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Australia signs with East Timor, NZ

The Australian Government has signed important aviation, security and trade agreements witht he governments of East Timor and New Zealand.

East Timor

The Australian Government will invest $100,000 in the East Timor Aviation Security Project to provide training for more than 250 East Timorese airport and aviation security officials. 

The East Timor Aviation Security Project will improve aviation security skills in areas such as passenger and baggage screening, and it will help East Timor strengthen its aviation security laws and regulations.

Australian Government transport security experts will work on the ground with their East Timorese counterparts at Dili Airport and within the East Timor Department of Civil Aviation.

Officials from both countries will work together to make sure the East Timorese get the training they need to deliver internationally recognised aviation security standards.

New Zealand

Australia and New Zealand Customs have committed to a series of initiatives that will further streamline travel and trade between the two countries.

The Australian Minister for Home Affairs, Bob Debus, and NZ Customs Minister Nanaia Mahuta met in Canberra to discuss closer ties between the respective Customs Services.

Mr Debus said Australian and NZ Customs were involved in a data sharing pilot that could ultimately allow Trans-Tasman traders to submit a single data entry to both Customs administrations simultaneously. This would allow for earlier and more accurate receipt of data by Customs and for reduced compliance costs and time-savings for industry.

The ministers also committed to enhance border security through more effective cooperation targeting criminal networks, maritime security threats and intellectual property theft.

Customs are now working on joint intelligence and investigation responses to identified border risks, including those posed by criminal networks common to both countries.

Mr Debus said Australian and NZ Customs would shortly sign an agreement to formalise a cooperative relationship between Border Protection Command and the National Maritime Coordination Centre in New Zealand.

"This agreement will significantly enhance security in the trans-Tasman maritime environment and provide a greater capability for each nation to assess and respond to maritime security threats," he said.

"The seizure of 27kg of cocaine in 2006 from the hull of a vessel which transited NZ en-route to Australia is a prime example of the value of such an approach," Ms Mahuta said.

Both Ministers also agreed to work together to continue building the capacity of Customs agencies throughout the Pacific region.

"It is essential that Pacific nations possess the skills and technology to be able to tackle emerging problems such as terrorism, drug and people smuggling," Mr Debus said.

"Both of our Customs agencies face large increases in cargo volumes and passenger numbers at ports and airports in coming years. In addition, criminal networks are becoming more sophisticated," Ms Mahuta said.

Ms Mahuta said initiatives to tackle these developments jointly, rather than in isolation, recognise that the challenges are not unique to either side of the Tasman.

 

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