Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Coast Guards of Australia
Australia, with 19,650 kilometres of coastline does not have a force purely to defend its coast. This is perhaps surprising to Americans who have a Coast Guard whose role is in part military. The duty of patrolling the Australian coastline falls to the Royal Australian Navy, the Australian Customs (through its Coastwatch division), and the Police services of the states. In addition, there are several private volunteer coast guard organizatations, the two largest rival organizations being the Royal Volunteer Coastal Patrol (established in 1937) and the Australian Volunteer Coast Guard (established in 1961). These volunteer organizations have no law enforcement powers, but are essentially auxiliary Search and Rescue services.
Since the MV Tampa incident, and the declaration of the War on Terrorism, there are calls by some Australians (especially by the Australian Labor Party) for the establishment of an American-style coast guard in Australia.
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