DANIEL FLITTON | The Age
AUSTRALIA gets far more foreign aid than any other country in the Pacific. That's right, Australia gets, not gives.
This type of aid isn't measured as emergency food supplies after a terrible cyclone, or in dollars and cents to build bridges and schools. No, what Australia depends upon from overseas is something far more valuable - the grant of legal impunity.
That is the essence of the Pacific solution for asylum seekers. But it doesn't come without a cost.
That cost has been exposed in recent days by Australia's shameful silence about a crackdown on fundamental freedoms in Nauru, and complications in an ugly diplomatic barney with Papua New Guinea over who-said-what-and-when about opening a new diplomatic post on the island of Bougainville.