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Australia

Yearbook 2012

Australia. On February 22, Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd resigned with the statement that he no longer had the confidence of Prime Minister Julia Gillard. He also said he did not think she could lead the Labor Party to victory in the 2013 election. It immediately led to speculation about a leader fight within the party; In 2010, Gillard had outmaneuvered her representative Rudd and taken over the Prime Minister post since winning the vote on the head of government that she had initiated. The day after Rudd's departure, Gillard announced a vote within Labour's parliamentary group over who would lead the party. Rudd then announced that he was running as a candidate. In the vote, which was held on February 27, Gillard received 71 votes to 31 for Rudd and remained as party leader. Trade Minister Bob Carr was appointed new Foreign Minister.

2012 AustraliaIn April, 67-year-old Bob Brown resigned as leader of the Greens. Brown, who had led the party since it was founded in 1992, was replaced by Deputy Party leader Christine Milne.

Prime Minister Gillard announced in April that the Australian force in Afghanistan would be withdrawn in 2013 instead of 2014, as the government had previously planned. According to Gillard, the premise was because the area in Afghanistan where most Australians were posted had become safer. In April 2012, the Australian ISAF force consisted of 1,550 men and was scheduled to be taken home in 2012. Around 30 Australian soldiers had been killed in Afghanistan by then. In August, another five Australians died during a battle in Afghanistan. So many soldiers from Australia had not died on the same day since the Vietnam War, according to the government.

2012 Australia

In May, a federal court granted a group of Aboriginal Indigenous people a special title (native title) to Australia's largest lake, Lake Eyres, in the southern part of the country. The verdict, which came after a 14-year legal dispute, gave Aborigines unconditional right to fishing, hunting, camping and traditional ceremonies in and around the lake. The indigenous people did not receive exclusive rights to the area, which is just over twice the surface area as Belgium. Lake Eyres is also an important tourist destination and some locals feared that access to tourists would be limited following the court's decision. Aborigines regard Lake Eyres as sacred and some of them want to ban boats in the lake.

According to countryaah, the government announced in June that Australia would create the world's largest network of marine reserves. The country's 27 marine reserves would be expanded to 60, which together would form a three million square kilometer marine reserve. In the area, which accounts for just over a third of Australia's water, there will be restrictions on fishing as well as oil and gas extraction. The professional fishermen would be compensated for lost income, but they objected to the decision, saying that the compensation was insufficient. The government continued to grapple with the refugee issue during the year and also had talks with the opposition to try to find a new solution to the problem since the Supreme Court in August 2011 stopped a controversial proposal on the exchange of refugees with Malaysia. In August 2012, Parliament's two chambers approved the re-opening of asylum seekers' centers in the Pacific Islands of Papua New Guinea and Nauru. The opposition supported the proposal. In the lower house, only the Greens and an independent member voted against. The reopening of refugee camps was one of the most important proposals in the report on Australia's refugee policy made by an independent expert panel, appointed by the government, which was published in August. Prime Minister Gillard said the government would also follow the report's proposal to increase the country's refugee quota from 13,700 to 20,000 a year, as well as develop a regional refugee strategy in collaboration with Indonesia and Malaysia. The reopening of refugee camps was one of the most important proposals in the report on Australia's refugee policy made by an independent expert panel, appointed by the government, which was published in August. Prime Minister Gillard said the government would also follow the report's proposal to increase the country's refugee quota from 13,700 to 20,000 a year, as well as develop a regional refugee strategy in collaboration with Indonesia and Malaysia. The reopening of refugee camps was one of the most important proposals in the report on Australia's refugee policy made by an independent expert panel, appointed by the government, which was published in August. Prime Minister Gillard said the government would also follow the report's proposal to increase the country's refugee quota from 13,700 to 20,000 a year, as well as develop a regional refugee strategy in collaboration with Indonesia and Malaysia.

The decisions on the refugee camps resulted in a return to the severely criticized "Pacific solution" and thus a radical reversal of the Labor government's policy. The "Pacific Solution" began to be implemented in 2001, under the conservative John Howard government, and meant Australia paid Nauru and Papua New Guinea to house some of the country's asylum seekers in camps. When Labor was in opposition, they were strongly critical of the detention camps and shut them down when they came to power in 2008. In November, the first refugees flew to the newly opened camp in Papua New Guinea.

The number of boat refugees who arrived in Australia increased in 2012. Up to August, around 7,500 boat refugees had arrived, compared with just over 5,000 throughout 2011. Since 2009, more than 600 refugees had drowned during their attempts to get to Australia. In June 2012, at least 17 refugees were killed in a shipwreck off the Australian territory of Christmas Island. In a previous shipwreck off Christmas Island, in December 2010, about 50 people died in a barely seaworthy boat. The three Indonesian men who drove the about 100 refugees were sentenced in September 2012 by an Australian court to five years in prison for human trafficking.

In November, Australia signed an agreement with the United States to develop a radar system to track assets and scrap in space. The agreement meant closer military relations between the two countries, according to the Australian authorities.

Since December 1, 2012, all cigarette packages in Australia look the same: olive-green packages with deterrent images of injuries that may result from smoking. The cigarette package law, which Australia is the first in the world to introduce, was approved by Parliament a year earlier. The tobacco companies had since tried in vain to stop the law. The companies' names may only appear in lowercase on the cigarette packages.

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