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Monday, 16 June 2003
Page: 16555

Mr Rudd asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs, upon notice, on 4 February 2003:

(1) Is he able to say why the Prime Minister's announcement of the new Howard doctrine of Australian military pre-emption in South East Asia on 1 December 2002 did not contain within it an explicit precondition that Australia would only act militarily within South East Asia in cooperation with the relevant Government in the region.

(2) Did he state on the ABC's World Today program on 2 December 2002 that he would hope that an attack would be done through regional co-operation.

(3) Given that the Prime Minister's statement about the new doctrine does not contain within it any precondition that Australia would first obtain the consent of regional governments before acting militarily but his statement about the new doctrine does contain such a precondition, does he or the Prime Minister speak for Australia on this fundamental question of national security policy.

Mr Downer (Minister for Foreign Affairs) —The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows :

Please refer to my response to your question without notice of 24 March 2003.