THE ONLY TIME I’VE USED A GOLF CLUB IN MY LIFE IS TO DIS­PATCH CANE TOADS

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - NEWS -

Dis­ap­point­ing to see the Gazette fo­cus on the venue of the 25th Asia Pa­cific Par­lia­men­tary Fo­rum.

It is the host coun­try of such Fo­rums that se­lect the venue, not the par­tic­i­pat­ing mem­ber coun­tries or in­di­vid­u­als. Just as when Port Dou­glas hosts in­ter­na­tional con­fer­ences and del­e­ga­tions, it al­ways tries to show­case the best venues, ac­com­mo­da­tion and at­trac­tions. Why would Fiji be any dif­fer­ent?

The re­al­ity is that this par­tic­u­lar re­sort is one of the only ones in Fiji that has the ca­pac­ity to ac­com­mo­date an in­ter­na­tional con­fer­ence the size of the APPF. There is no other op­tion.

As for it be­ing a golf re­sort, the only time I’ve used a golf club in my life is to dis­patch cane toads. I’ve spent my days here in con­fer­ence rooms putting for­ward Aus­tralia’s po­si­tion on a broad range of is­sues. I’ve caught a glimpse of the beach while walk­ing from my room to the venue, I haven’t even seen the fair­ways yet or the pool de­scribed in the ar­ti­cle, and it’s highly un­likely I will.

It’s all very well to feed pop­ulist sen­ti­ment but don’t un­der­es­ti­mate the value of what is achieved at these in­ter­na­tional fo­rums both in de­vel­op­ing re­la­tion­ships with par­tic­i­pat­ing coun­tries and con­sol­i­dat­ing po­si­tions on some very se­ri­ous and chal­leng­ing is­sues rang­ing from ter­ror­ism, drug traf­fick­ing and border se­cu­rity to sus­tain­able fish­ing, vi­o­lence against women and en­vi­ron­men­tal man­age­ment, as well as health is­sues like TB and di­a­betes. Aus­tralia must have a voice at the ta­ble when these dis­cus­sions are tak­ing place.

War­ren Entsch MP, Mem­ber for Le­ich­hardt

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