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Wednesday, 14 September 1983
Page: 859

Question No. 167

Dr Everingham asked the Minister for Defence, upon notice, on 18 May 1983:

Has the Government given a patrol boat to Indonesia as a defence measure; if so , how does this action accord with the federal policy of the political party of which he is a member.

Mr Scholes —The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

Under the Defence Co-operation Program a surplus RAN Attack Class patrol boat was provided to Indonesia on 6 May 1983, along with spares, training, and short term advisory assistance. This was part of an ongoing coastal surveillance project under which Australia has provided Nomad aircraft and patrol boats to assist in developing Indonesia's fisheries protection, anti-smuggling and search and rescue capabilities.

The Government has announced its intention to enhance the generally good relationship that has been built up between Australia and Indonesia over a number of years. The Minister for Foreign Affairs visited Indonesia in April this year and held wide ranging discussions with Indonesian ministers. At the conclusion of the visit he announced that existing programs, projects and exchanges with Indonesia would be maintained, while aspects of the bilateral relationship were further explored with the objective of putting the relationship on a firmer, more creative footing.