Once the British and Australians lost control of Singapore, Australians realised that the English weren't such a powerful ally as they had been worked up to be. Furthermore, the English were borrowing huge amounts of money from US and couldn't afford to send troops to help defend Australia and Papua New Guinea; so Australia turned to America. The Americans helped Australia in the counter-offensive in Papua New Guinea, after the Australians had just managed to hold off the Japanese attack towards Port Moresby. The US helped AU greatly in the subsequent battle of Buna-Gona. For more information, research the Kokoda Track Campaign and the Battle of Buna-Gona.
It wasn't so much that the "English weren't such a powerful ally as they had been worked up to be" but that they were busy and stretched in Europe, North Africa, India/Burma and elsewhere, and their inability to send troops was not that they "couldn't afford to" but were fully engaged elsewhere- having saved the world by standing up to the Nazis virtually on their own (with significant Commonwealth help) for over two years before the US entered the war. The Americans wanted Australia held for their own reasons- it was an ideal base from which to strike back at the Japanese. It was simply a recognition of the obvious that Australia turned to USA for help, a relationship which was mutually beneficial to both.AnswerTo summarize, Australia was under threat of being invade by Japan and needed some of their troops sent back to protect Australia but the British refused to send any back.
Australia realized that Britain could no longer be trusted for it's protection even though the were their original ally.
Therefor Australia turned to America who would protect them in return for being in charge of their troops.
So everyone was happy.
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