Tony Abbott’s first prime ministerial overseas trip takes him to Indonesia, where the survivors of an asylum seeker boat tragedy blame his government for dozens of deaths.
Mr Abbott is due to jet from Sydney to Jakarta on Monday for an overnight visit where he will meet with Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono.
Atop the leaders’ agenda is likely to be ideas to crack down on people smuggling as the two nations reel from the latest tragedy at sea which left more than 50 people dead or missing.
“This is because of the Australian government. I want them to know that,” said one survivor from the boat, which broke up in heavy seas off the coast of Java on Friday.
Mr Abbott will be joined on his trip by Foreign Minister Julie Bishop and Trade Minister Andrew Robb, who will take part in discussions on trade and investment.
Before coming to power Mr Abbott indicated that all future Australian prime ministers should make Jakarta their first port of call overseas, acknowledging Indonesia as a growing economy in the Asia Pacific region.