Today I completed my visit to Indonesia where I held bilateral discussions on Defence cooperation and Search and Rescue cooperation.
I was accompanied by the Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Anthony Albanese and the Minister for Home Affairs, Justice and Defence Materiel Jason Clare.
We met with Indonesian Ministerial counterparts to advance Australia-Indonesia Search and Rescue coordination. Australia will make an additional $4.42m available to enhance coordination between Indonesian and Australian Search and Rescue agencies (BASARNAS and AMSA) and provide for an exchange of expertise and experience to improve Search and Rescue capability and coordination in our region.
As maritime nations, Australia and Indonesia have a mutual interest in effective Search and Rescue for people travelling in our region by sea.
I discussed with Indonesian Minister of Defence Dr Purnomo Yusgiantoro plans to explore rapid clearance for Australian aircraft to operate in Indonesian Territorial Airspace and to land to refuel at suitable Indonesian airfields when engaged in Search and Rescue (see http://www.minister.defence.gov.au/2012/09/04/minister-for-defence-minister-for-infrastructure-and-transport-and-minister-for-home-affairs-joint-media-release-strengthening-australia-indonesia-search-and-rescue-coordination/ for further information on enhanced Australia-Indonesia Search and Rescue coordination).
Yesterday, I met with Minister Purnomo for the inaugural Annual Indonesia-Australia Defence Ministers’ Meeting, my fourth meeting with Minister Purnomo this year.
The formal Annual Defence Ministers’ Meeting follows the Indonesia-Australia Leaders’ Meeting in July in Darwin and the inaugural Australia-Indonesia Foreign and Defence Ministers’ (2+2) Meeting in March in Canberra.
Today in Jakarta, Defence Minister Dr Purnomo and I signed the Defence Cooperation Arrangement, which brings into effect the formal framework for practical Defence cooperation under the Lombok Treaty.
Australia’s practical cooperation with Indonesia covers counter-terrorism, maritime security, humanitarian assistance and disaster relief, peacekeeping and intelligence and information sharing.
In recent years, Australia and Indonesia have steadily increased our program of Defence engagement and 2012 will see the highest tempo of bilateral defence engagement, exercises and training in 15 years.
Indonesia recently participated in Exercise Pitch Black for the first time in 2012. This was also the first time Indonesian Sukhoi fighter aircraft have participated in an exercise outside Indonesia.
This year, the Australian and Indonesian navies conducted a third Coordinated Maritime Patrol of our shared maritime borders. Minister Purnomo and I agreed that we would look to expand our program of Coordinated Maritime Patrols.
These activities build on traditional cooperation in Officer and English language training. Each year over 150 positions are offered to Indonesian Military Officers in over 50 courses in Australia under the bilateral Defence Cooperation Program.
We are also working to increase our cooperation with Indonesia in the important field of peacekeeping. Preparations have begun for a bilateral peacekeeping exercise to occur in 2013.
Australia and Indonesia are working together to build our respective peacekeeping capabilities. Australia is providing support to Indonesia’s Peace and Security Center at Sentul through English language training.
In Darwin in July, to coincide with President Yudhoyono’s visit, Australia and Indonesia signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) setting out arrangements for the gifting of four ADF C-130H aircraft to Indonesia. This will enhance Indonesia’s capacity to respond to humanitarian and natural disasters with increased air lift capability.
Today Minister for Defence Materiel Jason Clare and I held talks with Indonesian counterparts and industry representatives on opportunities for defence industry cooperation.
In November this year, over 20 Australia defence industry companies will be represented at the Indo Defence Expo in Jakarta, which will provide an opportunity for our respective industries to explore potential cooperation.
I look forward to hosting Minister Purnomo in Australia for next year’s Australia-Indonesia Annual Defence Ministers’ Meeting. We have agreed that the 2013 Meeting will be held in Perth.
While in Indonesia Minister Albanese, Minister Clare and I also met with Vice President Boediono and Coordinating Minister for Politics, Law and Security Djoko Suyanto. As well, I held a roundtable discussion with Indonesian Security and Defence experts and delivered a speech to the Indonesia-Australia Defence Alumni Association (IKAHAN) and representatives of the Strategic Review Journal.
A copy of the Minister’s speech is available at http://www.minister.defence.gov.au/2012/09/04/minister-for-defence-australia-and-indonesia-strategic-partners/
Imagery will be available at http://images.defence.gov.au/12130867
Mr Smith’s Office: Andrew Porter (02) 6277 7800 or 0419 474 392