Australian Government, 2005–06 Budget

Foreign Affairs and Trade

Australian Tsunami Warning System — Indian and Pacific Oceans
Expense ($m)
2005-06 2006-07 2007-08 2008-09
Bureau of Meteorology 2.9 4.2 6.5 7.6
Geoscience Australia 2.9 4.3 4.3 3.3
Attorney-General’s Department 2.0 1.8 1.4 1.3
Bureau of Meteorology 0.4 0.4 0.4 0.4
Australian Agency for International Development - - - -
Total 8.3 10.7 12.6 12.7
Related capital ($m)
Geoscience Australia 4.2 1.7 0.4 -
Bureau of Meteorology 2.0 4.0 7.6 4.1
Attorney-General’s Department 0.7 - - -
Total 6.9 5.6 8.0 4.1

The Government will provide $68.9 million over four years (including $24.6 million in capital funding) to establish an Australian Tsunami Warning System and to contribute to regional warning systems in the Indian and Pacific Oceans.

Funding of $14.9 million and $21.2 million over four years will be provided to Geoscience Australia (GA) and the Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) respectively, to develop a 24-hour analysis and warning centre.

The centre will be connected to a network of new and upgraded seismographs and tidal gauges covering Australia’s coastlines on the Indian and Pacific Oceans, for which capital funding of $6.3 million and $17.6 million over four years will be provided to GA and the BoM respectively. This will enable more accurate detection of the magnitudes and locations of large earthquakes occurring on Australia’s plate boundaries, and better measurement of oceanographic effects.

The centre will be able to analyse data in real-time and verify potential tsunamis. In such an event, the centre would issue warnings to state and territory emergency services to take prompt action to avoid loss of life and minimise damage to infrastructure. Funding of $6.6 million over four years will be provided to Emergency Management Australia (EMA) for coordination and public awareness planning with these authorities. Capital funding of $0.7 million will also be provided to EMA for a dedicated communications network to improve response coordination with these authorities.

The Government will also provide $2.6 million over four years to improve the ability of regional governments to provide warnings to coastal areas around the Indian and Pacific Oceans as part of an integrated regional network. Funding of $1.6 million over four years will be provided to the BoM for a contribution towards UNESCO’s Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission coordination of an Indian Ocean Tsunami Warning System. In addition, funding of $1.0 million per annum over four years, to be absorbed within existing resources of the Australian Agency for International Development, will provide for technical assistance to Indian Ocean and South West Pacific nations.

Australian Youth Ambassadors for Development
Expense ($m)
2005-06 2006-07 2007-08 2008-09
Australian Agency for International Development - - - -

The Government will provide an additional $24.5 million over four years from 2005-06 to expand the Australian Youth Ambassadors for Development (AYAD) programme.

The AYAD programme, launched in 1998, places young Australians (aged 18-30) on short-term assignments (for three to 12 months) in developing countries throughout the Asia-Pacific region, where they carry out a range of development activities. With the expansion of the programme, the number of young Australians selected for overseas development assignments will be increased from 230 to 400 by 2006.

The cost of this measure is being fully absorbed from within the existing resourcing of AusAID.

Further information can be found in the media release of 13 August 2004, issued by the Prime Minister.

Heavily Indebted Poor Countries Initiative
Expense ($m)
2005-06 2006-07 2007-08 2008-09
Australian Agency for International Development - - - -

The Government provided $34.8 million in 2004-05 to continue to finance Australia’s share of multilateral debt relief under the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) Debt Initiative. The full expense is recognised as accruing in 2004-05, with cash payments being made over the three years from 2005-06 to 2007-08.

The HIPC initiative provides debt relief to those of the world’s poorest and most heavily indebted countries that are pursuing sound adjustment and reform programmes supported by the International Monetary Fund and World Bank. The HIPC debt relief package is in addition to Australia’s bilateral aid to these countries.

Indonesia and Sri Lanka debt moratorium
Expense ($m)
2005-06 2006-07 2007-08 2008-09
Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade * * * *

The Government has agreed to offer the governments of Indonesia and Sri Lanka a moratorium on scheduled debt repayments for 2005. The deferred payments will be repaid from 2006 to 2009. The financial implications of this measure will be quantified when further details of the moratorium are determined by bilateral negotiations, which are to be completed by 30 September 2005.

The agreement is part of an effort by the Paris Club members to assist the countries affected by the December 2004 tsunami. The debt moratorium will be in addition to the direct assistance already provided by Australia and other Paris Club members.

Further information can be found in the press release of 11 March 2005 issued by the Minister for Foreign Affairs and the Minister for Trade.

Iraq — reconstruction assistance
Expense ($m)
2005-06 2006-07 2007-08 2008-09
Australian Agency for International Development 22.5 22.5 - -

The Government will provide $45.0 million over two years for further reconstruction assistance to Iraq. The assistance will support Iraq’s development in high priority areas, including agriculture, governance and economic and trade reform.

This measure is part of the Government’s contribution to reconstruction efforts in Iraq. See also the related measures titled Iraq — funding for stabilisation and reconstruction activities and Iraq — Australian Defence Force deployments to the Al Muthanna Province in the Defence portfolio.

Nauru — maintenance of a temporary Consulate-General
Expense ($m)
2005-06 2006-07 2007-08 2008-09
Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade 0.8 - - -

The Government will provide $0.8 million to continue Australia’s diplomatic presence in Nauru in 2005-06. The operation of the temporary Consulate-General is in accordance with the commitment made in the Memorandum of Understanding with the Government of Nauru in relation to the accommodation of unauthorised boat arrivals.

Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands
Expense ($m)
2005-06 2006-07 2007-08 2008-09
Australian Federal Police 129.7 124.6 120.3 119.7
Australian Agency for International Development 72.2 73.8 69.8 66.4
Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade 3.8 3.9 4.0 3.4
Attorney-General’s Department 1.4 1.3 1.2 1.3
Total 207.1 203.6 195.3 190.8
Related capital ($m)
Australian Federal Police 15.6 9.5 8.4 10.2

The Government will provide $840.5 million over four years (including $43.6 million in capital funding) to continue its programme of assisting the Solomon Islands Government to restore law and order, provide for the ongoing rebuilding of the legal and justice system (including reform of the Royal Solomon Islands Police Force), and pursue economic, governance and public sector reforms.

The associated capital funding will provide for building refurbishment and the replacement of vehicles, communications and computer equipment used by the Australian Federal Police. A provision of $834.4 million over four years was included in the contingency reserve in the Mid-Year Fiscal Economic Outlook 2004-05 for the expected impact of the continuation of this programme from 2005-06 onwards.

Trade facilitation — additional export facilitators for the United States market
Expense ($m)
2005-06 2006-07 2007-08 2008-09
Australian Trade Commission 3.0 3.0 - -

The Government will provide $6.0 million over two years to appoint 30 export facilitators to pursue export opportunities arising from the Australia-United States Free Trade Agreement (AUSFTA). The initiative will help small and medium-sized Australian businesses take advantage of export opportunities, targeting government procurement, agricultural and other niche markets.

This measure was announced on 26 September 2004 as part of the Government’s election commitment Supporting Australian Exporters.

Travellers’ Emergency Loan Scheme
Expense ($m)
2005-06 2006-07 2007-08 2008-09
Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade 0.3 0.3 0.3 0.3

The Government will provide an additional $1.2 million over four years for the Travellers’ Emergency Loan Scheme. The scheme assists Australian travellers who need temporary financial assistance including for repatriation and/or emergency medical evacuation. Loans can also be provided to Australians who are long-term prisoners overseas for basic needs such as medicines.

The additional allocation brings total funding for the scheme to $0.5 million per year.

Tsunami — Australia-Indonesia Partnership for Reconstruction and Development
Expense ($m)
2005-06 2006-07 2007-08 2008-09
Australian Agency for International Development 115.0 125.0 125.0 125.0
Related capital ($m)
Australian Agency for International Development - - - -

The Government will provide $1 billion over five years ($500.0 million in grants and $500.0 million in loans) to support Indonesia’s reconstruction and development efforts, both within the areas affected by the December 2004 tsunami and beyond. It is expected that $10 million will be paid as grants in 2004-05.

The funding will be held in two special accounts. This will separate the funds from other aid money and will ensure they are used for the precise purposes for which they have been allocated.

The provision of loans from the budget, and their repayment, affect only the composition of the Australian Government’s financial assets and, as such, the loans provided under this measure will have no impact on the fiscal balance.

See also the related expense measure Tsunami — Australia-Indonesia Partnership for Reconstruction and Development – administration costs.

Tsunami — Australia-Indonesia Partnership for Reconstruction and Development — administration costs
Expense ($m)
2005-06 2006-07 2007-08 2008-09
Australian Agency for International Development 5.6 - - -
Related capital ($m)
Australian Agency for International Development - - - -

The Government will provide $8.1 million over two years (including $2.5 million in 2004-05) to cover the administration costs for the Australia-Indonesia Partnership for Reconstruction and Development. This includes capital funding of $0.1 million in 2004-05.

Funding for the administration costs is in addition to the $1 billion being provided by the Government for Indonesia’s reconstruction and development.

See also the related expense measure titled Tsunami — Australia-Indonesia Partnership for Reconstruction and Development in the Foreign Affairs and Trade portfolio.

Tsunami — financial assistance
Expense ($m)
2005-06 2006-07 2007-08 2008-09
Various Agencies 15.9 2.5 1.5 1.4
Related capital ($m)
Health Insurance Commission - - - -

The Government will provide $151.6 million over five years (including $130.2 million in 2004-05) for costs incurred by agencies as part of Australia’s response to the December 2004 tsunami disaster. The provision includes capital funding of $0.1 million in 2004-05.

The majority of the funding is for AusAID ($50.5 million) and the Department of Defence ($62.0 million) for emergency activities such as medical support, provision of relief supplies and water purification on the ground in the worst affected areas. Funding for the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade ($17.3 million) is for consular assistance to Australians in affected areas, victim identification and repatriation of their remains, whole-of-government crisis management, and operation of the consular hotline in Australia. Funding for the Australian Federal Police ($4.9 million) is for disaster victim identification.

The Government is also providing a package of assistance addressing health and psychological issues for adversely affected Australians. This package is funded through the Departments of Family and Community Services ($7.2 million) and Health and Ageing ($6.9 million).


Miscellaneous