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Output 3 - Civil maritime surveillance and response

Customs Officer, Tracy Coutts at the National Surveillance Centre.

Customs Officer, Tracy Coutts at the National Surveillance Centre.

Output 3 pricing is shown in the financial statements.

This Output covers the provision of air and marine civil surveillance and response services to a number of government agencies. The aim of the Output is to detect, report and respond to potential or actual non-compliance with relevant laws in coastal and offshore regions. A principal provider of civil coastal surveillance is Coastwatch, a Division of Customs.

Interception of prohibited or restricted goods resulting from specific civil maritime surveillance and response operations is reported under Output 1.

Key operational objectives in 2004–05 were:

As a result of December 2004 decisions the Government formed the Joint Offshore Protection Command (JOPC), an additional objective was added:

Key achievements in 2004–05 were:

Key performance indicators are set out in the 2004–05 Portfolio Budget Statements. Figure 22 provides an assessment of Customs performance against these indicators. Further performance results are detailed in the sections to follow.

Figure 22: Performance against targets set in the 2004–05 Portfolio Budget Statement–Output 3

Quality/quantity performance measures




Number of interceptions of suspect illegal entry vessels (SIEVs)+



Number of apprehensions of foreign fishing vessels (FFVs)+



Number of legislative forfeitures of FFVs+



Number of suspect unlawful non-citizens (SUNCs) intercepted by sea (including ships’ crew)



Number of illegal, unregulated and unreported (IUU) vessels sighted and identified in the Australian Exclusive Economic Zone in the Southern Ocean



Number of IUU vessels boarded in the Southern Ocean



Number of IUU vessels apprehended in the Southern Ocean




Aerial surveillance coverage (square nautical miles)##

Coastwatch contracted aircraft and Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) assets



Coastwatch contracted satellite



High frequency surface wave radar





Sorties flown by Coastwatch contracted aircraft


4 425

Aerial Surveillance (flying hours)

Coastwatch contracted aircraft

21 145

20 520

RAAF P3 Orion~




21 395

20 542

Marine surveillance and response (vessel sea days)

RAN Fremantle Class Patrol Boat

1 800


Customs ocean going vessels greater than 12 metres

2 400

2 372


4 200

2 954

Southern Ocean surveillance (vessel sea days)






* Targets may be performance targets, service level targets or estimates.

** Performance targets cannot be estimated through any reliable statistical or other method.

+ Total number of interceptions by Customs and the Australian Defence Force.

## The figure for square nautical miles patrolled is an indicative figure derived from a standard formula that incorporates average speed of advance, time on task and surveillance sweep for each type of aircraft; and the proportion of time on task spent in visual or radar mode; as a factor of the number of hours each aircraft type undertook surveillance during the period.

^ The high frequency surface wave radar trial commenced in the second half of 2004–05 with a coverage of some 10 000 square nautical miles of a discrete vector, in the approach to the Torres Strait, each day.

~ The target is based on a long-standing Defence commitment to Customs for the civil maritime surveillance program. Resources for Australia’s civil maritime surveillance program are also provided by Defence through Operation Relex II. The hours/vessel sea days are costed in accordance with rates provided by Defence.

Note: The Australian Defence Force commitment to Operation Relex II is not reflected in the reporting of square nautical miles patrolled, Royal Australian Navy Fremantle Patrol Boat days, and RAAF P3 Orion hours.

Defence resources received free of charge

Government agencies undertake surveillance of the Australian Exclusive Economic Zone (AEEZ) within two distinct areas of operation. In the north and north-west of Australia, Defence has the lead in the deterrence of unauthorised boat arrivals seeking to enter Australian waters. This is referred to as Operation Relex II.

Elsewhere in the AEEZ, Customs is the lead agency, and Defence operates in support under the codename Operation Cranberry. The JOPC assumed command, on behalf of Defence, of Operations Relex II and Cranberry.

Within the Relex II areas of operation, Defence assets continue to identify events of interest to Coastwatch client agencies, report them to the Coastwatch National Surveillance Centre and respond where appropriate

For accounting purposes, the Defence resources deployed for maritime surveillance and response within the Relex II areas of operation are reported against the Department of Defence Portfolio Estimates and Annual Report. Defence assets undertaking identical activities in the non-Relex II areas of the AEEZ, under Operation Cranberry, are reported as Resources Provided Free of Charge within Output 3 of the Customs Portfolio Estimates and Annual Report.

When Defence activities under Operations Relex II and Cranberry are considered together, Defence is making a significant contribution to the Civil Maritime Surveillance Program in excess of the 1800 Fremantle-class days and 250 P3-C Orion hours notionally allocatedeach year.


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