We kick off our election coverage with short posts from Lowy Institute experts on what they regard as the most important international policy issue of this campaign.
The Regional Resettlement Arrangement with Papua New Guinea has linked domestic policy with Australia's relationship with our nearest neighbour. Controversy over the deal follows a period of deepening bilateral relations, which enjoyed bipartisan support. Complicating the political debate, grim socio-economic conditions in Papua New Guinea have begun to register in the public consciousness in Australia. This has increased interest in the development impact of the arrangement.
Managing the political blowback caused by uncertainty about the arrangement on both sides of the Torres Strait in order to minimise the risk of relationship damage will be a feature of the campaign.