Security and defence in Australia's maritime domain
Additional Publication Information
As a nation surrounded by water, Australia's prosperity and security are profoundly affected by the sea. Over 98 per cent of Australian exports by volume leave Australia on ships. The bulk of Australia's petroleum comes from undersea fields, and all of the imported petroleum reaches Australia by sea. Virtually all of Australia's telecommunications to the outside world pass through fibre-optic submarine cables, while traditional maritime industries like fishing have always been a significant part of the national economy. Even the critically important tourism industry is heavily dependent on beautiful beaches, blue water and the wonders of the Great Barrier Reef.
The importance of the oceans to Australia means that there is no shortage of effort made to safeguard Australia's ocean areas, coastline and the uses to which they are put. This chapter considers the mechanisms used to protect Australia's maritime interests, both in an international and domestic context. It also briefly reviews the role of the states in these efforts.