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NEWS & COMMENTARY 2008 SPEAKERS 2007 2006 2005

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Strengthening Australia’s Maritime Security

Australian Department of Defence
Tue, 18 Jul 2006, 00:19

The consolidation of Defence’s domestic maritime security activities into a single operation will enhance the security of Australia’s offshore maritime areas.

The National Security Committee of Cabinet has authorised the establishment of Operation RESOLUTE to streamline Defence’s contribution to whole-of-government efforts to protect Australia’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ).

It will lead to better coordination of Defence’s contribution to whole-of-government efforts to improve the effectiveness of our national maritime security regime.

Current Defence operations to be consolidated include RELEX II (focussing on unauthorised arrivals), CRANBERRY (illegal fishing and smuggling), CELESTA and MISTRAL (patrols of Australia’s southern ocean EEZ), and patrols protecting Australia’s gas and oil infrastructure.

Operation RESOLUTE will commence today and is commanded by the Joint Offshore Protection Command (JOPC), which has assumed responsibility for operational coordination and control of both civil and military maritime enforcement activities within the EEZ.

Headed by Rear Admiral James Goldrick, the JOPC is a joint organisation of Defence and Customs and is headquartered within Customs House in Canberra.

JOPC undertakes planning, surveillance, intelligence analysis and deployments to deliver a coordinated, whole-of-government focus on illegal fishing in particular and maritime security more generally.

The consolidation of Defence operations into Operation RESOLUTE will enhance the JOPC’s command and control arrangements.

The ADF’s capability to combat illegal maritime activities has been further enhanced by the addition of two Minehunter Coastal vessels and an additional two Armidale Class Patrol Boats.

Defence is further enhancing its contribution to maritime enforcement through increased hydrographic charting of the northern Great Barrier Reef and Torres Strait areas, and increased intelligence support.

The Australian Government is firmly committed to cross agency cooperation in protecting Australia’s sovereignty and economic resources from illegal fishermen, people smugglers, drug traffickers and other transnational criminals.

This co-operation includes important contributions from the Australian Fisheries Management Authority, the Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service, Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, and the Department of Immigration and Multicultural Affairs.
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