Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd has reintroduced a bill that aims to give Australia more flexibility in responding to international issues, particularly those involving oppressive and destabilizing regimes. The bill, if enacted, will allow the country to become fully involved in concerted international efforts to pressure regimes that are engaged in actions or behaviors of serious international concern and consequence. This bill was first presented to parliament in May 26, 2010 but lapsed when Prime Minister Julia Gillard called for elections July 19, 2010.
“The Bill is aimed to give Australia greater scope and flexibility to respond to situations of international concern, while minimizing the adverse impact on the people of those nations,” explained Rudd, who noted that Australia actively seeks to “use targeted sanctions” to foster positive change, particularly in situations where the U.N. Security Council finds its hands tied.
Meanwhile, the International Monetary Fund has warned Australia of the risks it is facing, given the country’s continued dependence on the boom fueled by China’s rising demand for resources, ABC reports. Following a recent review, IMF provided a positive outlook for Australia’s economy but expressed concern that the economy could suffer should China’s demand falters. The Washington-based institution also endorsed Australia’s controversial mining tax but said the tax needs to be broadened in order to take full advantage of the China-fueled boom.