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Thursday, 13 February 2003
Page: 11928

Mr Quick asked the Minister representing the Minister for Defence, upon notice, on 3 December 2002:

(1) Further to questions Nos. 1161 to 1163 asked by the Member for Denison, will the arrangements for shore leave for the crews visiting Hobart remain the same as for recent past visits; if not, without disclosure of any detail relating to operational security issues, how will the arrangements change.

(2) Will additional measures be taken that will have an impact on the ordinary activities of residents and visitors to Hobart during any future visit.

(3) If so, what will those measures entail and what activities will they affect.

(4) Has there been any recent assessment of the availability of appropriate infrastructure and resources to deal with an actual or threatened major terrorism incident directed towards such vessels, or the crew of such vessels on shore leave while the vessels are visiting Hobart; if so, what were the conclusions of the assessment; if not, will an assessment be undertaken.

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 advised in my answer to Question on Notice No. 1161, there is no US Navy port visit to Hobart this Christmas/New Year period. I can nevertheless advise that arrangements for shore leave in general will be as followed with previous visits, although personnel will be more vigilant to security.

(2) and (3) While security is a concern for all, additional measures taken during visits are not designed or intended to impact on the ordinary activities of residents or visitors.

(4) As advised in my answer to Question on Notice No. 1161, security and protection arrangements for Australian port visits by US Navy warships are examined on a case by case basis, and determined in consultation with relevant US authorities, local government, and commercial agencies for the port being visited.