The Hon. Alexander Downer, MP
The Hon. Alexander Downer, MP

Joint Media Release

Australia - Indonesia


17 March 2005

Australia Indonesia Partnership for Reconstruction and Development - Inaugural Joint Commission Meeting

Indonesian and Australian Ministers are pleased to announce a successful outcome to the inaugural meeting of the Joint Commission for the Australia Indonesia Partnership for Reconstruction and Development (AIPRD) held in Canberra today.

This first Joint Commission meeting represents a milestone in Australia-Indonesia relations.  The agreements reached at this meeting confirm the commitment of both Governments to implementing the Partnership and ensuring that the benefits of Australia's new $1 billion aid package flow quickly to Indonesia's citizens.

The meeting was opened by the Australian Prime Minister, the Hon John Howard MP, who emphasised the desire within the Australian Government and community to forge even closer links with Indonesia in the aftermath of the 26 December tsunami disaster.

Noting the urgent need to restore services in Aceh, Ministers agreed work would begin immediately on a $50 million 'Aceh Rehabilitation Program'.  The program will include assistance to renovate the Zainoel Abidin Hospital in Banda Aceh and rebuild the health workforce; provide essential education equipment and teacher training; and help restore essential government services to the devastated province.

Ministers also agreed a $10 million program to strengthen Indonesia's disaster management and response systems and build a closer partnership between Indonesia's disaster coordination authority, BAKORNAS, and Emergency Management Australia (EMA). A $5 million package of assistance measures will also be developed to address needs arising from the recent earthquakes in Alor and Nabire.

Recognising the wide ranging reform agenda of the new administration of President Yudhoyono, a major $50 million, five year program will assist Indonesia in economic, financial and public sector management, through the exchange of skills and expertise between Australian and Indonesian Government agencies.

Ministers agreed arrangements under the Partnership to guide priority setting and decision-making; to ensure joint management; and to govern tendering and contracting.  Terms and conditions for the $500 million loan program were agreed, with detailed arrangements to be finalised in a formal loan agreement to be signed as soon as possible.    

The Joint Commission meeting was attended by the Australian Minister for Foreign Affairs, the Hon Alexander Downer MP, and Treasurer, the Hon Peter Costello MP, and the Indonesian Minister for Foreign Affairs, HE Dr Hassan Wirajuda, and State Minister of National Development Planning and Chair of the National Planning Board (BAPPENAS), HE Dr Sri Mulyani Indrawati.

Inquiries:  Chris Kenny (Mr Downer's office) 02 62777 500

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