The Australian Government is committed to developing Australia’s civil-military capabilities to prevent, prepare for and respond more effectively to conflicts and disasters overseas, the Parliamentary Secretary for Defence, Senator David Feeney, said today.
Senator Feeney was commenting on the opening of the conference centre and library at the Asia Pacific Civil-Military Centre of Excellence in Queanbeyan, New South Wales.
“The Labor government has invested $8 million in the Centre, which was estabished in 2008,” Senator Feeney said. “We established the Centre to undertake a number of tasks to develop Australia’s civil-military capability, including developing and facilitating training and strengthening interdepartmental civil-military collaboration.”
“I recently had an opportunity to visit the Centre and was briefed on its work by the Executive Director, Maj-Gen Mike Smith. I was very impressed by the enthusiasm and professionalism of the Centre’s staff and the importance of the work they are doing.”
“I want to acknowledge the work of my predecessor as Parliamentary Secretary, the Hon Dr Mike Kelly AM, the member for Eden-Monaro, in getting this centre established in Queanbeyan.”
The Centre is now delivering a number of key outcomes, including the development of draft guidelines for the protection of civilians for the African Union; Civil-Military Coordination Courses, delivered both here in Australia and in the region, on behalf of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs; and the development of a conceptual framework for civil-military collaboration in conflict and disaster management overseas.
The Centre now includes a training and conference facility, as well as a civil-military research library, which have been established to facilitate the delivery of the Centre’s programs in training and education, conflict management and prevention, governance and the rule of law, humanitarian, recovery and disaster management, and research.
“I commend the Centre for its achievements to date, and welcome the contribution it is making to Australia’s national capacity to manage more effectively its response to conflicts and disasters overseas,” Senator Feeney said.
Ministerial Support and Public Affairs,
Department of Defence,