21/04/2021 - 18:41

Indonesia deal approved, China's shredded

21/04/2021 - 18:41

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A deal between the state government and Indonesia has been approved by the federal foreign minister, but four Victorian agreements will be cancelled.

Indonesia deal approved, China's shredded
Jakarta is Indonesia's biggest city. Photo: Tom Fisk

A deal between the state government and Indonesia has been approved by the federal foreign minister, but four Victorian agreements will be cancelled.

It follows the introduction of the Commonwealth’s new Foreign Arrangements Scheme, which gives Foreign Minister Marise Payne the power to approve or veto international deals by universities, state governments and local councils.

Ms Payne said more than 1,000 agreements had so far been brought to the attenion of the federal government which are applicable under the scheme.

Late on Wednesday, she announced the government would approve a Department of Jobs, Tourism, Science and Innovation deal with Indonesia’s Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources.

That was the Memorandum of Understanding on Cooperation on Human Resources Development in the Energy and Mineral Resources Sector.

But four Victorian deals were shredded.

The most significant were 2018 and 2019 agreements for involvement in China’s Belt and Road Initiative.

Two further deals were with Iran and Syria, both relating to education.

The Syrian deal was signed in March 1999.

Ms Payne said she would continue to consider arrangements under the scheme.

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