STEPHEN SMITH: Well, Madam Secretary, I am very pleased together with the Foreign Minister to welcome you and Secretary Panetta to Australia, but most importantly to Perth.
It's given you, I hope, the opportunity of seeing the modern, vibrant Perth. Perth of course is a great city and a I hope you've enjoyed some of its delights, but it's also our Indian Ocean capital. And, as we see the rise of India and the importance of the Indian Ocean Rim's rise, so too will Perth - our Indian Ocean capital - become more important, not just in an economic sense but also in a strategic sense. And in due course that will see increased significance for our Indian Ocean naval port, HMAS Stirling.
It's important to make the point that in Perth you see not just the strategic implications of the Indian Ocean, but you also see substantial United States investment. The centre of Perth's economy is minerals and petroleum resources, and substantial United States investment is joined with that development, for example, the Gorgon project, with some $40 billion worth of investment.
So here you see the world moving to the Asia-Pacific and the world moving to the Indo-Pacific, not just with security implications but with enormous economic investment and prosperity implications.
Our Alliance has served us very well, and the United States presence in the Asia-Pacific has been a force for stability and prosperity since the end of World War Two. We're very familiar with practical cooperation with United States Defence Force personnel. Fremantle, our port city, other than Hawaii itself, was the largest Allied submarine port during World War Two, and there's many a US submariner who might have enjoyed himself on a Sunday afternoon at the Ocean Beach Hotel or Cottesloe Hotel, which is near where we'll be this afternoon for our formal state reception, hosted by Premier Barnett.
We're very pleased with ourenhanced practical cooperation that Secretary Panetta and I have been working on. The first rotation of the Marines was very successful and we look forward today to discussions about the potential for enhanced aviation or aerial access to our Northern Territory RAAF bases and also, in due course, enhanced naval access to HMAS Stirling.
Our Alliance continues to modernise itself. We're now in the modern vibrant international city of Perth, but we're also now discussing things that a decade ago we would have regarded as not being on our agenda at all: space, cyber, and regrettably, international terrorism.
The work we do closely in Afghanistan is our ongoing contribution to helping to ensure Afghanistan does not again become a centre for international terrorism to breed. Regrettably, Australians have been on the receiving end of international terrorism in the United States, in Europe, and in South-East Asia.
We're sightly outside my electorate but I hope you have had a restful and peaceful night in my electorate where you slept.
And I'm sure that in the course of the day you'll get a very fine welcome from the people of Perth.