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Wednesday, 30 May 1984
Page: 2136


Senator MACKLIN —My question is directed to the Minister representing the Minister for Defence. Is it a fact that there is an agreement between Australia and the United States defence authorities which obliges the United States to keep Australia fully informed of likely decisions about the operations of United States bases in Australia? Is it true that the United States has appropriated approximately $126.8m to expand the Nurrungar base in Australia to make it compatible with the new DSP2 satellites? Under the agreement to keep Australia informed, has the United States officially or unofficially informed any Australian official or Minister about that expansion? If so, has the Government accepted the reasons for the expansion, and the implication of approval of nuclear war fighting involved with the new satellite program? If not, is the Government concerned about the failure of the United States to live up to an agreed obligation, and is the Government demanding a full report on this change?


Senator GARETH EVANS —I can inform the honourable senator that the matters to which he has referred will be dealt with in a statement that the Prime Minister will be making before the Parliament rises at the end of next week.