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