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18 March 2014 - Australia and Indonesia build partnerships in disaster response to enhance resilience of East Asia region

Minister for Justice

Australia and Indonesia build partnerships in disaster response to enhance resilience of East Asia region

18 March 2014

Minister for Justice Michael Keenan has welcomed Australia's participation in Indonesia's Mentawai Megathrust 2014, a disaster response training exercise involving a major earthquake and tsunami scenario.

Mentawai Megathrust 2014 aims to further develop Indonesia's capability to respond to major disasters, and test the international response.

'Exercises are critical to preparedness for major natural disasters which may be beyond the capabilities of even the best prepared nations, and I am sure all the participants in Mentawai Megathrust will take away important lessons,' Mr Keenan said.

'I congratulate Indonesia for taking this important step through the joint Indonesian-Australian East Asia Summit disaster management initiative to enhance rapid disaster response in the East Asia region.

'The importance of Australia's relationship with Indonesia is reflected in our close ties with the Indonesian National Agency for Disaster Management, and the support the Australian Government has provided to the Agency in planning and conducting the exercise.

'The Australian Government welcomes this opportunity to hone our readiness to provide, and potentially receive, international assistance in times of disasters,' Mr Keenan said.

Mentawai Megathrust is being held in Padang, West Sumatra, Indonesia from 16-23 March and involves delegations from member countries of the East Asia Summit.

The theme of the exercise is 'strengthening collaboration and partnership in disaster response to build a resilient region'.

Australia's delegation includes representatives from Emergency Management Australia, within the Attorney-General's Department; Defence; the Australian Civil-Military Centre and Australian Embassy Indonesia disaster response officials.

'This East Asia Summit's disaster management initiative is a key priority for the Australian Government and an important tool for supporting ASEAN's work in disaster management, as well as broader regional disaster cooperation,' Mr Keenan said.

The East Asia Summit, established in 2005, is a forum of 18 countries of the East Asia region aiming to further regional peace, security and prosperity.