Thursday, December 23, 2010

Australia at 2012

I have been pushing the Australian Government, through a variety of channels, to agree to be represented at Korea's Yeosu Expo 2012, however have yet to receive any acknowledgment - from any source - or response.

This is disturbing for two reasons: 1. Australia should be represented at Yeosu, for all the right reasons, but also because it's in our best foreign affairs and trade interests, and 2. Governments need to be held accountable by the public for their decisions, and Government has a duty to respond to public enquiry.

That Australia has not made a position on Yeosu - and that Government is yet to respond to my queries is disturbing and it makes me wonder two things...

Are we now pulling out of the smaller 'recognised' Expositions all together (Australia was also not represented at Zaragoza 2008)?

Is the Government taking a more secretive, less accountable approach now that Expositions is now in the hands of Foreign Affairs & Trade, not Tourism?

I personally believe Expositions were better held by Tourism. Now that Expositions are looked after by DFAT, any questioning of them leads them to be very defensive and non-committal to answering, as if one is delving into state secrets.

Still I find it amazing, that after personal approaches to Foreign Affairs staff, emails and tweets to the Minister for Foreign Affairs, emails to my local Federal member of Parliament, as well as attending a special DFAT seminar hosted by the Minister, I have not even received a single word of acknowledgment or response with regards to Australia's representation at Yeosu.

How disturbing indeed.

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