Minister for Defence Dr Ng Eng Hen met Australian Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Defence Richard Marles during the 13th meeting of the Singapore-Australia Joint Ministerial Committee (SAJMC) this afternoon.
During the meeting, the Ministers reaffirmed the steady progress in deepening defence cooperation under the Singapore-Australia Comprehensive Strategic Partnership. Both Ministers also noted the progress on the joint development of training areas and advanced training facilities, such as at the Shoalwater Bay Training Area (SWBTA) in Queensland, Australia, which is expected to be completed in 2024. These facilities will benefit both the Australia Defence Force (ADF) and Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) in years to come. This year marks the 33rd year of the SAF's training at the SWBTA. Our long history of partnership is testament to the close and long-standing bilateral defence relationship between Singapore and Australia.
In addition, both Ministers discussed regional and security issues of mutual concern to both countries. They reaffirmed the close cooperation between both countries on the ASEAN Defence Ministers' Meeting-Plus and the Five Power Defence Arrangements (FPDA), and agreed that both countries will contribute constructively to regional security and stability.
The SAF and the ADF share a long history of military cooperation, with extensive interactions including bilateral and multilateral exercises, mutual visits, professional exchanges, cross attendance of courses of personnel for professional courses and joint operational deployments.
The 13th meeting of the SAJMC was also attended by Minister for Foreign Affairs Dr Vivian Balakrishnan, Minister for Trade and Industry Mr Gan Kim Yong and their respective Australian counterparts.