The gifting of these enhanced systems is a milestone in AGO’s longstanding relationship with the bureau that dates back to the 1990s. The new technology and training provided by AGO will enhance the capability of the National Mapping Bureau to produce geospatial products across PNG.
The new systems were recently used to support PNG’s successful hosting of the 2018 Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Leaders’ Summit. Geospatial products delivered by the National Mapping Bureau were essential to the planning and execution of security operations for the summit.
Defence co-operation with PNG reflects a partnership built on a common history, deep community links and shared trade, investment and security interests. It also reflects Australia’s ongoing commitment to support regional partners and further deepen Australia’s engagement in the Pacific.
AGO is the lead geospatial and imagery intelligence organisation in Defence. Its purpose is to provide geospatial intelligence from imagery and other sources in support of Australia's defence and national interests.
Its functions, as prescribed in the Intelligence Services Act 2001, are:
- To obtain geospatial and imagery intelligence about the capabilities, intentions or activities of people or organisations outside Australia to meet the requirements of the Australian government;
- To obtain geospatial and imagery intelligence for the purposes of meeting the operational, targeting, training and exercise requirements of the Australian Defence Force;
- To obtain geospatial and imagery intelligence for the purposes of supporting Commonwealth and state authorities in carrying out national security functions;
- To communicate in accordance with government requirements the intelligence obtained under the above functions;
- To provide Commonwealth and state authorities and bodies approved by the Minister for Defence imagery and other geospatial products that are not intelligence, technical assistance and support for carrying out their emergency response functions;
- To co-operate with and assist bodies referred to in section 13A in accordance with that section; and
- To provide assistance to the Defence Force in support of military operations and to co-operate with the ADF on intelligence matters.
AGO's predecessor, the Defence Imagery and Geospatial Organisation (DIGO), was established under a Cabinet Directive on 8 November 2000 by amalgamating the Australian Imagery Organisation, the Directorate of Strategic Military Geographic Information and the Defence Topographic Agency.