Today in Perth I conducted the second Annual Australia-Indonesia Defence Ministers’ Meeting with my Indonesian counterpart, Dr Purnomo Yusgiantoro.
This was the ninth time I have met with Minister Purnomo in my capacity as Minister for Defence, and the third time we have met this year. Minister Purnomo and I held the inaugural Annual Defence Ministers’ Meeting in Jakarta in September 2012.
During today’s meeting, we reviewed progress in the bilateral defence-to-defence and military-to-military relationship, and discussed how Australia and Indonesia could further strengthen our cooperation together and with our regional partners to advance shared defence and security interests.
Minister Purnomo and I discussed a range of issues of importance to regional and global security. We shared the view that security and stability remains fundamental to continued economic growth and prosperity in our region, and discussed how our two countries can work together to address emerging security challenges.
In that context, we agreed that our officials will hold discussions on cyber security, and explore opportunities to cooperate on managing cyber security risks. Cyber security impacts adversely upon economic interests and national well-being, not just national security interests. It is a global challenge that we can only combat by working with our partners and allies.
Minister Purnomo and I also agreed to strengthen cooperation on peacekeeping, and noted the progress made by our officials towards establishing a formal peacekeeping partnership between our two defence forces. This will comprise a Memorandum of Understanding between the Australian Defence Force’s Peace Operations Training Centre (POTC) and the Indonesian National Defence Force Peacekeeping Centre.
Australia and Indonesia share a strong commitment to peacekeeping. Our defence forces held their inaugural biennial desktop peacekeeping exercise, Garuda Kookaburra, in May this year. Indonesian personnel attend courses at the POTC, and Indonesia also provides an instructor to the Centre’s annual United Nations Military Observers Course. Minister Purnomo and I agreed to expand and strengthen these personnel exchanges.
Building on the consultations that occurred between Australia and Indonesia during the development of Australia’s 2013 Defence White Paper, Minister Purnomo and I reaffirmed that our officials would consult closely during the development of Indonesia’s forthcoming Defence White Paper.
In addition, we agreed to share lessons learnt on the development, acquisition and sustainment of defence capabilities. This will include visits to Australia by Indonesian defence officials to observe our capability development, acquisition and sustainment processes.
We also agreed to share lessons learnt on submarine maintenance and sustainment, and to explore options for cooperation on submarine rescue.
This morning, Minister Purnomo and I witnessed the signing of a Memorandum of Sale for five C 130H aircraft by Australia’s Chief of the Defence Force, General Hurley, and Indonesia’s Head of Defence Facilities Agency, Rear Admiral Lubis.
This is in addition to the four C-130H aircraft that Australia is transferring to Indonesia, and will further enhance Indonesia’s capacity to respond to natural disasters and humanitarian crisis.
Following the signing of the Memorandum, Minister Purnomo and I called on the Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd.
Yesterday, Minister Purnomo and I visited Australia’s Indian Ocean Naval Base, HMAS Stirling, and toured the BAE and ASC facilities at the Australian Marine Complex in Henderson.
We also visited the Special Air Service Regiment at Campbell Barracks. Australia and Indonesia cooperate closely on counter-terrorism issues. Exercises Dawn Kookaburra and Komodo, involving Australian and Indonesian Special Forces, are held on an annual basis and focus on counter-hijack and hostage recovery.
Minister Purnomo and I agreed that our officials would examine options to strengthen cooperation between Australia’s Special Forces and their Indonesian counterparts across Army, Air Force and Marines.
As well, yesterday we laid a wreath at the State War Memorial at Kings Park. I also hosted a reception in Minister Purnomo’s honour, which was attended by prominent members of the Western Australian and Indonesian academic, business, government and community sectors.
Minister Smith’s Office: Sacha Fenton (02) 6277 7800 or 0467 784 528
Defence Media Operations (02) 6127 1999