A serious dispute has broken out between Australian oil company Woodside and the East Timorese government over the processing of gas from the Greater Sunrise field in the Timor Sea. The dispute looks set to lock up one of the richest gas fields in the region and cost Woodside hundreds of millions of dollars already spent on research and development.
At the heart of the dispute is East Timor’s claim for natural gas taken from the joint Australian-East Timorese field to be processed into LNG in East Timor. Woodside has rejected that option, saying it wants to process the gas on a floating platform in the Timor Sea. The East Timorese government has said, however, that its position is not negotiable and that without an agreement on refining in East Timor there will be no agreement to proceed with drilling.
There is a perception that in past two years or so, there has been an increase in sales. Some media outlets are even suggesting that sales are the new norm.
Involvement in professional sport is seductive. Winning seduces, but winning premierships is the ultimate force of seduction. It has, over many years, driven a win-at-all costs culture in sport.
In an era of professional sport systems and governance how is it possible for the Melbourne Storm to blatantly rort the salary cap? Salary cap rorting in professional sport is similar to white collar trangressions, and could be deemed the Melbourne Storm’s global (local) financial crisis. The penalties imposed by the NRL are harsh but necessary. The decision to strip the Storm of the right to earn premiership points in 2010 will place the club on the brink of extinction.
With a volcano erupting and disrupting people’s plans to make a pilgrimage to Gallipoli, a virtual ANZAC Day commemoration is looking more likely. As couples decide to have an internet wedding due to travel plans being disrupted by the volcanic ash, why not remember ANZAC Day online through an internet site? Social networking has been used for love before. Lots of people have an emotional attachment to ANZAC Day. With real travel plans disrupted, virtual tours may become more popular.
National identity is a theme that is on the arts agenda again. It is a perrenial theme, that recurs from time to time, usually when an artist is accused of plagiarism, copying or deception. With the visual artist, Sam Leach winning both the Archibald portrait prize and the Wynne landscape prize put on by the Art Gallery of New South Wales, he is placed in the pantheon of one of only three Australian artists who have taken out both prizes. His art prize bed fellows are Russell Drysdale and Brett Whiteley, both of whom went on to gain wide acclaim and sometimes notoriety for their art. Some people said it was antics, not art. Is this what we are seeing here with the Sam Leach affair?
Imagine, if you can, that you have spent the last 30 or more years in an environment of war, where your security is at best not guaranteed and at worst you and your loved ones have been regularly exposed to physical attack. Some, or many, people you have known and loved have been killed and many more bear the physical scars of war. Everyone bears its psychological scars.
You are at best a political outcast and vulnerable to repression, physical abuse, or worse. You or your sons or daughters flee your once loved home, seeking respite, hoping you can find safety and acceptance elsewhere.
This is the situation facing Sri Lanka’s Tamils and many Afghanis, who in desperation seek refuge in one of the countries lucky enough to be able to offer it. What they find, however, is that they are treated as criminals.
It is embarrassing to Australia that the Italian Textile Association has taken the extraordinary step of formally expressing its disappointment about the recent visit to Biella, Italy, of three directors from the Australian Wool Innovation Board.
The association raised a number of concerns. They felt the informal delegation didn't express official AWI thinking; they were embarrassed and disappointed at seeing people involved in clear conflicts of interest; they were surprised and upset by the lack of knowledge and extreme insensitivity to the mulesing issue, and the lack of communication about an upcoming advertising campaign.
The dickhead and nose candy campaigns are two very different campaigns, with different potential outcomes.
American journalist Allan Nairn’s game of cat and mouse with the Indonesian military is a brave attempt to show that it continues to represent the greatest challenge to Indonesia’s process of reform and democratisation. It is also one that could well see him spending time – potentially up to six years - in an Indonesian prison.
Nairn recently detailed how the Indonesian military’s special forces, Kopassus, continued to be involved in illegal activities, including murdering civilians. His report comes at a time when the US is considering renewing direct support for Kopassus, after having banned working with it for a decade and a half.