Few areas of the Attorney-General’s Department’s diverse span of work are immune from international developments. Areas of law that were almost exclusively the domain of domestic governments have increasingly taken on international dimensions. Inevitably, our responsibilities for national security and emergency management are directly affected by events overseas.

The 2017-18 Antarctic season will be the 70th anniversary of the Australian Antarctic Program. The international interest in Antarctica has grown significantly since it began and will continue to do so. It is timely that the Department of the Environment and Energy’s Australian Antarctic Division is participating in the development of the Foreign Policy White Paper, which will reflect Australia’s role as a leader in Antarctica.

Over the past decade, science, technology and innovation have become increasingly important to Australia’s foreign policy, and the foreign policies of our major trading partners.

The AFP plays an essential role in shaping and delivering the Australian Government’s international engagement agenda.  Our international activities are critical to ensuring the safety of Australia and its people. 

With huge smiles, the business people I met shared exciting plans for attracting inward investment and driving local exports into new markets. I had come to talk about the importance of expanding trade with South East Asia but they were ahead of me and had so much to share.

A White Paper may sound bureaucratic and complicated but getting it right can make a real difference to Australia’s security and prosperity.

We do right now have an extraordinarily challenging role in mapping out the ‘known’ and ‘unknown unknowns’ confronting Australia’s national and international interests. Harder than anything else I can remember in my time in the job.