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Friday, 1 June 1984
Page: 2378


Senator BOLKUS —Has the Minister who represents the Minister for Foreign Affairs and the Minister for Defence seen the reports in today's National Times which state that the facilities at Nurrungar and Pine Gap support the United States strategic policy of limited or controlled nuclear war fighting? Is this information accurately based on advice given to the United States Congress by the Pentagon? Does this information contradict the official Australian Government position that the joint facilities are purely defensive, as is evidenced by the advice from the Department of Defence to Prime Minister Whitlam in March 1973? Will the Minister investigate this matter to ascertain who is misleading whom and so that the Australian people can be fully and accurately advised of the functions of these facilities?


Senator GARETH EVANS —If the honourable senator takes at face value anything he reads in the National Times he has got more confidence in human nature than I am able to muster on these occasions. However, there are matters in Senator Bolkus' s question which deserve a reply. I will ensure that they are investigated and that an appropriate reply is supplied as soon as possible.