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Tuesday, 12 September 1972
Page: 1250

Mr Whitlam asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs, upon notice:

(1)   On what date did Australia and Malaysia make the separate agreement concerning the installations at Butterworth as envisaged in the notes exchanged in Kuala Lumpur on 1st December 1971.

(2)   What are the terms and conditions of the agreement.

Mr N H Bowen (PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES) - The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

(1)   The arrangements concerned were reached during 1970 and were deemed to have come into effect on 1st April 1970. They were codified in an exchange of letters on 9th June 1972 between the Secretary-General of the Ministry of Defence for Malaysia and the Australian High Commission at Kuala Lumpur made pursuant to the provisions of the exchange of notes between the Government of Australia and the Government of Malaysia on 1st December 1971.

(2)   The texts of the letters exchanged on 9th June 1972, together with appendices specifying charges for rent and essential services, are as follows:

Australian High Commission KUALA LUMPUR 9th June 1972 Tan Sri Abu Bakar Samad bin Mohd. Noor, P.S.M., Secretary Genera], Ministry of Defence, KUALA LUMPUR

My dear Secretary-General,

1.   The Malaysian Government having agreed that part of the Butterworth Air Base be occupied by the Royal Australian Air Force, and that the moveable assets acquired by Malaysia from the United Kingdom in 1970 under the Dudley Arrangement be left in situ for use by the Royal Australian Air Force, 1 have the honour to propose that the following arrangements should apply:

(1)   The Royal Australian Air Force will have the use of buildings and facilities as may be agreed which is subject to change from time to time by mutual agreement.

(2)   In consideration of the use of the said buildings and facilities at the Base by the Royal Australian Air Force Australia will pay Malaysia such charges as may be agreed between them from time to time provided that Malaysia will be responsible for the payment of all quit rent and local authority rates.

(3)   Australia will keep the buildings and facilities assigned for her use in good andtenantable repair and unless otherwise agreed will reinstate or carry out repairs to such buildings or facilities in the Base that may be destroyed or damaged by an act or omission of her personnel, agents or servants.

(4)   Notwithstanding the fact that the Royal Australian Air Force occupies only a portion of the Base, Australia will be responsible for the running of the essential services at the Base inclusive of the area occupied by the Royal Malaysian Air Force. The actual cost of these services will be shared between the 2 Governments.

(5)   Australia will assume the cost of maintaining and providing spare parts for movable assets acquired by Malaysia under the Dudley Arrangement and left in situ at the Base. These moveable assets have been identified and signed for by both the Royal Malaysian Air Force and Royal Australian Air Force authorities at the Base.

(6)   If any of the services or obligations undertaken herein by Australia are not duly performed Malaysia reserves the right after due notice to Australia, to execute the works and be reimbursed by Australia.

(7)   Subject to the prior approval of Malaysia, Australia may construct new facilities and make alterations to facilities as necessary to meet Australian requirements. The cost of such construction or alterations required for entirely Australian use will be borne by Australia.

(8)   Each Government will be responsible for the design and construction of major new works required for the exclusive use of its own forces and will be responsible for the costs incurred. Each Government will also be responsible for the mutual clearance of design features. Arrangements for, and funding of, major new works required for mutual use will be made on a basis of mutual agreement.

(9)   Australia will, on a repayment basis, construct minor new works as requested by Malaysia.

(10)   Australia will have free use of all new buildings, structures and facilities constructed with Australian funds, provided that all fixed assets will become the property of Malaysia upon withdrawal of Australian forces from the Base, without any payment of compensation.

(11)   Australia may not assign or sub-let or part with the whole or part of the area assigned to the Royal Australian Aor Force, provided that with the agreement of Malaysia, New Zealand or United Kingdom Forces may from time to time be present in the Base.

(12)   Australia will make good or pay compensation for any damage to Government property in the Base caused by an act or omission committed in the Base by her personnel, agents or servants and arising from her use of any of the buildings, structures and fixed installations and facilities in the Base or from the performance in the Base of any service in connection therewith by her personnel, agents or servants, and will keep Malaysia fully and effectually indemnified against all costs, charges, expenses, claims, demands and actions in respect of any such damage:

(a)   provided always that Malaysia may in its discretion and after notice in writing to the Government of Australia cause any such damage to be made good and the reasonable cost thereof will be recoverable from the Government of Australia on demand:

(b)   provided also that claims in respect of damage to official vehicles and military aircraft (including aircraft on loan or charter;) will be the subject of negotiations between them.

(13)   Except as expressly provided in sub-paragraph (12) above, claims in expect of damage to private property (being properly lawfully in the Base) or of personal injury or death to any person (being a person lawfully in the base) arising out of an act or omission committed in the Base by a member of the Australian force or civilian component will be dealt with in accordance with the provisions of paragraph 1 (1) (e) of the Exchange of Notes between the Government of Malaysia and the Government of Australia on 1st December 1971 and of Annex 11 Section 15 to thai Note.

(14)   Measures to provide efficient functioning of the facilities at the Base and to ensure common standards and procedures will be the subject of arrangements between the 2 Governments.

(15)   These Arrangements made pursuant lo the provisions of paragraph 1 (l)(e) of the Exchange of Notes between the Government of Malaysia and the Government of Australia on 1st December 1971 relating to defence arrangements, will be deemed to have come into effect as from the 1st day of April 1970.

(16)   These Arrangements are subject to review as may be required from time to lime by either Government.

2.   If the foregoing is acceptable lo the Government of Malaysia, 1 have the honour to propose that this letter and your reply lo that effect will constitute the Arrangements between the 2 Governments in this matter.

Yours sincerely,


High Commissioner

Ministry of Defence KUALA LUMPUR 9lh June 1972

H.   E. Mr .1. R. Rowland,

High Commissioner for Australia, Australian High Commission, KUALA LUMPUR

My dear High Commissioner,

I.   1 refer to your letter of today's date about the Collocation Arrangements relating to the use of buildings and facilities by the Royal Australian Air Force at the Butterworth Air Base the terms of which are as follows: (Herewith follows the text of the letter sent by the Australian High Commissioner in Malaysia to the Malaysian Secretary-General of Defence). 2. In reply, I confirm that your letter correctly states the understanding between the Government of Australia and the Government of Malaysia and in accordance with the proposal contained therein your letter and this reply will constitute the Arrangements between our 2 Governments.

Yours sincerely,




(a)   Not relevant (b) For runways, taxi-tracks and hardstanding only

2.   Rates are charged only on item (i).

3.   Of the total of MS23.40 million involved in item (i) it is estimated that contribution by Australia towards the development of this category of assets is M$4.50 million.

4.   Rental per annum is based on 10 per cent of the total value of assets except that where Australian contribution in the development of assets is involved only 75 per cent of the rental shall be imposed.

5.   Calculation of rental is therefore as follows:

Rental = 10 (23.40 - 4.50) + 75 x 10 x4.50

100 100 100

- 1.89 + 0.3375 = MS2.2275 million



1.   The period for this arrangement starts from 1st April 1970. Thus the first year refers to the period 1st April 1970 to 31st March 1971.

2.   Three existing services have been left out. The Postal Service is not required by Malaysia. The Barracks Service which currently costs in the region of MSI. 5 million annually will be provided by Australia on condition that any increases in staff necessary as a result of increase of RMAF personnel and dependants on the Base shall be paid by Malaysia. In regard to Police Service Malaysia shall provide and pay for this Service with effect from 1st April 1971.

3.   Using the estimated figures in column (c) and the cost-sharing ratios in columns (d) and (e) Malaysia's share for the first year is M§2.2 million. Except that actual cost figures should be used it is part of the understanding between the two countries that Malaysis'a annual share thus arrived at should be reduced by 25 per cent. Malaysia's estimated share of running costs for the 1st year therefore is MSI. 7 million

4.   Serial (9) covers the costs of maintenance and upkeep of buildings and facilities used jointly by RMAF and RAAF. The cost of maintenance of buildings and facilities used exclusively by RMAF are the responsibility of Malaysia, and those of buildings and facilities used exclusively by the RAAF are the responsibility of Australia.

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