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Tuesday, 28 May 2002
Page: 2555


Ms Plibersek asked the Minister representing the Minister for Defence, upon notice, on 21 March 2002:

(1) How many personnel currently work at the Joint Defence Facility at Pine Gap.

(2) How many Joint Defence Facility personnel are (a) Australian Government employees, (b) US Government employees, (c) employees of Australian contractors or (d) US contractors.

(3) Are any of the personnel employed at the Joint Defence Facility members of the Australian Defence Force or the US armed services; if so, how many and to which service, namely Army, Navy, or Air Force, do they belong.

(4) Which US Department of Defense agencies are involved in the operation of the Joint Defence Facility.

(5) Which Australian and US private contractors provide personnel at the Joint Defence Facility.

(6) How many personnel are employed as security staff at the Joint Defence Facility.

(7) What is the current annual cost to the Australian Government of running the Joint Defence Facility.

(8) Since March 1996, have Federal and State Members of Parliament (a) visited the Joint Defence Facility or (b) received classified briefings on the functions of the Facility; if so, (c) which Members and (d) when did these visits or briefings take place.

(9) Since March 1996, have Members of the US Congress or congressional staff visitedthe Joint Defence Facility; if so, which Members and staff and when did those visits take place.

(10) Who is the current (a) Chief of the Joint Defence Facility and (b) senior Australian officer at the Joint Defence Facility.

(11) Who were the successive (a) Chiefs of the Joint Defence Facility and (b) senior Australian officers stationed at Pine Gap since the Facility commenced operations and over what periods did they serve in that capacity.

(12) How many radomes and satellite antennas are now located at the Joint Defence Facility.

(13) How many radomes and antenna located at the Joint Defence Facility are associated with the Satellite Relay Ground Station which relays data received from the US Defense Support Program satellites.

(14) Can his Department provide the Parliament with up-to-date photographs showing the current array of radomes and antennas at the Joint Defence Facility.


Mrs Vale (Minister for Veterans' Affairs and Minister Assisting the Minister for Defence) —The Minister for Defence has provided the following answer to the honourable member's question:

(1) As at 1 March 2002 there were 876 people working at the Joint Defence Facility.

(2) Of the total 876 people employed at the Facility as at 1 March 2002, 428 were US citizens and 448 were Australian citizens. A more detailed breakdown of the workforce structure is classified.

(3) All arms of the Australian Defence Force and US Armed Services have personnel integrated into the Joint Defence Facility Pine Gap workforce. A more detailed breakdown of the workforce structure is classified.

(4) As noted in the Pine Gap Treaty (Australian Treaty Series 1966 No. 17, amended by Australian Treaty Series 1988 No. 36), the cooperating partners at the Joint Defence Facility are the Australian Department of Defence and the US Department of Defense. Details of the specific agencies involved are classified.

(5) The contractor companies at the Joint Defence Facility Pine Gap are: Compaq, Australia (Australian registered, wholly-owned subsidiary of Compaq US), Raytheon (US), TRW (US), and Boeing Constructors Inc (US).

(6) Details of the security measures and personnel at the Joint Defence Facility are operationally sensitive and will not be released.

(7) The cost to the Australian Government of running the Joint Defence Facility Pine Gap in Financial Year 2001/02 is $8,402,000.

(8) Since March 1996 the following Members of Parliament have visited the Joint Defence Facility Pine Gap and/or received classified briefings on its functions:

(a) MPs who have visited the Joint Defence Facility Pine Gap (JDFPG)

(i) Federal MPs who visited the JDFPG and received classified briefings included:

Hon Ian McLachlan MP 1996

Hon Tim Fischer MP 1997

Senator Bronwyn Bishop 1997

Hon John Moore MP 1998, 2001

Hon Alexander Downer MP 1999

Hon Peter Reith MP 2001

Hon Bruce Scott MP 2001

Hon Daryl Williams MP 2001

(ii) Federal MPs who are recorded as having visited the JDFPG and did not receive classified briefings included:

Hon Peter Nugent MP 1997

Hon Eion Cameron MP 1997

Hon Peter Lindsay MP 1997

Hon Warren Snowden MP 1999, 2000

(iii) Northern Territory politicians who are recorded as having visited the JDFPG and did not receive classified briefings included:

Hon Shane Stone, MLA 1996

Hon Mike Reid, MLA 1996

Hon Nick Dondas MP 1997

Hon Eric Poole, MLA 1996, 1997

Hon Denis Burke MLA 2000

Hon John Elferink MLA 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000

Hon Richard Lim MLA 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000

Hon Lorraine Braham MLA 1998, 1999

(Note: No State MPs have visited the Joint Defence Facility and/or received classified briefings. No Territory MPs have received classified briefings on the functions of the Joint Defence Facility.)

(b) MPs who have received classified briefings on the functions of the Facility. All members of the National Security Committee of Cabinet are briefed on appointment to the Committee. The Leader of the Opposition and Shadow Ministers for Defence and Foreign Affairs are normally briefed on the approval of the Prime Minister.

(9) Since March 1996, 11 Congressional staff have visited the Joint Defence Facility. In the same period, the following US Congressmen have visited the Joint Defence Facility:

Rep Norman Dicks February 1997

Rep Tillie Fowler August 1997

Rep Lindsey Graham August 1997

Rep Howard McKeon August 1997

Rep Soloman Ortiz August 1997

Rep Floyd Spence August 1997

Senator Richard Shelby August 1999, August 2001

Rep J. Dennis Hastert December 1999

Rep Sherwood Boefflert December 1999, January 2000

Rep Porter J. Goss January 2000

Rep Sanford Bishop January 2000

Rep Michael Castle January 2000

Rep Ray LaHood January 2000

Rep Jim Gibbons January 2000

Senator Ernest Hollings August 2001

Rep William Duhnke August 2001

(10) (a) The Chief of Facility is Mrs Barbara Ely.

(b) The senior Australian officer at the Joint Defence Facility is the Deputy Chief of Facility, Mr John McCarthy.

(11) The successive Chiefs of Facility and senior Australian officers at the Joint Defence Facility Pine Gap have been:

(a) Chiefs of Facility:

Harry Fitzwater 1968-73

Lou Bonham 1974-76

Harrison Markham 1976-79

Richard Kruegar 1979-81

William Reller 1981-85

Glenn Kerr 1985-89

Donald Kingsley 1989-92

James Mathews 1992-95

Stephen Provines 1995-98

Barbara Ely 1999—current

(b) Australian Defence Representatives:

Lindsay Smooker 1969-78

Wallace Caplehom 1979-80

Ivo Parker 1980-84

Bert Forsyth 1984-87

Michael Busch 1987-88

John McCarthy 1988-92; 1999—current

Janet Tyler 1992-95

Brian Ely 1995-99

(12) There are 26 satellite antennas located at the Joint Defence Facility, 14 of which have environmental covers.

(13) There are 4 satellite antennas located at the Joint Defence Facility associated with the Defence Support Program Relay Ground Station, 2 of which have environmental covers.

(14) A panoramic view of the Joint Defence Facility, taken in 1999, has been forwarded separately to your office. Three new satellite antennas have been installed since that time.