Doorstop in Surabaya
JULIE BISHOP: I'm very pleased to be here in Surabaya, thesecond largest city in Indonesia, on the occasion of the official opening ofAustralia's fourth diplomatic mission in Indonesia, here in Surabaya. Thisunderscores the strength of our bilateral trade and investment relationship andthe opportunity that Australia sees in the growing area of East Java. Australiaand Indonesia have a close and enduring partnership. We work together on manyareas of close cooperation, from security and intelligence to education, tourism,governance. In fact, I've just spent some time with Foreign Minister RetnoMarsudi in Singapore for the ASEAN-related Foreign Ministers' meetings and weremarked on the deep strength of the relationship between Australia andIndonesia, so I'm very pleased to be here in another milestone in ourrelationship, the official opening of our Consulate-General in Surabaya.
JOURNALIST: Regardingthe relationship between Australia and Indonesia, after the terrorist attack inSurabaya two months ago, how about the relationship now?
JULIE BISHOP: Australia condemns the terrorist attacks thattook place here in Surabaya in May. We offer our sympathies and condolences tothe families of those innocent people who were killed, the churches and thepolice station that was under attack. We will continue to work closely withIndonesia in countering terrorism, in sharing information and intelligence andensuring that our law enforcement agencies work closely together to combatterrorism and combat violent extremism. It is in both our interests for thisvery close partnership in counter-terrorism to continue.
JOURNALIST: Andthat will not affect the Consulate-General Australia has built in Surabaya?
JULIE BISHOP: It makes us even more determined to go aboutour everyday lives. We must not be defeated by terrorism, we must continue towork together as two close communities. Indonesia is a successfulmulticultural, multi-faith example of how tolerance and diversity can succeedand Australia supports Indonesia in its aim to continue be such amulticultural, multi-faith society.
JOURNALIST: Aheadof the Bali Process Ministerial Meeting, do you think that Operation SovereignBorders is still a strategic part to deter irregular migration?
JULIE BISHOP: It's an absolutely necessary part ofAustralia's sovereignty and of our efforts to combat illegal criminal peoplesmuggling. The Bali Process is co-chaired by Australia and Indonesia. It's thepremier regional forum to tackle issues of people smuggling, human trafficking,modern slavery and transnational crime, and each country must develop their ownpolicies to ensure regular migration, credible migration policies and to upholdtheir national sovereignty.
JOURNALIST: Anyobjection from the Indonesian Government, or Minister Retno?
JULIE BISHOP: Not at all, we work closely together. We'relooking forward to co-chairing the Bali Process, as we have done for manyyears. Australia and Indonesia cooperate at the highest levels to ensure thatthe criminal people smuggling trade is not able to flourish.
JOURNALIST: Forrefugees arriving by sea, usually Australia has sent them to Nauru. Now thatNauru has been closed, will Australia have another country?
JULIE BISHOP: Australia has been successful in combattingthe people smuggling trade and there have been no successful illegal boatarrivals in Australia since the Coalition implemented strong border protectionpolicies. We are working with other countries to resettle those who sought tocome to Australia by boat, including with the United States.
JOURNALIST: Doyou have any comment on Belinda Lopez?
JULIE BISHOP: I understand that she was detained at theairport here, it's a matter of immigration concerns of the Indonesiangovernment and that she's returned to Australia.
JULIE BISHOP: That's one of the primary reasons that weopened a Consulate-General here in Surabaya. Australia sees many opportunitiesfor greater business investment for Australian companies here. There arealready Australian companies operating in East Java but also for investment andtwo-way trade, so we see East Java as an exciting, dynamic part of Indonesiawith a strong economy and many opportunities for economic growth which ofcourse provides more job opportunities, particularly for young people in thispart of Indonesia.
JOURNALIST: Isthere any specific agenda in Surabaya for Australia?
JULIE BISHOP: Yes, we are deepening our ties between EastJava and Australia. Already there is a strong relationship between East Javaand Western Australia and that's a good foundation for us to have a nationalpresence here through our Consulate-General. It's about building stronger tiesbetween the people of East Java and Australia, in education, in tourism, inbusinesses – small, medium, large – and also in investment. It's good for bothour nations and our citizens for there to be strong economic ties betweenAustralia and Indonesia.