Questions arising from the Budget supplementary estimates-November 2003

SIEV X-Harbour Master document

Senator Collins

a) Has Defence received a copy of the apparently official Indonesian document from the Harbour Master at Sunda Kelapa Port, North Jakarta dated 24 October 2001?
b) Why did the Gates review of intelligence pertaining to SIEV X report the "absence of positional data from either SIEV X itself or the fishing boats that rescued the survivors" without examining the existence of a report from the Harbour Master in Jakarta?

The Gates review was finalised on 4 July 2002. A facsimile of the Harbourmasters document was received by the Public Affairs and Corporate Communication Group via the media on 30 July 2002.

SIEV X-Corroboration of coordinates

Senator Kirk

In the advice provided by Rear Admiral Gates to the Senate Inquiry into a Certain Maritime Incident, he discounted the validity of the Harbour Master coordinates at Sunda Kelapa Port. Rear Admiral Gates stated "In the absence of positional data from either SIEV X itself or the fishing boats that rescued the survivors, Defence can only speculate as to where the vessel foundered."

a) Given that the coordinates 07 40 00S/105 09 00E were provided by the skipper of the Arta Kencana 38, as the location in which the Indah Jaya Makmur found the survivors, is Defence able to corroborate this information?
b) If not, why has this not been attempted?
c) Has the AFP at any time sought to have these coordinates corroborated by Defence? If so, what was the outcome?

a) No.
b) It is clear from the Harbour Master's report that the coordinates were passed from one boat captain to another and then to the Harbour Master (by unstated means) before being recorded in the report. Information on the accuracy of the coordinates or their navigational basis remains uncertain. In these circumstances, Defence cannot confirm the veracity of the coordinates.
c) No.

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