Canberra’s fractious relationship with Jakarta faces new strains after Tony Abbott bluntly reaffirmed Australia’s intention to stop the flow of asylum seeker boats, prompting an immediate response from Indonesia. The Prime Minister said Australia was entitled to protect its borders and would continue to do so, irrespective of Indonesian concerns over territorial incursions. But the statement provoked Djoko Suyanto, the Indonesian security affairs minister, to hit back with a text message to Fairfax Media. Australia ‘‘must understand the meaning of the sovereignty of the republic of Indonesia, which the Australian navy breached in the way it did,” Air Marshal Djoko said.
Terrorist groups are profiting as part of a money- laundering operation involving the hundreds of millions of dollars Australians spend on illegal drugs. The revelations come as Australia’s biggest money- laundering probe, Project Eligo, has identified hundreds of unwitting Australian residents being duped into helping launder the drug money overseas, including funds generated by outlaw motorcycle groups and people smuggling operations. The money- laundering investigation has uncovered 40 separate money- laundering operations across Australia that are involved in moving hundreds of millions of dollars in drug money offshore.
NEWLYWED couples will soon be given a Government-funded $200 voucher for marriage and relationship counselling. Social Services Minister Kevin Andrews has revealed $20 million had been set aside to fund the program, designed to strengthen relationships and prevent family breakdown.