Joint Customs-Defence Media Release – Review of positioning of vessels engaged in Operation Sovereign Borders

21 January 2014 | Media Release

The Australian Customs and Border Protection Service (ACBPS) and the Australian Defence Force have commenced a joint review into Australian vessels which entered Indonesian waters contrary to Australian Government policy, during operations conducted in association with Operation Sovereign Borders.

The review was announced by Minister for Immigration and Border Protection, the Hon Scott Morrison MP, and Commander Joint Agency Task Force Lieutenant General Angus Campbell DSC, AM, on Friday 17 January 2014. The review will be co-chaired by senior officers from the ACBPS and the Australian Defence Force.

ACBPS and Defence acknowledge the seriousness of this matter and the urgency required as a consequence of the importance of our relationship with Indonesia.

The joint review will focus on the circumstances leading to the entry of Australian vessels into Indonesian waters. Specifically, the review will assess the sequence of events and cause of Australian vessels entering into Indonesian waters in connection with Operation Sovereign Borders.

The joint review will identify any potential procedural weaknesses or deficiencies in maritime operations and make recommendations to ensure that any immediate operational policy or procedure issues are highlighted and rectified promptly.

ACBPS and Defence expect to complete the report in the coming weeks. At that time, the ACBPS Chief Executive Officer and Chief of the Defence Force will consider release of the review’s findings.

Media note:

The review’s Terms of Reference are attached: Terms of Reference – Review of Operation Sovereign Borders vessel positioning

Media contact:

Customs and Border Protection Media (02) 6275 6793
Defence Media Operations (02) 6127 1999

Issued by Ministerial and Executive Coordination and Communication,
Department of Defence,
Canberra, ACT
Phone: 02 6127 1999 Fax: 02 6265 6946

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