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Monday, 31 May 2004
Page: 29632


Mr McClelland asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs, upon notice, on 11 May 2004:

(1) In respect of the Budget measures “Philippines - counter terrorism assistance” disclosed in the 2003-2004 Mid-year Economic and Fiscal Outlook, what sum of additional funding has been spent on counter terrorism assistance to The Philippines, during 2003-2004.

(2) In respect of each initiative (a) what are the details, (b) what is its purpose, and (c) how much has been provided.


Mr Downer (Minister for Foreign Affairs) —The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

(1) On 14 July 2003, the Prime Minister announced a three-year, $5 million counter-terrorism assistance package for the Philippines. An estimated $1.48 million will be spent in 2003-2004.

(2) (a) The package aims to build the capacity of key Philippines Government agencies with responsibility for countering terrorism, with a particular focus on law enforcement, border control, port security and regional cooperation. The four initiatives being supported are:

(i) Counter Terrorism Capacity Building Project - Law Enforcement: $3.7m ($3.2m AusAID, $0.5m Australian Federal Police) over 30 months.

(ii) Document Examination Laboratory Equipment and Training Project: $0.52m (AusAID $0.26m, Department of Immigration and Multicultural and Indigenous Affairs $0.26m) over three years.

(iii) Port Security Capacity Building Project: $1.3m over 18 months.

(iv) Regional Co-operation. $25,870 approved to date.

(b) The purpose of these four initiatives is as follows:

(i) Counter Terrorism Capacity Building Project - Law Enforcement: to improve the capability of the Philippines law enforcement community to address counter-terrorism issues collaboratively at both the strategic and operational levels. The project is working with three key agencies with responsibility for criminal intelligence: the Philippines National Police, the Philippines Centre on Trans-national Crime and the National Bureau of Investigation.

(ii) Document Examination Laboratory Equipment and Training Project: to help the Philippines enhance its border management. DIMIA is working with the Philippines Bureau of Immigration to build its capacity to deter irregular migration and people smuggling through better detection of fraudulent travel documents.

(iii) Port Security Capacity Building Project: to help the Philippines build a national framework for port security and develop and implement port security plans. The project aims to build the capacity of the coordinating body, the Office of Transport Security, as well as personnel at 20 international ports.

(iv) Regional Co-operation: to support security cooperation in the region encompassing southern Philippines, northern Indonesia and eastern Malaysia. To date meetings have been held bringing together customs, immigration, quarantine and security officials from Mindanao and their counterparts from nearby Indonesian and Malaysian ports.

(c) The following funds have been expended/committed to 30 June 2004 on these four initiatives:

(i) Counter Terrorism Capacity Building Project - Law Enforcement: $1,251,290.

(ii) Document Examination Laboratory Equipment and Training Project: $86,900.

(iii) Port Security Capacity Building Project: $116,000.

(iv) Regional Co-operation: $25,870.