Friday, February 1, 2019

Welcome to our blog-February 2019.

Welcome to our Indonesia-Australia Blog UPDATED ON 1st February 2019 where we provide articles covering a 
wide cross-section of news and views concerning our bi-lateral relationship and also stories from within 
Indonesia and the region.

We start the year with a very relevant piece on the 'Islamisation' of Indonesia and then on the fallout over the proposed release of Abu Bakar Bashir. Then followed by an article on 
the first of the presidential debates for the  forthcoming presidential election, an excellent piece on progress in relations between Indonesia and the 
Pacific nations, plus an article on Indonesia's economy in search of 'dynamism'. 

You will find all the articles and stories below and we welcome your comments or contributions.

We would also invite you to read the email sent to our members by our president, Ross Taylor, concerning holiday visas for 
Indonesian nationals. This is a vitally important issue and your support in this matter WILL make a difference.

With kindest regards
Salam hangat

Lisa Bentley
Indonesia Institute Inc
Perth Western Australia
Tel: 1300 793.144

1st February  2019

From our president Ross Taylor to our members

 This year our institute will continue to call for a complete review of Australia’s
 inbound tourist visa system that is clumsy, expenses, inefficient and prejudiced against our neighbours in Indonesia.

As many of you will know, we constantly ask why a family of four Brunei nationals can obtain a visa to holiday in 
Australia for $80.00. Meanwhile, an Indonesian family must complete some 15 pages of questions per each family 
member – including if they have been involved in terrorism activities or child sex offences – plus pay $560.00 non-refundable fees to have their visas processed.

It should be noted that when Indonesia removed the ‘Visa-On-Arrival’ fee for Australian’s heading to Bali, 
arrivals increased the following year by 16.5%. Australia seems determined to penalise our own states who are 
trying to build new tourism markets from places like Indonesia. Last year, for example WA attracted around 130,000-160,000 holidaymakers from (each) 
of Singapore and Malaysia. From Indonesia, we attracted just 12,000 tourists.

My Australian diplomatic colleagues continue to tell me that “visa requirements does not present a problem 
for Indonesians”, yet on the Tourism Australia’s own website, their research confirms that  'Visa issues' 
as the 3rd most important issue for Indonesians not wanting to holiday in Australia.

Whenever we post this issue on Twitter, the response - from young Indonesians in particular - is immediate. 

We seek your help by writing to our PM demanding an overhaul of the visa-system; it’s in OUR interest; 
not just Indonesia’s interest, that we make it easier for the people of our two wonderful nations to get to know 
each other better.

Our institute is acutely aware of the importance of tight border controls; provided we have the balance right. 
At present that ‘balance’ is completely 'out-of-wack’.

With kindest regards
Salam hangat

Ross Taylor

Ross B. Taylor AM
Indonesia Institute Inc.

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