PM Transcripts - Prime Ministers of Australia

Joint Communiqué: Australia-Indonesia Annual Leaders’ Meeting

Prime Minister - Gillard, Julia

Media release - 03 July 2012



Prime Minister Julia Gillard and President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono met for the annual Indonesia-Australia Leaders' Meeting in Darwin on 3 July 2012. They reaffirmed Australia's and Indonesia'scomprehensive strategic partnership, based on a mutual commitment to each other's progress, prosperity and security. They acknowledged strengthened strategic dialogue through the inaugural 2 + 2 Foreign and Defence Ministers' meeting in Canberra in March 2012.


The Annual Leaders' Meeting underlined the importance of the two countries' enduring and wide-ranging cooperation to confront regional and global challenges. Australia congratulated Indonesia on its strong regional leadership, including through ASEAN and the East Asia Summit (EAS), committing to work together to maintain momentum in the EAS' important agenda. The two leaders recognised the opportunities and benefits of collaborating in 2013 when Indonesia chairs APEC, the pre-eminent regional economic and trade forum, and in 2014 when Australia hosts the G20.

Great potential exists to promote trade and investment links between Australia and Indonesia - the two largest economies in the region. Indonesia is an integral part of the Asian success story with its economy forecast to almost double in size over the next ten years. Over the same period, Australia's economy is projected to grow by 40 per cent. As trade grows, the two Governments can help shape an environment that encourages even closer business cooperation. The two leaderswelcomed the entry into force of the ASEAN-Australia-New Zealand Free Trade Agreement (AANZFTA) for Indonesia in January 2012, and looked forward to the first round of negotiations on the Indonesia-Australia Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (IA-CEPA) taking place prior to the annual Trade Ministers' meeting later this year.

Indonesia invited Australia to explore mutually beneficial investment opportunities, particularly within the framework of Master Plan for the Acceleration and Expansion of Indonesia's Economic Development/MP3EI.

The two leaders underlined the potential for mutually beneficial cooperation and trade in the beef and cattle industry, and in this connection the two leaders undertook to encourage interested Australian companies to invest in the Indonesian beef and cattle industry, particularly in the areas of breeding, fattening, butchering and marketing.

Thecooperation on security and defence between Australia and Indonesiareflects the maturity and depth of understanding in both countries' partnership. The two leadersreaffirmed their commitments under the Lombok Treaty, including to one another's sovereignty and territorial integrity. Cooperation between Australian and Indonesiandefence forces goes from strength to strength. They also placedgreat importance on the establishment of a Defence Cooperation Arrangement and agreed to continue negotiations with a view to signingthe Arrangement in the near future.

Reinforcing the comprehensive security cooperation between Australia and Indonesia, the two leadersencouraged senior officials of both countries to review existing security cooperation, including by coordinating and setting priorities for the Plan of Action of the Lombok Treaty through the Security Cooperation Consultation Group.

Australia and Indonesiaare committed to achieving a world free of nuclear weapons and recognise that the international community may need to explore further legal frameworks to achieve this outcome, including the negotiation of a fissile material cut-off treaty. The two leaders also recognised the importance of attaining entry into force of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) in achieving the eventual abolition of nuclear weapons. Indonesia's recent ratification of the CTBT was an important step forward in this respect. Indonesia and Australia look forward to demonstrating the two countries' commitment made at the Nuclear Security Summit in Seoul to strengthen the global nuclear security regime.

Both countries emphasized the importance of sustainable management of marine and fisheries resources, including the elimination of illegal fishingthrough coordinated patrols in waters between the two countries, the continuation of the public information campaign to lower the number of cross-border fishers and the continuation of human and institutional capacity building. Both countries agreed to continue and enhance the level of ongoing cooperation.

The two leaders welcomed joint efforts by Australia and Indonesiato prioritise oceans issues in Rio+20 and to continue promoting subregional cooperation in both the Coral Triangle Initiative on Coral Reefs, Fisheries and Food Security (CTI-CFF) and the Regional Plan of Action on Responsible Fishing Practices and Combating Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated Fishing (RPOA-IUU). They believe in closer cooperation to promote sustainable development, protect the environment and enhance people's welfare.

International cooperation to combat transnational crime is critical. The strong partnerships forged between Australian and Indonesian justice and security agencies have delivered significant wins against terrorism, drug trafficking, trafficking in persons, corruption, and people smuggling. Australia and Indonesiawill continue to work side by side to ‘follow the money' from organised crime networks. Strong anti-money laundering and asset recovery regimesare needed to break transnational crime networks, in particular people smuggling, traffickingin persons, and acts of corruption.

The two leaders renewed their commitment to address new and emerging challenges in counter-terrorism through our countries' co-chairing of the Global Counterterrorism Forum's South East Asia Working Group. At its inaugural meeting in Semarang in March 2012, the working group examined challenges surrounding the management of terrorist detainees in prison. They emphasised the need to enhance counter-terrorism cooperation on this and other emerging counter-terrorism challenges both bilaterally and regionally.

As Co-Chairs of the Bali Process, the two Leadersreiterated the two countries' commitment to the Process in its 10th anniversary year, particularly the agreement to the Regional Cooperation Framework and the establishment this year of a Regional Support Office in Bangkok. Australia and Indonesiawill build on recent successes such as the Bali Process workshop that examined practical measures to combat trafficking in persons. Australia and Indonesia will continue to counter people smuggling and trafficking in persons through the Bali Process in collaboration with other regional partners.

In accordance with respective national law and regulation, as well as relevant international law governing this issue, in order to advance both countries' strong maritime cooperation, the two leaders welcomed enhanced bilateral cooperation, particularly in promoting partnership in capacity building in communication and information systems. This will allow Indonesia's search and rescue agency (BASARNAS) and its Australian counterpart to better coordinate with merchant vessels during safety-of-life-at-sea incidents, and may include an exchange program of search and rescue specialists. Leaders welcomed the planned visit to Indonesia of Australian Ministers and Senior Officials for follow-up discussions with Indonesian counterparts on these issues.

The two leaders reaffirmed the importance of ensuring the welfare and interest of detained Indonesian crew. Indonesia welcomed Australia's new arrangements for removing crew assessed as minors to Indonesia, as well as Australia's improved age determination processes. The two leaders emphasised the need for a speedy process and early release of those minors. Australia undertook to take all necessary steps to ensure the fastest possible repatriation of minors to Indonesia. Together Australia and Indonesiawill conduct a joint public information campaign in Indonesia to prevent potential crew from being used by international people smuggling networks by helping them to understand the consequences, both in Australian and Indonesian law. Australia welcomed Indonesia's determination to take all necessary steps to dissuade Indonesian citizens from becoming involved as crew on people smuggling ventures. The two leaders recognised the need to tackle the criminal networks that organise people smuggling ventures, and to protect the victims of such crimes.

In order to better protect its citizens abroad, including Indonesian crew suspected of having committed a people smuggling offence, Indonesia requested ongoing comprehensive and speedy consular access. Indonesia welcomed Australia's efforts to work closely together on consular matters including providing prompt consular notification within three working days, implementing new materials developed in consultation with the Indonesian Embassy that make clear to Indonesian crew their right to receive consular access; actively reminding state and territory officials of their responsibilities regarding consular notification; regular consular working group meetings, annual consular consultations, and other initiatives under the Australia-Indonesia Consular Arrangement.

Bilateral cooperation on consular matters is an increasing priority. The two leadersagreed on the importance of protecting Australian and Indonesiannationals overseas. Building on the Second Indonesia-Australia Consular Consultations in Bali in April and the unstinting day-to-day efforts of consular officials in both countries, the two countries will hold joint training on the delivery of consular services and work together on the consular aspects of disaster response by co-hosting a workshop and inviting EAS partners.

In keeping with the two countries' tradition of helping one another when natural disasters strike, the two leaders welcomed the signing of an MoU to transfer four C-130H aircraft to Indonesia to contribute to its humanitarian assistance and disaster response (HADR) capability and enhance the two countries' ability to work side by side on humanitarian and disaster relief responses. Australia undertook to consider any further requests from Indonesia in this area. In this connection, the two leaders look forward to the early follow up and implementation of the joint Indonesia-Australia paper: “A practical approach to enhance regional cooperation on disaster rapid response”, adopted during the East Asia Summit in November 2011. The two leaders agreed that Indonesia and Australia would cooperate on a table-top exercise this year on humanitarian and disaster relief, to which other East Asia Summit countries would be invited.

Australia and Indonesia are committed to tackling poverty. Indonesia welcomed Australia's pledge of $578.4 million in 2012-13, and the significant scale-up of the official development assistance budget over the coming four years. Funding will support Indonesia's development priorities in areas where Australia can best add value by building on existing success - such as education, infrastructure and social protection. Strengthening people-to-people links, like the twinning arrangement between the Royal Darwin Hospital and Sanglah Hospital in Bali, will also help to bring the two countries closer together. Australia and Indonesiaare also developing innovative new programs together. The two countriesare working to empower Indonesian women through a new initiative which will improve the welfare of poor women by providing greater access to essential services and improving livelihoods.

Progress in both countries to address climate change informs theirongoing collaborative work towards a global response. The Indonesia-Australia Forest Carbon Partnership is building capacity to reduce emissions from deforestation and forest degradation in developing countries (REDD+). Thecooperation will continue including at the Cartagena Dialogue meeting Indonesia will host in October 2012 in the lead up to COP18/CMP8 in Doha.

As responsible global citizens and fellow democracies, Australia and Indonesiahave a shared interest in the promotion of democracy in their region and beyond. The two leaders are encouraged by the historic transition taking place in Myanmar, and the peaceful conduct of presidential elections in Timor-Leste. Indonesia welcomed Australia's participation at the fifth Bali Democracy Forum in Bali in November 2012. Thetwo countries have a proud history of contribution to UN missions. Australia provided the first military personnel as peacekeepers under UN auspices to Indonesia in 1947. Enhancing further both nations' contribution to peacekeeping, the inaugural bilateral table-top exercise - Exercise Garuda Kookaburra - will be held in 2013.

People-to-people links between Australians and Indonesians at all levels sustain the relationship and allow the two countries to approach theirfuture engagement with optimism and confidence. The two leaderslook forward to the recommendations of the second Indonesia-Australia Dialogue, to be held in Sydney in September 2012, on ways to promote business and community links and they are committed to strengthen people-to-people links through reciprocal programs of arts, culture, design and technology in 2014.

Promoting tourism is important for both countries. The two leadersare committed to further enhancing the cooperation between Australia and Indonesiain this area to strengthen friendship and mutual understanding between thepeoples. Indonesia invited more Australian tourists to visit the country, and Australia welcomes Indonesian visitors to Australia. To further support people-to-people links, the two countrieshave also agreed to start work toward expanding the current Work and Holiday visa arrangements to provide 1,000 places per year for young adults to have an extended holiday in each other's nations, during which they can also undertake short term work and study.

Science and technology cooperation between the twocountries is assuming increasing importance. Collaboration between Australian and Indonesian researchers is growing, with the annual output of joint research publications more than doubling in the decade to 2010. Research partnerships in areas such as health, agriculture, food and the environment will ensure that the two countriesare positioned to meet the challenges both nations face now and in the future.

The two leaders welcomed the Indonesia Australia Vocational Education and Training (VET) Mentoring Program, which will build capacity to meet the growing skills needs of Indonesian industry through mentoring for the Indonesian polytechnic sector over the next two years. Theyalso thanked the many teachers and students in over 100 schools across both countries who have made new friends and built new links through the Australia-Indonesia School Partnerships (BRIDGE) Project. The exciting expansion of the BRIDGE program into the tertiary sector in 2012 will see Charles Darwin University forge valuable ties with Nusa Cendana University (Undana) in Kupang. The future standing of Australia and Indonesiabilateral partnership is assured with this next generation's commitment to intercultural understanding and to becoming global citizens.