JAKARTA, March 21 (ABC NEWS)- A new state-of-the-art Australian embassy, in the making for more than a decade, has officially opened in Jakarta with the help of Foreign Minister Julie Bishop.
The Government began talks on the new highly secure facility after the original embassy was bombed by terrorists in 2004.
Nine people including the suicide bomber died in the attack, and more than 150 people were injured. No Australians were killed.
In the decade since, the Australian embassy staff have been working at a number of locations across the Indonesian capital as the original building was unable to accommodate a doubling of Australian staff.
A multi-faith prayer session and a traditional Aboriginal smoking ceremony were keys parts of the ceremony.
The massive complex set on 50,000 square metres of land was built within the original budget of $415 million.
It makes the Indonesian diplomatic post the largest in the world.
The compound can withstand a one in 2,500-year earthquake and can move 600 millimetres in any direction.
It was also built to minimise its environmental impact in central Jakarta.
On the grounds, there is also staff housing and a recreation and medical facility.
But it is the ground’s banyan trees that have seen the embassy enter the Indonesian Guinness Book of Records.
The four massive trees were relocated near the building’s entrance — the biggest relocation of its kind ever undertaken.
Source – abc.net.au (Samantha Hawley)