I leave Australia today to visit Singapore and Malaysia.
In Singapore, I will attend the Five Power Defence Arrangements (FDPA) Defence Ministers Meeting.
This year marks the 40th Anniversary of the FPDA.
The FPDA is a unique Defence arrangement involving Australia, Malaysia, New Zealand, Singapore and the United Kingdom.
The FPDA was established in 1971 to deal with the conventional security threats of the time.
It is a vehicle for practical cooperation and stability in South East Asia in which co-operation of the five member nations is based on consensus, equality, trust, openness, mutual benefit and respect.
Australia's membership of the FPDA supports Australian interests in the security of South East Asia and complements bilateral relationships in the region.
Today, the FPDA retains conventional capabilities while also adapting to deal with modern non-convention challenges, such as counter-terrorism, maritime security, humanitarian assistance and disaster relief.
In addition to attending this important milestone meeting, I will hold bilateral discussions with my FPDA counterparts from Malaysia, New Zealand, Singapore and the United Kingdom and join them in a call on Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.
While in Malaysia, I will visit ADF personnel participating in Exercise BERSAMA LIMA and attached to the Headquarters Integrated Area Defence System at Royal Malaysian Air Force Base Butterworth. I will also travel to Kuala Lumpur to attend a joint call on my FPDA Ministerial counterparts with Malaysian Deputy Prime Minister Yang Amat Berhormat Tan Sri Dato Hj Muhyiddin Yassin.
I will also meet for the first time newly appointed UK Secretary for Defence Phillip Hammond, and hold separate bilateral meetings with each of the FPDA Defence Ministers.
Sacha Fenton (Mr Smith's Office) (02) 6277 7800 or 0467 784 528
Defence Media Operations: (02) 6127 1999