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For Sale or Rent: Continent, quiet, secluded neighbourhood off the beaten

track, all round panoramic ocean views, magnificent gardens but some
irrigation needed for parts of property (suit handyman); no dwellings but huge
potential; many native fauna species on property available as pets or food;
traditional owners very obliging; suit pioneer couple wishing to get away from
it all. First to see will colonise!!

Thus might have been a Realtor advertisement for Terra Australis back in
1776. For many generations such a description of the Wide Brown Land
would have seemed modestly apt. Perhaps the traditional owners weren't as
thrilled to have European company as the real estate agent prophesied but
what agent ever failed to gild the lily just a bit. Maybe the middle bit of the
property was more parched than indicated but the few thousand early settlers
tended to hug the coast anyway. What that real estate agent got entirely right
was the backwater and oceanic nature of the continent.!

Good afternoon ladies and gentlemen. A week ago I commenced the Boyer
series of lectures with my thoughts on Australia's national security. To the
degree that our national security can ever be regarded as theoretical, in that
commentary I abstained from mentioning particular relationships except
inevitably I made some reference to the United States and our security
interdependence with the superpower, through the bonds of time, shared
values and not least through a security pact , the ANZUS Treaty.!

Yet to a huge degree so many aspects of our existence are outcomes of our
international relationshipseconomically, culturally, ethnically and
demographically as well as the obvious security dimension. And while there is
in all of this an obvious correlation between the size of the neighbour and the
distance from our shores, we would all agree that even tiny states in our close
region have an elevated significance. Tuvalu, population less than 20,000,
doesn't register on many radar screens of larger and more remote countries
but it has to be on ours. Equally though, there are so many nations large and
small in our region that I will have to be selective in remarking on key
relationships and thus excluding some very important nations and
relationships from my review. For example, Japan and the Koreas fall into
that category but it is my belief that we will for the foreseeable future see
them through the prism of their emerging neighbourhood superpowerChina.!

China frames the top end of our region and I could certainly spend all the rest
of my time speaking only about 'the Middle Kingdom'. I will get there later in
today's remarks but really I must start with our close and giant neighbour,
Indonesia. Can any of you remember a protracted period when Indonesia, its

actions and concerns and thus its relationship with Australia were not major
issues? From its move to independence, to the great political purges of the
Sukarno period, Confrontation, the annexation of East Timor, the long
Suharto regime, Irian Jaya, East Timor again in 1999, people smuggling,
terrorist actions and even that most tragic natural disaster event, the Asian
tsunami of 2004, all of these kept reminding us of the centrality of our
relationship with Indonesia.!

In my opinion, it is far and away our most complex and important regional
relationship. It is useful to remind ourselves that it is the world's most
populous Muslim state. That said while there is no doubt that Islam is one of
the unifying characteristics of the state, equally the nation is not
homogeneous and this just adds to the complexity. For all our scoffing,
Canberra elites are much better able to represent opinions and attitudes
within Australia than their equivalents in Jakarta for the quite diverse
population of the archipelago. It pains me to see from time to time in Australia
a simplistic attitude that this diversity somehow undermines the legitimacy of
a pluralistic construct to the Indonesian state. We have managed to convey
significant offence in this regard to many Indonesians over time. The United
States of America wasn't always so united!!

For Australia, there are rub points in the areas of cultural, economic,
nationalistic and ideo-religious interaction. Every one of these broad areas
has been a source of friction in the recent past (the Bali bombing followed by
a spate of other terrorist attacks; the various drug-running issues; peoplesmuggling; illegal fishing; sensitivity over Irian Jaya). Yet all of these issues
are being managed with reasonable success. One thing which has profoundly
impressed me over the last several governments in Australia, and in
Indonesia, is the assortment of pragmatic and effective joint working
relationships that have been formed. In the immediate aftermath of the
shocking Bali bombings of 12 October 2002, Commissioner Mick Keelty of
the Australian Federal Police moved very quickly to capitalise and expand
upon the relationship that existed with POLRI, the Indonesian national police,
to both investigate the crime and set up joint taskforces to contain and
eradicate further terrorism within the Indonesian jurisdiction. It is in the nature
of law and order operations that many of the successes of such partnerships
receive no publicity. But the people of both nations have very good cause to
applaud the partnership. I also think the Rudd government's decision to work
even more closely with the Indonesian government over people smuggling is
a very timely and apt theme of the relationship. I would go furtherI would be
seeking to collaborate with Indonesia on mutual law enforcement at sea in
relation to terrorism of course but also piracy and environmental challenges.

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