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Australia pledges continued support for East Timor

Australia pledges continued support for East Timor

Australia’s commitment to supporting East Timor (Timor-Leste) was reinforced by the Minister for Justice and Customs, Senator Chris Ellison, during a visit to the country today.

Senator Ellison was in East Timor to officially open the new National Police of Timor-Leste (Policia, Nacional de Timor-Leste, PNTL) Information Technology Training Centre at the PNTL Police Academy. The Centre supports the Timor Leste Police Development Program, which consists of four components: crime prevention and community safety; investigations and operations; training and development; and administration, oversight and policy.

Senator Ellison said Australia’s support for policing in East Timor was a long term commitment.

“In my meetings with Ministers and other people today, I emphasised the co-operative nature of our assistance and that it must be efficient and effective” Senator Ellison said.

Senator Ellison expressed the Australian Government’s commitment to the early implementation of CCTV cameras within Dili airport to enhance security and he said the Australian Government would fund the equipment and installation phase.

Australia’s total development co-operation program with Timor-Leste is in the vicinity of $42 million per year, of which around $8 million per year of this goes towards police, justice and oversight institutions.

Australia provides expert advisers, training and other forms of assistance to help strengthen the administration of justice in Timor-Leste.

Senator Ellison said the country continued to make great progress in its long-term capacity building.

Senator Ellison met with the Acting Prime Minister, Minister for the Interior, Minister for State Administration and senior police officers. Senator Ellison also met with the Minister for Justice, Chief Justice of the Court of Appeals, and the Public Prosecutor to discuss further planned Australian assistance in the justice sector.

During these meetings Senator Ellison discussed a range of current and future challenges facing East Timor including, counter terrorism, immigration, illegal fishing and transnational crime involving drugs, human trafficking and people smuggling.

He also offered assistance in developing an anti money laundering framework which is currently under consideration by the East Timor Government.

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