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Joint Statement: Enhanced Bilateral Maritime Search and Rescue Cooperation
TUESDAY 04 SEPTEMBER 2012
Following a meeting in Jakarta today, the Australian and Indonesian Governments announced an enhancement of bilateral search and rescue cooperation to assist Indonesia to further develop its national search and rescue capability.
Australia and Indonesia have a shared interest in ensuring effective search and rescue capabilities are available for people travelling by sea in our region. Our interests are underpinned by our international obligations and a long history of search and rescue cooperation and capacity building under the Indonesian Transport Safety Assistance Package (ITSAP).
While Australia and Indonesia enjoy a strong search and rescue relationship, Ministers recognised the benefits of enhanced cooperation given the growth in maritime traffic within Indonesian waters and our mutual interest in better coordination of operations near the boundaries of our respective search and rescue regions.
During today’s meeting, Transport Ministers Mangindaan and Albanese agreed additional activities to enhance bilateral search and rescue cooperation.
The Ministers agreed to:
- an exchange of officers between our national search and rescue agencies, BASARNAS and AMSA, to promote the sharing of knowledge and expertise;
- enhanced ship tracking information being made available to BASARNAS to identify suitable ships that can assist with search and rescue operations;
- enhanced maritime satellite communication technologies for Indonesia to use during search and rescue operations, with the aim of providing better operational coordination with merchant ships;
- additional search and rescue exercises;
- the establishment of a regular search and rescue forum to exchange information and international best practice; and
- explore further rapid clearance for Australian aircraft to operate in Indonesian territorial airspace and to land to refuel at suitable airfields when engaged in SAR activities in cooperation with Indonesia.
These activities will be delivered through our existing transport safety assistance package ITSAP.
In addition to these initiatives, Ministers noted the importance of having interagency search and rescue protocols in place to assist in rapid deployment of appropriate ships and aircraft to help people in distress.