Last month Australia was beaten over the head for not helping the Pacific Islands cope with the dangers of climate change which is causing those countries to supposedly slip below the waves. What better way to use part of the $150mn in aid money from Australia to buy gas guzzling sports limousines from Italy.
Of all the 4-door cars least suited to the PNG climate, Maseratis would be top of the list. Pot holed roads, firm suspension and 20inch alloy rims wouldn’t work so well neither would the high performance V6s help lower the CO2 content that is such a grave risk to their survival. Lord only knows why anyone would pick an Italian car to stand up to corrosion by the sea side?!? To the best of CM’s knowledge a Maserati Port Moresby dealership does not exist,
Yet we shouldn’t forget that as angry as we have every right to be in Australia, these islands know how strategically important we are to them for national security that we should count ourselves lucky they didn’t go for the 4.7 litre high performance V8s with the optional high performance pack.
China’s President Xi has visited these islands in the Pacific. Our Aussie PMs Turnbull and Morrison have just sent the Foreign Minister showing a lack of priority. We just take for granted that cutting cheques should be enough to curry favour.
Do we really believe the $12mn gift from China to install CCTV cameras in PNG is for the locals’ benefit? Beijing will happily monitor everything, including facially recognizing our politicians when they visit. Might as well bug the meeting rooms while they’re at it! All because we’re too daft to think just because we have history that gives us a leg up over China. Best think again.
At the very least signing FTAs with these island nations won’t even be a rounding error for China’s GDP but there is no question we are way behind on diplomatic negotiations.
So when they buy Maseratis with our taxes we should not bat an eyelid. It’s a pittance in terms of what places like PNG mean to our long term security. In fact we might have been better off suggesting the PNG government buy Rolls-Royce Cullinans as a more sensible alternative given its SUV abilities.