The Indonesian government had only just finished protesting to Australian ambassador Greg Moriarty over the Abbott government's border protection policies when its foreign minister Marty Natalegawa was again fronting the media to object to Australian conduct.
On Friday it was revealed that Indonesian armed forces believe the Australian navy breached its maritime borders knowingly and intentionally, on several occasions.
But yesterday Natalegawa was referring to the latest spying allegations reported in the New York Times, that the Australian Signals Directorate had listened in and passed on to the US the communications of an American law firm which was representing Indonesia in trade discussions with America. The Australian and US governments have also been sharing mass telecommunications intercepts, according to the new Snowden leaks.
Indonesia's patience with the Australian government is now threadbare.
In news that may or may not be related, a fleet of Chinese naval vessels has passed through Indonesian territorial waters close to Christmas Island, in what was described by the Jakarta Post as an unprecedented exercise. American secretary of state John Kerry, visiting Indonesia this week, will doubtless urge Indonesia not to accommodate China's increasingly aggressive territorial manoeuvres. For its part, Indonesia plans to raise Australia’s naval incursions into its waters with Kerry, as well as the raft of spying allegations.
But as these discussions will be conducted behind closed doors, we can only guess at the real state of affairs, and try to read the coded language of international diplomacy.
"It is the responsibility of (US & Australia) ... to salvage their bilateral relations with Indonesia," said Natalegawa.
Whereas Julie Bishop maintains that relations with the Indonesian government are "very positive".
"Mr Abbott has drawn a distinction between disaster relief and handouts, and says he wants the sector to remain competitive and self-sufficient... Mr Abbott says he will announce a drought-assistance package in the next week. The Government has refused to provide any public breakdown on the size or cost of the package, but confirmed loan support and income support will form part of it."
"Australian farmers and manufacturers are predicted to dramatically increase their exports to South Korea under details of a free-trade agreement to be revealed today that anticipates a $653 million a year bonus for the economy. The release of 1800 pages of Australia-South Korea FTA documentation will provide positive economic news for a government reeling from the announcement of an end to carmaking in Australia."
Also: Indonesia: Australia and US need to clean up their mess (Guardian)
"Scott Morrison has confirmed there has been a “disturbance” at the Manus Island detention centre as details of how hundreds of detainees “rushed” the gates emerge. Papua New Guinean online news site pngedge.com reports one asylum seeker has been rushed to hospital after being seriously injured in a clash with security guards. The report, which quotes a member of the private security force detailed with guarding the asylum seekers, says up to eleven other escapees have been recaptured."
Alternative report: Seven arrested in brawl at immigration detention centre, local MP says (ABC)
"The Abbott government has retaken its lead over the opposition amid a sharp plunge in support for Labor leader Bill Shorten and Labor, in a poll likely to enhance the Coalition’s determination to make tough budget cuts. An Australian Financial Review / Nielsen poll finds that despite the new government’s rough start, it leads Labor on a two-party-preferred basis by 52 per cent to 48 per cent."
Also: Coalition eases us into tough love policies (Paula Matthewson, The Drum)
"The hollowing out of the Australian economy is gathering pace while our bickering leaders thrash about with no plan on how to arrest the decline of manufacturing and precious little understanding of why it has occurred. Of even more concern, neither side will acknowledge the direct role they have played in the demise of Australian industry. Nor will they admit to squandering the proceeds of the resources boom."
Finally: News Corp’s $882m blew the budget
"The single largest factor in the underlying deterioration of the federal budget announced by Treasurer Joe Hockey in December was a cash payout of almost $900 million to Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation." (AFR)