Friday, 24th January 2014


Prime Minister Tony Abbott delivered his keynote address to the leaders at the World Economic Forum in Davos overnight.

It would surprise few that he urged nations to abolish protectionism and said competitiveness, free trade and encouraging business were the best way to ensure growth and jobs.  

But he couldn't resist departing from the song sheet on one point.

Defying the long-standing protocol that politicians shouldn't use overseas trips to make domestic political comments (one re-stated by Abbott himself in April last year), he regaled the world's leaders with a tune that would be familiar to Australian audiences: Labor's stimulus spending in response to the GFC had not only been misguided, he said, but had also undone the good work of the Howard government. He likened his predecessors to "addicts in search of a fix" when it came to spending. 

"But after the recent election, Australia is under new management and open for business." Which must have been pleasing to those who thought Australia had been closed for business since 2007/8. 

Earlier at the talk-fest, Abbott stated that Australia would make the most of its presidency of the Brisbane G20 summit, in November, to promote free trade.

"It won't simply be," he warned, "just another international talk-fest."

Nick Feik
Politicoz Editor

Sign up to get Politicoz delivered
to your email address every weekday at lunch time.

Tony Abbott urges world leaders to prioritise growth and free trade

"Tony Abbott has used a keynote address to the World Economic Forum in Davos to burnish his new government’s free market credentials and urge world leaders to prioritise growth, free trade and competitiveness as global economic recovery remains fragile. In his first major post-election speech on the economy and economic policy, the Australian prime minister set down some broad philosophical markers."

AlsoTony Abbott uses global stage to take a swipe at Labor over financial crisis (SMH)

Indonesians think Prime Minister Tony Abbott is inflaming tensions for political gain over asylum seekers

"Indonesia believes Tony Abbott may be deliberately inflaming tensions between the two countries for political reasons and to allow his government to continue turning back asylum seeker boats. Apparent sabre-rattling over the matter intensified in Indonesia on Thursday with an air force spokesman reported as saying ''Australia is reachable'' by its 16 Sukhoi warplanes based in Makassar in the event of a confrontation."