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Monash Expert: New Caledonia unrest

Monash University < 1 mins read

Riots in New Caledonia have left Australian tourists stranded, prompting the federal government to send rescue flights to pick up stranded tourists. A Monash University expert is available to talk about the civil unrest and its implications for Australia.

 

Dr Nicholas Ferns, ARC DECRA Fellow, School of Philosophical, Historical and  International Studies

Contact: +61 3 9903 4840 or media@monash.edu

The following can be attributed to Dr Ferns:

“After the French National Assembly voted to change voting laws in its overseas possession of New Caledonia, riots have erupted causing at least six deaths and considerable damage to property. French authorities have declared a state of emergency and have closed the international airport to commercial traffic, which has left at least 3,000 Australians stranded and unable to return home.

“While the riots were sparked by the decision to amend voting laws, which were perceived as strengthening anti-independence interests, they reflect the longer history of tensions associated with French colonialism in the Pacific. Economic inequality is a major problem in New Caledonia, and the divisions between the Indigenous Kanak population and European population have simmered for decades.

“This story also has an Australian dimension with Foreign Minister Penny Wong working to bring stranded Australians home, while there was also the odd situation of French authorities in Australia calling upon the French community in Melbourne to assist New Caledonians stranded in Australia. More broadly, as the dominant power in the region, Australia is bound to be drawn into any unrest in the Pacific, even if it takes place in a territory considered to be part of France.”

For any other topics on which you may be seeking expert comment, contact the Monash University Media Unit on +61 3 9903 4840 or media@monash.edu 

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