Mine Ban Policy

Last updated: 12 November 2019


The Commonwealth of Australia signed the Mine Ban Treaty on 3 December 1997 and ratified it on 14 January 1999, becoming a State Party on 1 July 1999. On 10 December 1998, Australia enacted legislation to implement the Mine Ban Treaty domestically.[1]

Australia regularly attends meetings of the treaty, including the Third Review Conference in Maputo in June 2014, and more recently the Seventeenth Meeting of States Parties in Geneva in November 2018, where it made statements on victim assistance, cooperation and assistance, and a general statement.[2]

In 2018, Australia served as Coordinator of the Sponsorship Programme.[3] Australia served on the Standing Committees on Stockpile Destruction (2000–2002), Victim Assistance (2002–2004; 2009–2011), and Mine Clearance (2007–2009), and was president of the Seventh Meeting of States Parties in 2006.

Australia is party to the Convention on Conventional Weapons and its Amended Protocol II on landmines and Protocol V on explosive remnants of war. Australia is also party to the Convention on Cluster Munitions.

Production, import, use, stockpiling

Australia formally halted operational use of antipersonnel mines on 15 April 1996. Australia was a minor producer of antipersonnel mines. In 2000, Australia told the Monitor that antipersonnel mine production at the St. Mary’s Ammunition factory ceased in the early 1980s.[4]

Australia also imported mines from the United States (US).[5] Australia has never exported antipersonnel mines.

Australia destroyed its stockpile of 128,161 antipersonnel mines in 1999, well before its treaty-mandated destruction deadline of 1 July 2003. In 2000, it destroyed an additional 6,460 mines.[6] By December 2016, it had destroyed the remainder of the retained mines.[7]

[1] Antipersonnel Mines Convention Bill 1998.

[2] Statements of Australia, Mine Ban Treaty Seventeenth Meeting of States Parties, Geneva, 26–30 November 2018.

[3] Statement of Australia, Mine Ban Treaty Seventeenth Meeting of States Parties, Geneva, 30 November 2018.

[4] Letter to Landmine Monitor (HRW), from Richard Maude, Assistant Secretary, Arms Control and Disarmament Branch, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, 7 September 2000.

[5] According to one US government source, the US shipped 38,000 antipersonnel mines to Australia in 1969, including 30,000 M16A1 bounding mines and 8,000 M18A1 Claymore mines. According to another US government source, the US exported 8,000 antipersonnel mines to Australia between 1983 and 1992, but precise types and years are not known.

[6] Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report, Form D, 14 April 2010.

[7] Ibid., 30 April 2017.