The West

Cocktails at Cott for Hillary
Cocktails at Cott for Hillary

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will say goodbye to WA in Colin Barnett's backyard, with the Premier and his wife Lyn set to host a State reception at Cottesloe's Indiana Tea Rooms on Wednesday.

Two-hundred guests have been invited to meet Mrs Clinton, the world's most powerful woman, who is touted as a possible successor to President Barack Obama in 2016, and Defence Secretary Leon Panetta at a cocktail-style function overlooking the Indian Ocean.

Those invited include Prime Minister Julia Gillard, WA Chief Justice Wayne Martin, Nobel laureate Barry Marshall, plastic surgeon Fiona Wood, businessmen Richard Goyder and Roy Krzywosinski and retired athletes Adam Gilchrist, Luc Longley and Ricky Grace.

The afternoon reception, Mrs Clinton's last official function in Perth, is at the same venue that hosted foreign ministers at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in October last year.

WA police are in the final stages of preparations for the massive security effort that will surround the high-level defence and regional security meetings known as AUSMIN. Authorities have done practice runs into the city for the motorcades that will transport Mrs Clinton and Mr Panetta.

WA Police, who are the lead security agency for AUSMIN, have not revealed where and when roads and venues will be closed to the public. Police will not have the special powers available during CHOGM that allowed them to stop and search people in designated areas without suspicion of an offence being committed and demand their identity.

But Det-Supt John Brandham said existing police powers were adequate to ensure security.

Some of the US's top military staff will attend the talks, so the US Air Force will send one of its four E-4B 747 Jumbo Jet Command and Control planes to Perth.

The modified Boeing 747-200 is a high-tech, highly survivable communications centre used to direct US forces, execute war orders and co-ordinate civil authority activities. It will arrive in Perth on Tuesday and leave on Thursday.

Mrs Clinton is expected to fly in on Tuesday aboard a C-32, the military version of the Boeing 757 passenger jet. Mr Panetta and America's most senior military officer, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Martin Dempsey, will arrive on a C-40, a modified Boeing 737, as will US Pacific Command chief Admiral Samuel Locklear.

Mrs Clinton's top Asia official, Kurt Campbell, told Fairfax media the re-elected Obama administration was concerned about cuts to Australian defence spending, signalling it was a key issue the US would raise at AUSMIN.

The West Australian

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