to seven times in a community. That is what is really needed for this country.
By the time this goes to press it is unknown if Freeport will have either caved into Indonesia’s licensing demand and forfeit their longstanding contract or not. The Indonesian government should lay off Freeport until they in fact can offer a better jobs program for Papua locals than Freeport can. Right now, they can’t.
The Indonesia companies, if they gain control, that want a piece of this divestment, will not feel obligated, environmentally or socially for this same ideal in Papua, but rather in spiriting profits out as quickly as possible. Papuans will suffer with local ownership and no enforceable regulatory regime in place. That’s the bottom line.
The writer is associate professor at the School of Government and Public Policy, Jakarta and the author of Energy and Human Resource Development in Developing Countries: Towards Effective Localization, Macmillan, 2017.


2) Papua religious leaders calls on government to consider locals` interest

6 hours ago
Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Papua religious leaders have called on the government not to put aside the interest of the local community, amidst the dispute with the US mining firm PT Freeport Indonesia (FI).

"We have called for Papuans rights to be placed as significant as the current controversy between the government and PT Freeport and the minister has agreed on that," Timika bishop John Philip Saklil said, after meeting Energy and Mineral Resources Minister Ignasius Jonan to discuss the issue here, on Monday.

He has also called on the company to stop laying-off its workers.

"Whether it would continue the operation or not, the environment should be recovered. In addition, other rights, such as the fund for local community, were still unclear," John stated.

Negotiations between the government and Freeport are yet to create a positive impact to local people, he pointed out.

Previously, activists from the Mining Advocacy Network (Jatam) had called on the government and PT Freeport to consider the environmental impact for Papua rather than its business contract.

"Billions of tons of waste are spilled by PT Freeport into Papuas rivers. The environment around the mining has been deteriorated. There should be a special attention here," Melky Nahar noted.

Melky also noted that the ministerial decree on mining export would also harm local Papuans.

"I think the situation of Papuans living here is not considered seriously," he added.

Freeport has often used issues such as lay-off, refusal to close mining operation from tribal chiefs, and threats to bring the case to international arbitration.

However, the parent company Freeport McMoran Inc. has asserted that it would continue its operation in Indonesia despite possible failure to reach agreement on the contractual dispute with the government.

(Reported by Afut Syafril/Uu.S022/INE/KR-BSR/A014)

3) Showdown in Indonesia Brings World’s Biggest Gold Mine to Standstill

Last Updated: February 27, 2017 10:00 AM
 Krithika Varagur
JAKARTA-The American mining company Freeport-McMoRan has brought the world’s biggest gold mine, in the Indonesian province of West Papua, to a standstill. The corporation is butting heads with the Indonesian government over protectionist mining regulations. And now that Freeport has started to dismiss tens of thousands of workers, the local economy is poised to take a huge hit. In Mimika Regency, the West Papua province containing the Grasberg gold mine, 91 percent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is attributed to Freeport.
Freeport Indonesia abruptly stopped production on February 10 and laid off 10 percent of its foreign workers. It employs 32,000 people in Indonesia, about 12,000 of whom are full-time employees. The freeze was a reaction to a shakeup in Freeport’s 30-year contract with the Indonesian government, signed in 1991. Indonesia has tried to levy additional obligations from Freeport in an attempt to increase domestic revenue from its natural resources. Freeport retaliated last week by threatening to pursue arbitration and sue the government for damages.
The Indonesian Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources could not be reached for comment on the issue.
Observers on the ground in Papua and from afar in Jakarta worry the shakeup will decimate the local economy and lead to violence in the historically unstable region. West Papua has long been a troubled territory in Indonesia and its independence movement has long been met with brutal military action.
Activist concerns
“I don’t think the government comprehended the social impact of the Freeport freeze in Mimika,” said Octovianus Danunan, editor of the Radar Timika, a local newspaper. “Freeport runs two hospitals here, gives hundreds of scholarships to local students, and of course, provides jobs to thousands of Papuans. With these layoffs, people are extremely worried; their lines of credit are vanishing as we speak.”
“These layoffs have eliminated the livelihoods of a lot of people,” said John Gobai, a member of the Papua parliament. “We have heard from indigenous people here in Timika [the site of Freeport facilities] that people are becoming sick from stress. They are falling into an abyss of stress.”
According to an internal Freeport report from 2015, about 36 percent of its full-time employees are native Papuans.
“I suspect that, because they may lose their jobs, many employees will want to stage demonstrations… but then, ironically, they will be laid off because that’s the state policy. I think this whole situation is a human rights violation,” said Gobai.
“Violence is a very big possibility,” said Andreas Harsono, a Human Rights Watch researcher. “Timika is the wild, wild east of West Papua. It's the location of more than 3,500 security officers stationed along the 90-mile mining road, not to say Papuan guerrillas and hundreds of military deserters, all looking for a slice of the gold and copper mine. Shooting along the road is a regularity rather than an irregularity. I cannot imagine the situation if Freeport goes ahead with dismissing all 30,000 mining workers there.”
Gobai said there have already been some protests on Freeport headquarters and he expects there will be more going forward.
Freeport’s CEO Richard Adkerson told Reuters that the company was committed to staying in Indonesia, not least because about one-third of West Papua’s economy comes from the Grasberg mine.
Freeport’s history in Indonesia
On February 12, Adkerson issued a hard 120-day ultimatum to the Indonesian government to back down on its new demands or else face arbitration from the mining giant.
Freeport’s involvement in Indonesia dates back to the Suharto military dictatorship, which signed over 250,000 acres of West Papuan territory in 1967.
Freeport was the first foreign company to sign a contract with the new Indonesian government and, due in part to this history, it is now the single largest employer in all of Indonesia.
The company enjoyed a complicated special relationship as a “quasi-state organization for Jakarta,” as Inside Indonesia details, throughout the Suharto era, but the relationship has cooled under subsequent, democratically elected presidents.

The friction that led to this month’s impasse is a 2009 mining law that would require Freeport to build a $2.9 billion smelter (in order to move resource exports higher up in the value chain from just raw materials) and divest the majority of its shares to Indonesian ownership within 10 years.
Freeport maintains that, since its current contract runs through 2021, it doesn’t need to act on the regulations yet. But Indonesian officials, led by Mines and Energy Minister Ignasius Jonan, have ramped up pressure for Freeport to convert its contract per the 2009 law to a “Special Business License,” which precipitated today’s standoff.
Situation in flux
Both Indonesia and Freeport are likely to see monetary losses from the clash, but Indonesia seems committed to asserting its terms for collaboration. The global commodities market for ore and other natural resources has also dipped in the last year, with a particular slowdown from China.
The ground situation is likely to be in constant flux over the coming months as the Indonesian government gears up for a fight. On Monday, the government announced it is grooming a state-owned aluminum enterprise to take over the Grasberg mine if it wins arbitration with Freeport.
“What the government really needs to think about is what compensation they can give to layoff victims in the present,” said Gobai. “These people are employees, but they are also citizens.”

4) PNG group unfairly held by Indonesia last year

A Papua New Guinea man says he and several countrymen were subject to unfair incarceration in West Papua by Indonesian authorities.
23 minutes ago 
The incident occurred early last year when a small group from PNG's Western Province travelled by boat to the Indonesian port of Merauke to sell traditional items to a local buyer.
He said as was usual procedure, they first checked in with Indonesian soldiers manning the border post at Torassi, before sailing on to Merauke.
Here they were arrested by intelligence officers, questioned and then kept under house arrest for two months, while their boat and products remained confiscated.
One of the group, going by the name David John, said that among other spurious claims, they were charged with failing to get border clearance.
"But we told them, no this is all lies. Big fat lies. We've never done that. We've proved it. I've all the photos here. I took shots at the Torassi border post, of the soldiers checking our outboard motor and dinghy, clearing us to leave for Merauke."
While he and most of the group who had been held up by Indonesian authorities in Merauke were eventually able to return to PNG, without charge, they never retrieved their boat and goods.
The leader of their group however remained incarcerated in Indonesia until this month - they are hoping he can return home soon.
David John said they hadn't been compensated for their losses, adding that their families back home were very worried, not knowing what had happened to them.
He said while PNG citizens crossing the border are routinely expected to provide permits, border authorities appear to turn a blind eye to the many Indonesian traders hawking their wares in PNG coastal villages.
MONDAY, 27 FEBRUARY, 2017 | 15:10 WIB
5) Minister: Gov’t Discusses to Take Over Freeport Mines  
TEMPO.COJakarta - Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan, said that the proposal to have state-owned enterprises manage Freeport Indonesia's mines was delivered by State-Owned Minister Rini Soemarno. However, Luhut said that the government is currently discussing the mechanism to take over the mines.
"That was the proposal of the State-Owned Minister, we’ll see in the future," Luhut said on Monday, February 27, 2017.
Luhut explained that there is a possibility where state-owned enterprises would establish cooperation with the private sector to operate Freeport's mines. Luhut added that the issue is still open for many possibilities. "Well we could [pair] PT Indonesia Asahan Aluminium [Inalum] with PT Aneka Tambang [Antam], or it could be Inalum, Antam, and the private sector," Luhut explained.
Luhut however, cannot explain whether the government will decide to take over the mines by purchasing the company's divested shares, or wait until its contract of work expires.
"We'll see what's best, the options are clear, there are regulations, and there are agreements," Luhut stated.
Nevertheless, Luhut said that the government will continue to attempt to conduct negotiations with Freeport Indonesia in an attempt to find a win-win solution, without neglecting national interests.
Luhut argued that the government will strive to find the best solution to avoid international arbitration. "No one should went to international arbitration, it would be a zero sum game," Luhut stated.

1) Indonesia prepares company to manage Freeport

2 ) President Jokowi Concludes Visit to Australia
3) Papua’s Bird of Paradise under threat, says WWF
4) Jokowi warns investment board to keep rivalry mindset, speed

1) Indonesia prepares company to manage Freeport
Jakarta | Mon, February 27, 2017 | 02:08 pm
The Indonesian government is now preparing state-owned aluminum producer PT Indonesia Asahan Aluminium (Inalum) to manage a gold and copper mining site in Papua if the government can finally take over the mining site from PT Freeport Indonesia.
“We can manage [Freeport]. We have Inalum. It is up to the state-owned enterprises ministry, but we are ready,” said Maritime Coordinating Minister Luhut Binsar Panjaitan in Jakarta on Monday as reported by
The government will take over of the mining site if it wins in the international arbitration tribunal.
Previously, Freeport McMoRan president and CEO Richard C. Adkerson said the 2009 Mineral and Coal Mining Law stipulated that the CoW signed in 1991 was still valid, but the government had requested that Freeport convert the contract into a special mining license (IUPK).
The company gave the government three months for negotiation and threatened to take the case to the international arbitration if the negotiation fails.
Inalum, a company in Asahan, North Sumatra, is now prepared to lead mining companies in an effort to set up state-owned mining company holding, Luhut said.
The minister stressed that the company has the capability to manage Freeport, the world largest copper and gold mining company.
The government's plans to appoint Inalum to manage Freeport were supported by a member of the House of Representatives’ energy commission, Gus Irawan Pasaribu, who said the company had good performance in managing the aluminum producer, which was established in cooperation with the Indonesian government and Nippon Asahan Aluminium Co in 1976. (bbn)


MONDAY, 27 FEBRUARY, 2017 | 09:50 WIB
2 ) President Jokowi Concludes Visit to Australia

TEMPO.COJakarta - President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo and the First Lady Iriana Joko Widodo arrived in Indonesia on Sunday evening, February 26, after a two-day visit to Australia.
Presidential secretariat spokesman Bey Machmudin said that the state visit and meetings have resulted in concrete results which include cooperation agreements in the fields of economy, politics, legal and security and improved people to people relations.
In the field of economy, President Jokowi and Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull have agreed to conclude the Indonesia-Australia Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (IA-CEPA) by late 2017.
Trade Minister Enggartiasto Lukita said that Indonesia has gained access to herbicide and pesticide market. Australia’s imports of the two commodities are worth US$1.3-1.5billion.
“[At present], Indonesia can only import US$50 million due to tariff barriers,” Enggartiasto said.
The Indonesian government will adopt the same import duty set by ASEAN on sugar from Australia. “Indonesia will only shift [the source of import]. We will still import [sugar] but now some may be imported from Thailand, some may also be imported from Australia,” Enggartiasto said.
On relaxed regulations on cattle, the government has set new a maximum weight of cattle of 440 kilograms from 350 kilograms. As such, cattle price will reduce by 1 US dollar per kilogram.
As for paper exports to Australia, Foreign Minister Retno believes that Indonesia will not face any difficulty since it is the first Asian country to obtain a license under the Forest Law Enforcement Governance license and Trade Voluntary Partnership Agreement (FLEGT VPA).
In the field of politics, law, and security, the two countries have stepped up cooperation, such is in tackling transnational crimes and terrorism.
In investment, the Investment Coordinating Board (BKPM) Thomas Lembong said that Australian firms will invest Rp39 trillion in the next 3-5 years.
Australian investments in Indonesia will cover a wide range of sectors, such as mining, marine tourism, infrastructure, water facilities and digital economy.
To improve people to people relations, President Jokowi has launched 3 language centers in Perth, Melbourne, and Canberra. “The language centers are established to internationalize the Indonesian language,” Retno said.
Australia currently hosts 20,000 Indonesian students while Indonesia is a favorite destination for Australian students in a program called New Colombo Plan.

3) Papua’s Bird of Paradise under threat, says WWF
12:06 pm today

Environmental group World Wildlife Fund is warning that the Bird of Paradise is at threat, particularly in Indonesia's Papua province.
The group says the bird is considered sacred by Papuan tribes but it is increasingly becoming the target of illegal trading, taxidermy and poaching.
It is advocating an eco-tourism approach, including bird watching, to help conserve the bird's population and provide value ot local communities.
WWF spokesperson in Papua, Andhiani Kumalasari, said efforts must be made to save the bird before it's too late.
"We must conserve the birds of paradise so the next generation - your children, your grandchildren, can still look directly [at] or find the birds of paradise in the forest - not in a book or on the internet or a picture - or just a story from their parents or grandparents or something like that."
Andhiani Kumalasari says the bird's habitat, native forests, must also be protected if it is to survive.


4) Jokowi warns investment board to keep rivalry mindset, speed
Stefani Ribka The Jakarta Post

Nusa Dua, Bali | Sat, February 25, 2017 | 04:29 pm

President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo has warned investment agencies not to lose against other countries in luring global investments, amid tight competition in the globalization era.
The former businessman repeated the message five times in his speech in front of Investment Coordinating Board (BKPM) and 531 regional investment agencies’ (DPM PTSP) representatives during BKPM national coordination meeting in Bali Nusa Dua Convention Center on Friday.
“We live in a very tight regional and global competition era, when investors have many choices. It’s true we’re one an ASEAN member nation, and we hold hands when we meet, but I also think they are our rivals. If we don’t have that kind of [rivalry] sense, we may lose out,” he said.
Besides the need to maintain a rivalry mindset, the President also warned them to optimize technology to accelerate the investment process. Unifying vision, standards and good coordination with the central government are also essential, according to Jokowi.
“If we are not quick enough to adapt with the ever-changing technology, and if you don’t immediately adopt a unifying vision, standards and regulations with the central government, we could lose out,” he said. “Today, it’s not big countries beating the small ones or the strong beating the weak. It’s the fast beating the slow ones,” he remarked. (ags)

Sunday, February 26, 2017

1) Jokowi, Turnbull start day with relaxed morning walk around Royal Botanical Gardens

2) Police alerted over possible unrest linked to freeport workers` layoff

3) Malcolm Turnbull and Indonesia’s Joko Widodo patch up differences
4) Australian and Indonesian leaders boost relations
5) Jokowi, Australia PM Agree to Continue Military Cooperation


1) Jokowi, Turnbull start day with relaxed morning walk around Royal Botanical Gardens

Ina Parlina The Jakarta Post

Sydney | Sun, February 26, 2017 | 10:21 am

Good relations: Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo have a short walk around the Royal Botanical Gardens on Sunday. (Courtesy of the Presidential Office/File)

Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull took President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo for a short walk around the Royal Botanical Gardens on Sunday morning as the two leaders prepare to get into more serious business during a bilateral meeting around lunch time.
About a year ago, President Jokowi took the Australian leader to Tanah Abang Market in Central Jakarta for a blusukan (impromptu visit).
Just like any other Sunday, people were seen walking and jogging through the park, which borders the waters across the famous Sydney Opera House. Jokowi and Turnbull walked together without any apparent excessive security.
In a relaxed ambience, Jokowi was introduced to some passersby, including a young Australian father carrying his infant in a baby-strap on his chest.
"This is an example of a good father," said Turnbull when he and Jokowi chatted with the man.
After wrapping up the morning walk, the two leaders will engage in a one-on-one meeting to discuss efforts to improve bilateral ties amid recent tensions in military training cooperation.
Following the row, Jokowi reportedly suggested allowing Canberra to take part in joint patrols in the South China Sea, an issue that has sparked concerns from various elements at home.
Foreign Minister Retno LP Marsudi refused to confirm whether the matter would be discussed during the meeting.
Jokowi’s two-day visit to Australia is set to focus on strengthening trade and investment and maritime cooperation. Jakarta will push for the finalization of the Indonesia-Australia Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (IA-CEPA). It is expected that the IA-CEPA will be concluded this year.
Jakarta and Canberra are also set to sign two memorandums of understanding on cooperation in maritime affairs and the creative economy. (ebf)


2) Police alerted over possible unrest linked to freeport workers` layoff

24th February 2017 | 1.306 Views
Timika, Papua (ANTARA News) - The Mimika Resort Police and other security officers are taking necessary steps to anticipate possible unrest as a result of massive layoffs of workers at PT Freeport and its affiliated privatization and contractor companies.

Mimika Resort Police Chief Adj. Sr Comr victor Dean Mackbon said here on Thursday that the sending home and layoffs of workers by PT Freeport and its privatization and contractor companies have impact on the security and order in Mimika in general.

"This needs serious attention as the impact of the crisis at PT Freeport has led to many employees to be sent home and to be laid off," Mackbon said.

He said that the halt of PT Freeports concentrate exports since January 12 and stoppage of mining production activities since February 10, 2017 created social and economic impacts for workers and their families.

Even, the conditions in Freeport could have wide impact on the political situation in the region. 

"We will continue to provide calls and open communication center which we have agreed together with the regional governments and other stakeholders to provide solutions to the problem that is being faced now," Mackbon said.

On Wednesday morning, the Mimika Resort Police held a special roll-call to check the readiness of personnel in anticipating the emergence of security and order disturbance after the layoff of workers at PT Freeport Indonesia.Out of the Shadows: Manila's Meth Dealers Back on the Streets as Cops Pull Back

Based on the latest data, PT Freeport Indoinesia and its privatization and contractor companies have sent home and laid off over 1,000 workers in the last one week.

It was earlier reported that PT Freeport Indonesia had stopped its production activities with effect from Feb 10, this year, following the governments objective to have greater control on raw mineral resources. 

The government has proposed that the Special Mining Operations Permit (IUPK) should be used in place of the existing Contract of Work (CoW). 

PT Freeport is reluctant to agree to the Indonesian governments proposal, especially since IUPK holders are obliged to divest up to 51 percent of the shares, which means they will no longer be in full control of the company. 


3) Malcolm Turnbull and Indonesia’s Joko Widodo patch up differences
PRIMROSE RIORDANThe Australian12:00AM February 27, 2017 
Indonesia and Australia have patched up their defence relationship after a dramatic public spat, on Indonesian President Joko Widodo’s long-awaited visit to Sydney, as the countries consider how to lower tension in the South China Sea.
Indonesia also agreed to lower sugar tariffs for Australian export­ers from 8 per cent to 5 per cent, while Australia will cut tariffs for pesticides and herbicides coming into the country from Indonesian suppliers.
Indonesia will also give Australian live cattle exporters more certainty by introducing longer, one-year permits and increasing export weight limits. Along with an increase in the age limit, the weight limit will increase from 350kg to 450kg for live feeder cattle.
“The potential for us to expand our economic relationship is very clear,” Mr Turnbull said yesterday.
Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce said the sugar and beef deals were significant wins ­because they enabled Australian sugar farmers to compete with other ASEAN countries on a more level playing field.
Trade with Indonesia is worth $15 billion a year but compared with other nations, Indonesia is only the 11th largest trading partner with Australia.
After Mr Widodo told The Australian last week he would raise the issue of joint Australian-Indonesian patrols in the South China Sea on the visit, foreign policy­ ­experts and Indonesian officials­ dampened expectations such a move would occur.
“Indonesia is very wary of being seen to be aligned with a US ally on this particular issue.” Lowy Institute research fellow Aaron Connelly said.
An Australian government source said the two governments were considering “co-ordinated’’ rather than joint patrols, which could involve intelligence sharing or staggered missions.
One Indonesian government source said these co-ordinated ­patrols could occur in the Sulu Sea, off The Philippines, rather than in the South China Sea.
The Indonesian military announced in January that it would suspend defence ties after offensive material was found at a Perth base where both countries’ special force­s conduct joint training.
The head of Indonesia’s armed forces, General Gatot Nurmantyo, said the reason he made the decision to suspend military co-operation was “hurtful” teaching materials saying that West Papua, which Australia recognises as part of Indonesia, should be independent and other materials mocking Indonesia’s founding principles, the Pancasila.
The suspension was then downgraded so it applied only to language courses partaken by ­Indonesian special forces.
Malcolm Turnbull said these classes would now resume and full co-operati­on was restored.
The leaders issued a joint statement and were careful to avoid ­direct criticism of China.
The statement called on all countries to abide by the inter­national court ruling against Chin­ese-constructed islands in the contested waters.
The leaders also signed a maritime co-operation agreement focused­ on “maritime border protection” and illegal fishing. Asked about the possibility of South China Sea patrols, Defence Minister Marise Payne simply pointed to the co-operation agreement.
In a sign of the sensitivity of the West Papua issue, Mr Widodo began his statement by saying the Australian government had agreed not to interfere in Indon­esia’s domestic affairs.
The Prime Minister reiterated Australia’s commitment to the Lombok Treaty, where Australia agreed to respect Indonesian sovereignty over West Papua.
“The bedrock of (the Australia/Indonesia relationship) is the Lombok Treaty and our absolute respect for, support for, solidarity with Indonesia, its territorial integr­ity,” Mr Turnbull said.
The leaders said they expect to finish negotiations for the Indon­esia-Australia Comprehen­sive Economic Partnership Agreement by the end of the year. Mr Widodo said Indonesia would push for lower tariffs and restrictions on paper and palm oil.
His comments came after the head of Indonesian investment policy, Thomas Lembong, said Australia imported too much palm oil from Malaysia. Meanwhile, Australia’s Anti-Dumping Commission has been probing ­alleged dumping of A4 paper into the market by Indonesian firms.
Australia will open new consul­ates in Surabaya, and Indon­esia is set to open three more Bahasa language institutes in Darwin, Brisbane and Sydney.
Mr Widodo and his wife, ­Iriana, left Australia last night.

4) Australian and Indonesian leaders boost relations
February 26, 2017 11:30 pm JST
From trade to military relations, the two neighbors are moving closer
SIMON ROUGHNEEN, Asia regional correspondent
JAKARTA -- Two neighbors with a fractious history sought to put recent disputes behind them as Indonesian President Joko Widodo and Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull agreed at the weekend to restore military cooperation and reduce restrictions on some exports ahead of a possible free trade deal later this year.
"Great result for Australian farmers. It will now be easier to export more sugar and beef to Indonesia," Turnbull tweeted on Sunday, referring to Indonesia's agreement to reduce tariffs on Australian sugar to 5% and allow more live cattle exports from Australia to the country of 250 million people.
Widodo's Feb. 25-26 visit to Sydney was his second trip to Australia since he took office in 2014, and the first since he personally showed Turnbull around Jakarta in November 2015. That meeting came shortly after the Australian prime minister took power in Canberra, on the back of an internal Liberal Party coup against incumbent Prime Minister Tony Abbott.
Just as Widodo took Turnbull on a meet-and-greet walk through some Jakarta street markets back then -- reprising his electoral campaign walkabouts known as blusukan -- Turnbull on Sunday took Widodo for an early morning amble through a downtown Sydney park, where the two leaders stopped to shake hands and make small-talk with joggers. In an earlier display of renewed bilateral bonhomie, the two former businessmen struck a cordial pose outside Turnbull's private residence in Sydney's eastern suburbs before a Saturday night dinner, posing with their wives in photos later posted on Widodo's official Twitter account.
In a Sunday morning press conference, Widodo alluded to a litany of recent disputes between the neighbors, saying that a "robust" bilateral relationship "can be established when both countries have respect for each other's territorial integrity, noninterference into the domestic affairs of each other and the ability to develop a mutually beneficial partnership."
Military diplomacy
Ahead of the weekend announcement that the two countries had restored military cooperation, Australia apologized after Indonesia's defense forces complained about Australian army training material that allegedly insulted pancasila, Indonesia's official political philosophy. The Australian training manual also questioned Indonesia's governance of its territory on the island of Papua, the eastern half of which was controlled by Australia prior to Papua New Guinea's independence in 1975.
That row that came more than a year after Canberra unsuccessfully sought to prevent the execution of Australian citizens Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran, who were executed by firing squad in April 2015 after spending more than a decade in Indonesian jails on drug trafficking charges. Australian efforts to have the two men spared were dismissed by Jakarta as unwarranted interference in Indonesia's domestic judicial affairs.
"There are plenty of serious problems that the two countries share and about which they differ," said Ariel Heryanto, lecturer in Indonesian studies at Australia's Monash University. "Neighbors sometimes have to live with the fact that some recurrent tensions will stay. Keeping them under control is what they can do."
Widodo's two-day visit to Australia was a rescheduling of a four-day trip that had been planned for November 2016 but was postponed after Islamist groups staged mass demonstrations in Jakarta against the city's Christian governor, a Chinese-Indonesian ally of Widodo's. That resurgence of political Islam in Indonesia has caused disquiet in Australia, while Indonesia, for its part, has expressed "concern" over the revived prominence of the nativist One Nation party, along with party leader Pauline Hanson's recent calls for Australia to stop Muslim immigration and install surveillance cameras in mosques.

SUNDAY, 26 FEBRUARY, 2017 | 16:36 WIB
5) Jokowi, Australia PM Agree to Continue Military Cooperation

TEMPO.COJakarta - Indonesian government and Australia have agreed to respect each others` sovereignty.
In a bilateral talk held in Kiribilli House, Sydney, on Sunday (26/2), both leaders will continue to maintain good relationship.
President Joko ‘Jokowi’ Widodo said that good relationship can be attained if both countries respect each others’ territory.
"We must not interfere in others’ domestic affairs and we must develop mutually beneficial relationship," Jokowi explained.
In the meantime, Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull expressed that Australia will recognize and respect Indonesia’s sovereignity. He added that commitment towards 2006 Lombok Treaty has laid a foundation for strategic relationship and the securityof both countries.
"Australia is fully committed to recognizing Indonesia’s sovereignity and territory," he said.
Furthermore, both countries have also agreed to hold cooperation in several sectors. In defense and security, both countries agreed to continue a cooperation in military training.
In the economic sector, both countries are committed to complete the proces of Australia Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (IACEPA) at the end of 2017. Perticularly in trade, President Jokowi expects the aolishment of tariff and non-tariff fee for Indonesian products such as paper and coconut oil.
"In politics, I welcome a cooperation in terrorrism eradication and trans-national organize crime," President Jokowi added.
Lastly, President jokowi and PM Turnbull witnessed the signing of memorandum of understanding in the filed of maritime.

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Photos of West Papuan Rally (protesting Jokiwi's visit) Sydney 26 February

West Papuan supporters in Sydney protest durning Jokiwi’s visit to Sydney (26 February).

Gathering outside the Channel 7 studies in Martin Place, supporters then marched to the Sydney DFAT offices and on to the Sydney Town Hall.

Speakers including West Papuan representative Lewis Prai spoke out about the Lombok Treaty, the military and the plundering of the resources of West Papua. 

Malcolm Turnbull wrote   in an opinion piece  in the SMH on Saturday about Australias special  relationship with Indonesia.
In the article he said 

"Indonesia is a nation of extraordinary significance to Australia. 
We share a commitment to values such as freedom, democracy and the rule of law”. 

Our West Papuan  friends would not agree with Malcolm Turnbull’s opinion that  Indonesian is now a democracy as the suffer from ongoing human rights abuses with thousands arrested in the past year simply for taking part in peaceful rallies.  These arrests go against the principles laid down in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

It is time that Australian governments dropped the mantra of “Indonesia is now a democracy and human rights abuses are a thing of the past”. The mass arrests of peaceful activists throughout the year proves otherwise. 

Australia should follow the lead of the 7 Pacific leaders who raised the issue of West Papua at the 71st Session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York in September 2016.  Support the call by the Pacific Islands Forum for a PIF fact finding mission to West Papua and stop training the Indonesian military


More photos from GLW Facebook page
Protesters says: Remember West Papua!
38 PhotosUpdated 41 minutes ago
While Indonesian President Joko Widodo began his state visit to Australia protesters took to Sydney streets on Feb 26 to put the ongoing human rights abuses and denial of self-determination in West Papua on the public agenda. PM Malcolm Turnbull was expected to sweep this important issue under the carpet.

 Photos by Pip Hinman and Peter Boyle for Green Left Weekly.