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2004 - Coalition


2004 Coalition Defence Statement – Defence, A Force for the New Century

A strong alliance with the US, working together with other allies and partners to safeguard security and stability and the development of an ADF capable of simultaneous deployments across a range of missions were priorities for the Coalition.

In order to achieve these goals, the Coalition committed to increase Defence funding by $1.8 billion over four years and by $28 billion over the next decade. It would continue to implement the Defence White Paper and maintain up-to-date strategic assessment to inform changes to capability priorities, and continue to build a flexible ADF. It would build on Australia’s alliance with the US through the implementation of the Memorandum of Understanding on missile defence, the development of a joint training facility for Australian and American forces and further cooperation on interoperability. It also committed to provide $313.9 million in 2004–05 to continue the ADF’s participation in operations aimed at regional stability, border protection and global security, and stated it would maintain Australian forces in Iraq, East Timor and the Solomon Islands.

In the area of personnel, Reserves and Cadets, the Coalition made a number of commitments, including: an additional $80 million in increased remuneration and non-salary entitlements for ADF members, fund the extension of the Rental Allowance scheme, provide $113 million to improve and build on-base accommodation, further develop the ADF Mental Health Strategy, provide $700 million to upgrade Defence facilities and the Estate and consolidate the Reserves and Reserve service as a key component of ADF capability.

To improve the management of Defence, procurement and industry, the Coalition stated it would deliver further efficiencies within Defence, including the achievement of $200 million per year in administrative savings over four years, explore the further potential of contracting-out non-core Defence business, continue the reform of DMO and strengthen the partnership between DSTO and industry.

To enhance the mobility of the ADF, the Coalition committed to: the replacement of HMA Ships Manoora and Kanimbla with two large amphibious ships and a strategic sea lift ship (to be built in Australia and entered into service in from 2010), the replacement of HMA Ship Westralia with a modern double-hulled tanker, the upgrade of 350 of the Army’s fleet of M113 armoured vehicles and acquire 299 Bushranger Infantry Mobility Vehicles, the introduction into service of five new Airbus A330 air-to-air refuelling aircraft and the introduction into service of 12 new generation MRH 90 troop lift helicopters. The Coalition also committed to purchasing a replacement for Australia’s frontline Air Combat Capability, focusing on the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, an airborne ‘system of systems’ to support Australia’s combat capabilities, a maritime patrol force of two frontline P-3C Orion squadrons and ground-based surveillance and support capabilities (among other commitments).

The Coalition stated it would enhance the protection of the ADF through advances in survivability of ADF assets, ensure sufficient firepower for the ADF and improve networking of the Force.



2004 Coalition Foreign Affairs Policy Statement – Securing Australia's Interests

The Coalition pledged it would continue to contribute decisively towards defeating terrorism in the Asia–Pacific by doubling Australia’s counter-terrorism assistance to Indonesia and the Philippines, build on the nine counter-terrorism memorandums of understanding (MOU) that have already been established, develop initiatives under the Joint Australia-ASEAN Declaration to Combat International Terrorism and continue to enhance regional law enforcement cooperation. It also stated it would utilise intelligence sharing relationships with the US, UK and other regional partners, cooperate with the region in maritime and transport security and work with the Muslim community to help win the battle of ideas against extremist Muslim terrorists – including co-hosting with Indonesia a regional inter-faith dialogue.

A re-elected Coalition would continue to support and develop the Proliferation Security Initiative, support Australia’s participation in ballistic missile defence and help strengthen global counter-proliferation architecture.

In North Asia, the Coalition stated it would deepen security cooperation by building on the Trilateral Security Dialogue between the US, Japan and Australia, expand the Trade and Economic Framework agreement with Japan and encourage Japan to take a more active role in the region. On China, the Coalition would expand trade and investment ties with the country – including through a Joint Free Trade Agreement Feasibility Study and the promotion of a peaceful resolution to the Taiwan issue. The Coalition would continue to promote a strategy that presses the DPRK to achieve a permanent resolution to the nuclear issue.
In Southeast Asia, the Coalition pledged to continue to develop law enforcement cooperation with Indonesia and further assist Indonesia with economic reform and support its unity and territorial integrity. It stated it would convene a political and security dialogue with Malaysia, establish an Australia-Malaysia Institute and strengthen commercial and political ties with Singapore and Thailand.

The Coalition highlighted the importance of growing Australia’s political and strategic relationship with India, stated it would support a move towards the full restoration of constitutional democracy and a peaceful resolution of the Kashmir issue in Pakistan and work towards a successful transition to democracy in Afghanistan.
The US remained key to Australia’s future security and prosperity, and the Coalition stated it would bring into force a free trade agreement between the two countries, build on economic opportunities, work together against international terrorism, and implement activities under the MOU with the US on Missile Defence, among other initiatives.
In the South Pacific, the Coalition stated it would work with Papua New Guinea to address its long-term development needs, pursue further economic integration with New Zealand, and ensure a measured transition in the Solomon Islands.

The Coalition pledged to reaffirm the importance of the Australia’s relationship with the EU and strengthen the UK–Australia relationship.  
The Coalition stated it would support the legitimate aspirations of the Palestinians for an independent homeland, maintain support for Iraq’s transition to democracy and protect closer links with the Gulf States.

A re-elected Coalition would support the UN Secretary-General’s efforts to reform the UN, support reform of the Security Council and promote reform of the antiquated UN electoral group system. It would continue to take practical steps to encourage respect for human rights throughout the region, use the position of Chair of the Commission of Human Rights to improve the Commission’s effectiveness, expand bilateral human rights dialogues and use Australia’s aid programme to promote human rights and good governance.

A re-elected Coalition would continue to focus Australia’s aid programme on poverty reduction in the Asia–Pacific region – with a particular emphasis on improved governance and the transfer of skills and enhanced regional security by investing in sound development programmes that promote growth, stability and prosperity.


2004 Coalition National Security Statement – National Security – The First Responsibility of Government

If re-elected, the Coalition stated it would further strengthen Australia’s counter-terrorism capabilities. At the local government level, it committed to establish a new Local Government Security Partnership Programme and a National Emergency Volunteer Support Program, and to ensure city mayors are briefed by intelligence agencies on security issues. The Coalition also pledged to hold additional National Counter Terrorism exercises, undertake a major upgrade of the Australian Institute of Policing, strengthen the AFP’s regional counter-terrorism capability, contribute to counter-terrorism capacity building projects in the Asia–Pacific, and sign and implement the final UN Counter-Terrorism Instruments.

The Coalition said it would implement a number of new measures to strengthen Australian intelligence agencies’ counter-terrorism capabilities, including establish a Centre for Counter Terrorism Intelligence Cooperation and Joint Training for Australia, enhance ASIO and ASIS’ linguistic capacity, and strengthen ASIO’s counter-terrorism capability through regional cooperation. It would also implement the recommendations of the Flood Inquiry, including expanding the budget of ONA to $25 million and establish a Foreign Intelligence Coordination Committee under the Director General of ONA.

The Coalition committed to the creation of a new Business Liaison Unit in ASIO to strengthen coordination and information flows between business and the intelligence community, and strengthen critical infrastructure projects. It sought to expand the Air Marshal program to include a range of new flight routes and stated it would build on the outcomes of the 2004 Business-Government Forum to establish an on-going advisory group as a mechanism for the Australian Government to discuss proposed new security initiatives.

In addition, the Coalition made commitments to establish a special collaborative research and development programme between DSTO, CSIRO and ASTO to further their work in counter-terrorism. It pledged to strengthen the role of the Science, Engineering and Technology Unit for Counter-Terrorism within PM&C and establish a formal agreement for information and staff exchanges with the US Department of Homeland Security.

The Coalition stated it would build on initiatives to further enhance regional cooperation on counter-terrorism issues, including: the establishment of two new Counter-Terrorism Regional Engagement Teams, two Counter Criminal Intelligence teams and additional specialist personnel, the development of a unit of highly trained operational linguists, the creation of two dedicated counter-terrorism surveillance teams and $11.2 million to upgrade the Australian Institute of Policing in Manly.

In order to help Australia’s regional partners promote moderate Islam, the Coalition stated it would devote significant resources to promote governance projects, educational programs, and economic development projects in the Asia–Pacific and the Middle East.

A re-elected Coalition would refine and strengthen Australia’s criminal law framework to investigate and prosecute serious crimes, including terrorism offences. It would also ensure there was a nationally consistent framework for national crime laws concerning assumed identities, enact legislation to support overseas criminal investigations and enact comprehensive money-laundering legislation.



2004 Coalition National Security Statement – Stronger Border Protection

The Coalition’s border protection policy focused on two objectives: deterring people from arriving in Australia unlawfully and dealing effectively and humanely with people who arrive unlawfully.

A re-elected Coalition committed to guarantee that Australia’s northern borders remain excised from its Migration Zone, maintain the Pacific Solution, and rigorously patrol Australia’s maritime borders. Those processed offshore who are assessed to be genuine refugees would continue to be able to apply to third countries (including Australia) for resettlement. The Coalition committed to continue to take in refugees who are determined to be genuine refugees by the UNHCR. Mandatory immigration detention for all unlawful non-citizens would be retained, as would the policy of three-year temporary protective visas for asylum seekers who have arrived unlawfully. In the area of compliance, the Coalition pledged to maintain its onshore and offshore compliance program, ensuring that all non-citizens working and living in Australia return to their homeland.

In addition, the Coalition committed to continue to work cooperatively with countries in the region through evidence-sharing and extradition arrangements, in order to dismantle transnational crime networks.

The Coalition had announced a $102 million maritime security package aimed at improving Custom’s capability—including new sea container examination facilities and incorporated x-ray technology at more ports.

A re-elected Coalition guaranteed the efficient and timely deployment of a squadron of state-of-the-art unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), slated to play a key role in maritime surveillance, and committed $600,000 to ensure Coastwatch is funded to trial the UAVs.

At a cost of $13.9 million over four years, Australia’s biological and chemical agent screening capability would be improved by providing Customs with: Raman Spectrometers, Gas Chromatograph-Mass Spectrometers, stationary and portable Ion Mobility Spectrometers and Immunoassay Trace Detectors. The Qantas Mail Handling Unit would receive a new generation, high-speed, multi-energy x-ray for mass examination of mail articles, while select Australia Post facilities would receive new metal detection technology. A re-elected Coalition stated it would invest $6.9 million in the Australia Customs Service detector dog breeding and training program.
In order to fight transnational crime, a re-elected Coalition would establish Australian Customs Service offices in Beijing and Indonesia, in order to combat transnational criminal activity, counter-terrorism and illegal people movements.


Updated: 25 Jul 2018