Comprehensive MOUs link Canberra ACT with DKI Nusantara and City of Melbourne with Kota Bandung

The Australia-Indonesia relationship has seen strong ties developed between provinces and states, notably DKI Jakarta and New South Wales, East Java and Western Australia, and Central Java and Queensland, and city links such as Brisbane with Semarang and Darwin with both Ambon and Denpassar. Comprehensive MOUs have now been signed between Australia's federal capital, Canberra ACT and Indonesia's emerging capital Nusantara, and between the powerhouse cities of Melbourne and Bandung:

(l-r) : Canberra-Nusantara MOU in Feb 2024; Bandung-Melbourne MOU in April 2024

AUSTRALA'S City of Melbourne (capital of Victoria state) and Indonesia's Kota Bandung (capital of West Java province) have been negotiating a formal agreement for many years.

Architect Ridwan Kamil, Bandung Mayor (2013-2018) and subsequently West Java Governor (2018-2023), was a great enthusiast for the connection and succeeding Mayors continued the work.

In 2019 a Letter of Intent (LOI) was signed as an initial commitment to formulate the aims and objectives of the cooperation, and the benefits, and these plans were approved in 2023.

Due to the international connection, following the Bandung City Council's ratification, approval was also needed from the national Regional Representative Chamber, Dewan Perwakilan Daerah (DPD).

Bandung Mayor Yana Mulyana said at the time that the agreement focussed on cooperation in five sectors: smart cities, economy and trade, human resource capacity-building, child-friendly cities, and start-up companies.

Megan Cockroft, International Business Development & Partnerships for the City of Melbourne concurred:

"After six years working to foster the City of Melbourne and Kota Bandung relationship, I'm so excited and proud that the partnership has finally been formalised through an Memoradum of Understanding (MOU)!

"More than just a piece of paper, we want this MOU to be a catalyst and a commitment that helps us deliver greater innovation, education, and business ecosystem connections between Melbourne and Bandung that can be accessed by startups, businesses, students, universities and other organisations for collaborations, knowledge-exchange, investment and R&D.

"I'm looking forward to the next steps as we bring this MOU to life through a range of new and innovative projects," she announced in LinkedIn.

Indonesia is expected to hold 2024's independence day ceremony on 17 August in Nusantara and thousands of civil servants are expected to move there by end of this year - Reuters

The Bandung-Melbourne MOU announcement closely follows the signing of an MOU between the planning authorities of Indonesia's new national capital Nusantara, which is emerging from the jungles of East Kalimantan province, and Australia's national capital city Canberra in the Australian Capital Territory (which was created out of NSW state in 1911) where the federal parliamentary building was first opened in 1927.

“The Australian Government is working with the Indonesian Government towards the development of Ibu Kota Nusantara,” said Australia's then Deputy Ambassador to Indonesia, Steve Scott at the signing ceremony on 27 February.

“We continue to work together by developing a masterplan to guide affordable, sustainable and safe urban mobility and by undertaking an environmental assessment to minimise environmental impacts. This MOU is the latest step in our efforts to support Nusantara’s development.”

The MOU was signed 'virtually' by Indonesia’s Nusantara Capital City Authority Chairman, Bambang Susantono, in Jakarta, and Australia’s National Capital Authority Chief Executive Officer, Sally Barnes, in Canberra.

Under current rules, Jakarta will remain Indonesia's capital until the president issues a decree officially naming Nusantara as the new capital, which is expected sometime this year, Reuters reported. The government is expected to hold 2024's independence day ceremony on 17 August in Nusantara and thousands of civil servants are expected to move there by end of this year.

 Melbourne, Bandung City Governments Sign MOU - SEA Today News, 25 April 2024