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Monday, 24 March 2003
Page: 13296

Mr CREAN (2:22 PM) —Mr Speaker, my question is addressed to the Prime Minister and follows his last answer. I ask him: don't the UK and Australia operate on the same intelligence information in assembling their travel advisories, most particularly in relation to South-East Asia? Is it not a fact that Australia has a particular responsibility for intelligence collection for other allied intelligence agencies about Indonesia? Given that the UK have concluded:

New information since the start of the military action in Iraq has heightened our concern, especially about Surabaya—

can you explain how the British conclude that there is an Iraq connection but your government does not?

Mr HOWARD (Prime Minister) —It is true, as I have indicated on a number of occasions, that there is very intimate intelligence sharing between the United States, Australia and the United Kingdom in particular. Indeed, it is arguable that that intelligence sharing is one of the hallmarks of the relationship. But it is also the case that threat levels for this country—and, therefore, for this country's citizens—are determined by the assessments of the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation, and we act on their advice. That was what I said in answer to the last question, and it remains the position.