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Friday, 22 March 1985
Page: 691

(Question No. 36)

Senator Chipp asked the Minister representing the Minister for Defence, upon notice, on 22 February 1985:

(1) Was an Environmental Impact Statement prepared by the United States Government for the MX and Trident II D5 missile tests in the Kwajalein Islands which form part of the Marshall Islands of which the total population is approximately 11,500 people.

(2) Was an Environmental Impact Study conducted either by the Australian Government or by the US Government before the MX missile tests in the Tasman Sea were originally agreed to, or before the Australian Government agreed to help with any tests.

(3) Does the testing mission officially referred to as 'strategic offensive missile programmes' cover the MX and Trident II D5 missile tests and in the studies, have both the MX and Trident II D5 missile tests been lumped together.

(4) Can the Government give an assurance that Australia has not agreed to co-operate with the US on any missile tests that form part of the US Strategic Modernisation Programme, in particular, the Trident II D5 missile tests, and if the Government cannot give such an assurance, why not.

Senator Gareth Evans —The Minister for Defence has provided the following answer to the honourable senator's question:

(1) The Australian Government is not aware of any environmental impact statement prepared by the US for missile tests in the Kwajalein Islands.

(2) The Australian Government did not prepare and is not aware of any US environmental impact statement for the Tasman Sea. The Government notes that an exclusion zone would be declared by the US to preclude risk to shipping and aircraft at the time of the tests.

(3) The Australian Government has not been informed or consulted about any US plans for testing Trident II D5 missiles.

(4) Yes.