Dec 11, 2012

Australia and Indonesia reaffirm Regional Transport Cooperation

The Australian Government and Indonesian Governments have reaffirmed our commitment to make the skies, roads and waterways within our region safer and more secure.

Transport is a key enabler of economic growth and development in our region and in this Asian Century. It is therefore vital our transport systems are safe, efficient and secure.

Indonesia’s Minister for Transportation, Lieutenant General (Ret.) E.E. Mangindaan and I jointly signed the revised Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on Cooperation in the Transport Sector in Jakarta today.

First signed in 1995, the MoU is testament to the strength of our relationship with Indonesia—one of our closest and most important neighbours.

The MoU we signed today provides the formal mechanism for implementing the new measures agreed to in September under the Indonesian Safety Transport Assistance Package (ITSAP).

These measures include:

  1. Officer exchange between BASARNAS and AMSA

Exchange officers will be embedded in their counterpart agencies and will be available to assist during SAR operations. They will also take part in training and mentoring and gain exposure to their counterpart agency’s operating environment. The AMSA officers attached to BASARNAS will be able to assist with other activities including bedding in the enhanced picture and communications capabilities.

  1. Enhanced ship tracking information

This capability will provide an accurate near-real-time picture of ships operating in or transiting through the Indonesian search and rescue region. BASARNAS will have the ability to identify merchant vessels capable of assisting during search and rescue operations.

  1. Enhanced maritime satellite communications

This capability will allow BASARNAS to rapidly communicate via Inmarsat satellite communications to the merchant vessels identified from the vessel picture during search and rescue operations. Vessels can be contacted via a distress broadcast or directly to individual ships. Ships can then be diverted to assist with SAR operations.

  1. Additional search and rescue exercises

This component of the project package provides for more advanced and challenging search and rescue exercises (SAREX) to build on capabilities developed over recent years. The exercises will allow for deployment of SAR assets and coordination of assets from multiple agencies.

  1. Regular search and rescue discussions

A regular series of meetings or workshops to share technical information and promote mutual understanding will be held alternatively in Australia and Indonesia and promote best SAR practice.

As a result of close cooperation between our two countries and the success of ITSAP, together we have already delivered:

  • training of over 1,000 Indonesian government and industry professionals in safety investigation, port control, maritime systems, air navigation, road safety, and search and rescue;
  • development of Non-Convention Vessel Standards (NCVS) which modernises the regulation of shipping standards; and
  • the joint development and publication of a Tropical Mountainous Terrain Flying Operations kit between our aviation safety agencies

Every year, more than one million people travel between our two countries, with millions more using the various modes of transport to get around the vast Indonesian archipelago.  The vast majority of our sea and air transport links are through the archipelago so Australia has a clear national interest in working cooperatively with Indonesia to improve the safety, security and efficiency of these links.