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Monday, 9 August 2004
Page: 25967


Senator Faulkner asked the Minister for Defence, upon notice, on 10 May 2004:

(1) On what date and at what approximate time did:

(a) Operation Bastille cease;

(b) the Government commit the Australian Defence Force (ADF) elements already deployed to the Middle East under Operation Bastille to Operation Falconer;

(c) the Chief of the Defence Force, pursuant to this government decision to commit the ADF to Operation Falconer, issue the necessary orders under Operation Falconer to the Australian military forces deployed in the Gulf that provided the legal authority for the ADF tactical commanders to respond to the coalition tactical commanders who would control operations;

(d) Australian operations in Western Iraq under the legal authority of Operation Falconer commence;

(e) Australian Special Air Services (SAS) forces enter Western Iraq; and

(f) Australian SAS forces first engage in offensive operations against Iraqi military forces in Western Iraq.

(2) In relation to part 1(b) above, what was the process by which the Government took the decision to commit the ADF elements to Operation Falconer; and (b) can a copy of the text of this decision be provided.

(3) If the SAS was involved in offensive operations in Iraq prior to midday (AEST), 20 March 2003, what was the legal basis for their operations.


Senator Hill (Minister for Defence) —The answer to the honourable senator's question is as follows:

(1) (2) and (3) See the response to Senate Question on Notice No. 2894.