Australia. In January, Australian vessels stopped Indonesian boat refugees and sent them back to Indonesia. In connection with this, Australian vessels violated Indonesian waters, which weakened the already frosty relations with Indonesia. Relations have been strained since 2012, when it was revealed that Australia was listening to Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono. Both human rights organizations and UNHCR criticized Australia’s actions.
One person was killed and over 70 injured in February in a riot in a refugee camp on the island of Manus in Papua New Guinea, to which Australia sends asylum seekers. The Refugee Action Coalition organization blamed the violence on groups of residents of Manus who oppose the camp.
According to Countryaah.com, Australia population in 2020 is estimated at 25,499,895. Refugee policy again attracted attention in July when the authorities towed back a boat of refugees to Sri Lanka. Human rights activists and the UNHCR accused the country of violating the refugees’ rights when they had their cases assessed at sea. Another boat with refugees from Sri Lanka was allowed as a first group in six months to come to a refugee camp in Australia. The refugees were held aboard an Australian customs vessel for just over a month after they were picked up.
Australia decided in September to reintroduce a controversial “temporary protection visa” (TPV) system for refugees. According to Migration Minister Scott Morrison, the reason was the large number of migrants who want to go to the country. The previous TPV system was abolished in 2008 as it was considered to leave asylum seekers in uncertainty.
In October, the government decided to stop issuing entry visas to people from the three Ebola-affected countries in West Africa. Critics warned that the decision could run counter to international rules.
Heavy fires raged in January in southeastern Australia. In the state of Victoria alone, some 70 fires raged and the flames also spread to the outskirts of Melbourne where residents were forced to leave their homes.
On April 12, a so-called tsunami watch, a milder form of tsunami warning, was issued in Australia, Fiji, Indonesia and Guam. It was caused by a severe earthquake in the Solomon Islands in the southwest Pacific. After just over an hour, the warning was withdrawn.
The sea area west of Australia became one of the most interesting in the search for Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370 which disappeared without a trace on March 8. The plane that lifted from Kuala Lumpur with 227 passengers and twelve crew on board was on its way to Beijing.
On July 7, a national day of mourning in Australia was held for the compatriots who were killed when Malaysia Airlines MH17 from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur was shot down on July 17; 298 people were killed, including 38 Australian adults and children.
Japanese Toyota announced in February that production of cars and engines in Australia will cease at the end of 2017. Toyota will thus become the last global car manufacturer to close its manufacturing operations in Australia due to high costs and the strong Australian dollar.
Japan and Australia reached an agreement in April on trade, which meant lower fees for the two countries.
The government announced in May that it planned to halve the budget deficit in 2015. This would be financed, among other things, by cuts and changes in higher education. The plans sparked protests among thousands of students in several major cities.
As the only country in the world, Australia abolished carbon dioxide taxes in July. Instead, the government wanted to try to get companies to save energy and reduce their emissions by offering them various forms of benefits. The decision was described by critics as a step back.
In August, the US oil company Apache found a large oil field outside Western Australia, estimated to have as much as 300 million barrels of crude oil, which may be the country’s largest oil discovery in several decades.
In September, the government raised the level of terrorist threats to “high”. It was the first increase since 2003. The reason was the growing number of Australians who joined the Islamic State (IS) and other militant Islamist movements in the Middle East and began to return to Australia.
The same month, the security police conducted raids in Sydney and Brisbane in what was described as the largest anti-terror operation in the country’s history. A number of people suspected of having links to IS were arrested.
The government announced in October that the country would contribute fighter aircraft to the US-led military effort against IS in Iraq. Australia would also send special forces to assist the Iraqi military with advice.
About 500 Afghans, most of them interpreters who helped the country’s troops during the war in Afghanistan, were granted residence permits in Australia in June.
In September Australia hosted a G20 meeting in Cairns. The G20 finance ministers agreed on reforms that could boost the countries’ joint growth. During the meeting, which was in preparation for the Brisbane Summit in November, the Finance Ministers, after lengthy discussions, agreed to allow the Russian Federation to attend the next meeting.
At the November summit, the G20 countries agreed, among other things, on the “Brisbane Action Plan”, a package of measures that will increase the countries’ joint growth by 2.1% by 2018. Global investments in infrastructure and measures against climate change and tax evasion were also included in the final document. the promise of concerted action against the Ebola crisis.
Four Russian naval vessels were sighted in November over international waters on their way to Australia’s north coast. The world’s oldest flamingo, Gretas, died at the age of 83 in January. The bird lived in the zoo in Adelaide.
In April, Australia reintroduced the nomination of the knights ‘and ladies’ titles, a practice that has been in decline since 1986.
Australian cricket player Phillip Hughes, 25, was knocked out by a ball in the head during a match in November and later died from the injuries. Prime Minister Tony Abbott said in a statement that what had happened had affected millions of Australians.