Jan 10, 2010

Australia and The United States Meet To Discuss Aviation Security

Australia and The United States Meet To Discuss Aviation Security

The Hon Anthony Albanese MP

The Minister for Infrastructure, Transport,

Regional Development and Local Government

Leader of the House

Member for Grayndler

January 10 2010

Today I met with the Deputy Secretary of the US Department of Homeland Security Jane Holl Lute to discuss the enhanced border security procedures put in place following the attempted Christmas Day attack. We also discussed ways to bolster our collective efforts to disrupt and prevent future acts of terrorism.

I was joined by the Prime Minister’s National Security Advisor Duncan Lewis as well as senior officials from my Department and the Department of Immigration and Citizenship.

Building on a long history of cooperation between Australia and the United States in the fight against global terrorism, today’s meeting provided an opportunity to make sure our respective aviation and border security arrangements are coordinated and appropriate to the evolving threat.

We will continue to work together to achieve our shared national security objectives.

The attempted attack on Christmas Day illustrated the lengths terrorists will go to defeat security measures and was a powerful reminder that countries must work together to defeat this threat.

While the actions of successive Australian governments have equipped our nation with a world-class aviation security regime, there is no room for complacency. The Australian Government remains vigilant and prepared to act in concert with our friends and allies.

In the meantime, the Australian Government is working closely with US authorities and airlines to implement the measures so far announced by the Obama Administration.

As a precaution, we are continuing to undertake enhanced screening of all those travelling to the US.

Deputy Secretary Lute’s visit is part of a broad international outreach effort initiated by the Obama Administration in the wake of the events on Christmas Day. As well as Australia, the Deputy Secretary and her senior officials will be visiting major international airports in Asia, Africa, Europe, the Middle East and South America.

On 18 January, Foreign Minister Stephen Smith and Defence Minister John Faulkner are scheduled to meet with US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and US Secretary of Defense Robert Gates to discuss Australia-US cooperation on foreign policy, defence and strategic matters, including counter-terrorism initiatives.