Report Launch: Australia's Second Sea
ASPI invites you to attend the launch of the upcoming report ‘Australia’s Second Sea: Facing our multipolar future in the Indian Ocean’ by Dr David Brewster. The report will be launched by The Hon Kim Beazley AC, Governor of Western Australia.
This report argues that Australia needs a comprehensive strategy towards the Indian Ocean. This can and should articulate Australia’s regional objectives and outline a whole-of- government approach to the challenges and opportunities presented by the region.
Australia is a major Indian Ocean state. It has by far the longest coastline and by far the largest area of maritime jurisdiction of any country. In one way or another, Australia relies on the Indian Ocean for much of its wealth. In 2016-17 sales of Western Australia’s mineral and petroleum industry alone totalled some A$105 billion and in aggregate, around 42% of Australia’s goods exports by value came from Western Australia. A very large proportion of our maritime trade, both exports and imports, crosses the Indian Ocean.
Given the magnitude of its economic and strategic interests, Australia can begin to see itself as an Indian Ocean state by being far more proactive in its approach to Australia’s ‘second sea’, bringing the same level of activism and planning here as Australia has so successfully to the Asia-Pacific in previous decades. The approach suggested in the report connect Australian relationships in South East Asia with Indian Ocean partners, and aligns well with the 2017 the Foreign Policy White Paper.
The report's principal focus is on security threats, particularly in the maritime realm and the opportunities Australia has to address these with partners. It makes a series of recommendations about Australia’s policies towards the Indian Ocean, ranging from discussing high level strategic objectives to concrete policy proposals.
This event is kindly supported by Curtin Univesity's Strategic Flashlight forum on national security and strategy.