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Tuesday, 30 October 2012
Page: 12671

Mr FRYDENBERG (Kooyong) (16:46): As I was saying yesterday, the 10th anniversary of the Bali bombing is something we should all commemorate. Through the initiatives of people on both sides of this House, we have done much to stamp out terrorism, both at home and abroad, and ensure that we never see a repeat of those events in Bali. As I said, one of the benefits, one of the small rays of light, that came out of the tragedy in October 2002 was the high degree of cooperation between Indonesia and Australia. We are not just neighbours; we are friends and we are partners in the fight against terrorism.

Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, who was the security minister for Indonesia at the time of the Bali bombing and in 2004 became the President of Indonesia—and he got a second term, so he will be there until 2014—has worked with successive Australian governments in an effort to stamp out terrorism. I wanted to share a quote from Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, President of Indonesia. He said:

The Bali bombings created a set of critical chain reactions. The Bali bombings created a set of critical chain reactions. The public debate over whether terrorism was a real or imagined threat to Indonesia was laid to rest. We recognised that freedom, democracy and tolerance cannot be taken for granted.

He also said:

The entire nation galvanised to defend freedom, democracy and tolerance. Internationally, Indonesia became a key player in the fight against terrorism. Indonesia also became an active proponent of interfaith cooperation.

He went on to say:

The Bali attack was also a turning point in relations between Indonesia and Australia. Our relations with Australia suffered challenges brought forth by the events in East Timor. It produced a compelling reason for Jakarta and Canberra to explore new ways of cooperation in a world haunted by new, unfamiliar threats. The Bali bombings cemented an emotional connection between Indonesia and Australia. A connection that grew stronger following the tsunami tragedy in Aceh and Nias, and the development of the Comprehensive Partnership and Lombok Treaty. As we remember 10 years since the Bali bombings, our thoughts are with those who have endured the terrible loss of their loved ones.

That was Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, the President of Indonesia, who put it so succinctly, saying that in the days, the weeks, the months and the years after the tragedy of the Bali bombings our two countries have come together in a way that is unprecedented to fight a common enemy. Indonesia looked within itself and saw the radical elements of Islam: the Noordin Tops, the Mukhlas, the Samudras, the Abu Bakar Bashirs of this world, who conspired to kill 88 innocent Australians and 202 people representing countries as diverse as the Europeans, the Americans and other countries in our region. That is what they did. They ruined the innocence of hundreds of Australians and many others around the world, but they do not have and have not had the last say. The people who have had the last say are the survivors and the families of the victims, who have committed to go forward with courage from this day and to ensure that the memories continue and that the lives lost on that tragic night in October 2002 were not lost in vain.

We, both in the time of the Howard government and in the coalition since then, with our colleagues across the political divide, have worked in a considered and concerted manner to tackle terrorism at its source, to fund our law enforcement agencies and to do better at the cutting edge of the fight against terrorism. So, as we look back on those tragic events, we can say that, as a result of what happened in the nightclub district of Bali in 2002, we have bonded together and we have made a difference to ensure that the world is a safer place for Australians and our other friends in the world.