Australian Embassy to be opened in Ulaanbaatar Mongolia

Australian Embassy to be opened in Ulaanbaatar Mongolia

2015 Foreign Affairs Budget, Media release, 12 May 2015, Australian Minister for Foreign Affairs, The Hon Julie Bishop MP

2015 Foreign Affairs Budget

Media release

12 May 2015

The 2015 Budget is part of the Australian Government’s plan to build a strong, safe and prosperous future for all Australians.

The Australian Government will commit $98.3 million to open five new overseas missions in consultation with host governments. In a major expansion of Australia’s overseas diplomatic network, new posts will be established in:

  • Doha, Qatar
  • Buka, Bougainville, Papua New Guinea
  • Makassar, Indonesia
  • Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia
  • Phuket, Thailand

This is the single largest expansion of Australia’s diplomatic network in forty years.

These new missions will advance trade and investment opportunities for Australia and provide Australians with a greater level of consular assistance when travelling and working overseas.

Australia will provide an estimated $4 billion in total Official Development Assistance (ODA) in 2015-16, making us approximately the 13th largest donor in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) in dollar terms.

The aid program will reflect the different development and economic trajectories across the region and will continue the Government’s commitment to development in the Pacific and building economic partnerships across Asia.

The Australian Government will also establish a $50 million competitive gender equality fund to strengthen gender equality and women’s economic empowerment in our region.

The Budget delivers $106 million to ensure the Australian Embassy in Baghdad continues to play its critical role in supporting the international effort to combat terrorism. The rise of the terrorist group ISIL, or Da’esh, is a threat to the stability of Iraq and the broader region, and to Australia’s security.

The Budget also provides $138.4 million to continue Australia’s diplomatic engagement and security arrangements in Afghanistan to ensure that the country does not again become a safe haven for terrorists.

The Government will also construct a new Australian Embassy building in Washington DC to replace the existing dilapidated building.

The Government will improve the passport application process by removing penalties for lost and stolen passports, introducing a replacement passport option and increasing the validity of passports issued to 16 and 17 year olds to 10 years.

The Australian Government is committed to broadening and deepening Australia’s engagement in the Indo-Pacific region, protecting our national interests, growing our national prosperity and contributing to regional and global stability and security.

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