The Indian Ocean region is growing in strategic importance. It is facing the risks of growing strategic competition, particularly between China and India. However, the region tends to be neglected by Australia despite extensive interests in the region and the possibility of threats to Australia’s security emerging from the region, including the risks of intrastate conflict, terrorism, smuggling in all its forms, and illegal fishing. Climate change, sea-level rise and natural disasters are other non-traditional security threats evident in the region. The northwest of Australia is particularly exposed to these challenges to maritime security and requires more attention in Australia’s security planning. More broadly, there is a range of other initiatives that Australia might take to engage more constructively in the region and help to enhance regional maritime security and oceans management.
S. Bateman & A. Bergin, 'New challenges for maritime security in the Indian Ocean - an Australian perspective' (2011) 7 (1) Journal of the Indian Ocean Region 117-125.