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Aust more than pays alliance bills: Payne

AAP logoAAP 10/11/2016 Max Blenkin, Defence Correspondent

Defence Minister Marise Payne says she's confident Australia's long and deep alliance with the US will hold us in good stead under the new Donald Trump administration.

Senator Payne said Australia did more than just pay our alliance bills and was a strong contributor.

"I am confident that level of engagement, that level of contribution will be respected by the United States. I am very happy to stand on Australia's current strong position," she told ABC radio.

Australia's latest Defence White Paper, released earlier this year, proclaims the US alliance as fundamentally important to Australia and the US presence vital for regional security.

But Mr Trump's comments during the hard-fought election campaign have raised questions about whether the US under his watch will remain as committed to this region and to the NATO alliance.

Senator Payne said Australia had an almost unique position of engagement with the US and what was said in election campaigns wasn't always what came into effect.

"What I do think we can rely though is the great depth of our relationship, the deep levels of cooperation over such a long period of time, more than 65 years in terms of the ANZUS treaty itself and longer in terms of the conflicts in which we have fought together," she said.

The Australia Defence Association said Mr Trump had been getting stuck into the Europeans and to some extent the Japanese and Koreans for not pulling their weight in security alliances with the US .

"We are not strategic bludgers and as long as we make sure we are not strategic bludgers, we are not going to have a problem," executive director Neil James told AAP.

Mr James said Australia's alliance with the US was as much in their interest as in our's.

"As long as we keep spending over two per cent of GDP (on defence), he is not going to think we are bludging. So the two per cent is going to be a floor, not a ceiling," he said.

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