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Minister Joins Australian Navy At Darling Harbour

Minister Joins Australian Navy At Darling Harbour

Australia's Defence Minister, the Hon Joel Fitzgibbon MP, today joined Chief of Navy, Vice Admiral Russ Shalders, and some of the world's leading naval and maritime experts at the 2008 Sea Power Conference.

The Minister opened the Conference, along with the Pacific 2008 Congress and the International Maritime Conference, which are running concurrently at Sydney's Darling Harbour.

In his first major speech as Minister for Defence, Mr Fitzgibbon outlined the important work being undertaken by members of the ADF around the globe. He also highlighted some of the global security challenges being faced, particularly in the maritime environment.

"Our Navy has a fundamentally important role to play in the defence of Australia and our national interests," Mr Fitzgibbon said.

"Strong links with regional allies is essential as we work collectively to maintain regional security and build prosperity. Conferences such as this allow us to discuss issues of mutual interest and to build understanding and confidence between nations."

Mr Fitzgibbon also spoke about the financial, capability and people challenges the new Government is facing in the Defence portfolio.

Also participating in the Conference this year are senior Naval officers from the United States, the United Kingdom, India, Pakistan and Singapore - each presenting their own perspective on maritime security issues.

The Sea Power Conference runs from Tuesday, 29 January to Thursday, 31 January at the Darling Harbour convention centre.

For a full program of speakers log on to www.seapower2008.com

ENDS

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