OUTCOME 1: Australia's national interests protected and advanced through contributions to international security, national economic and trade performance and global cooperation
Services to the diplomatic and consular corps
At the close of the reporting year, the department was providing services to 79 diplomatic missions resident in Canberra, nine international organisations in Australia, 27 non-resident diplomatic missions and international organisations, and 310 consular posts throughout Australia, representing 133 countries overall.
We implemented a number of government decisions on the protection of foreign missions, and ensured that other Commonwealth agencies and relevant protective agencies understood their obligations in relation to foreign representatives.
Our involvement in preparing the National Capital Authoritys booklet, The Right to ProtestA Guide, will help ensure that account is taken of the protection of foreign mission property, staff and dignity in the event of protests in the Australian Capital Territory (ACT). We also produced the booklet Elements of Diplomatic and Consular Immunities for Australian police services, setting out diplomatic and consular corps privileges and immunities. Federal and State police services have drawn on our material and resources to include Vienna Convention obligations in their training manuals and courses.
The process of replacing and updating identity cards for the diplomatic and consular corps was completed during the year, and the department arranged for the corps to receive improved airport access.
In the lead-up to the introduction of the goods and services tax (GST), we negotiated for an indirect tax concessions scheme to be applied to foreign missions on a broadly reciprocal basis. We briefed members of the corps in Canberra on voluntary service in the ACT and provided support for the diplomatic corps spouses charity bazaar. Both events helped in building stronger links between the corps and the ACT community.
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