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Prime Minister visits HMAS Broome
07 July 2010

Prime Minister, The Hon Julia Gillard MP, speaks with Commanding Officer HMAS Broome, Lieutenant Kylie Beumer, on the bridge of the ship.
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New Prime Minister Julia Gillard visited HMAS Broome in Darwin to coincide with the announcement of a boost to Australia's international border patrols.

As part of the $25million package, extra patrol boats, surveillance aircraft and communications equipment would be provided to help the Indonesian National Police detect and disrupt people smuggling ventures in Indonesian waters.

Also, new land-based policing surveillance and investigative equipment will be made available for partner law enforcement agencies in Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.

Additionally, seven more Australian Federal Police officers would be available to increase our presence in the region and boost the team that works with our regional law enforcement partners and $5 million would be given to develop the computer forensic capabilities of the Indonesian National Police.

Eighteen boats and 18 aircraft are currently deployed to protect Australia's borders as part of Operation Resolute.

The announcement comes a day after Prime Minister Gillard revealed she would seek greater regional co-operation to deal with people smuggling, including establishing a refugee processing centre in East Timor.

The Prime Minister, who inspected Customs vessels and navy patrol boats in Darwin, said the package underlined the government's commitment to working with regional neighbours on the problem of people-smuggling.

The visit saw Prime Minister Gillard join simulated boarding exercises aboard the patrol boat HMAS Broome, one of the vessels employed in intercepting asylum-seeker boats.

Operations involving Australian agencies have resulted in authorities in Malaysia, Sri Lanka and Indonesia disrupting 204 people smuggling ventures involving more than 5,000 people bound for Australia since September 2008.