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Talisman Saber - a threat to our environment and our security.



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Media Statement Saturday 9th May 2007

SENATOR ANDREW BARTLETT Queensland Democrat Senator QUEENSLAND’S ONLY INDEPENDENT VOICE IN THE SENATE

Talisman Saber - A threat to our environment and our security

Protesting against Australia’s involvement in the joint US-Australia military exercise Talisman Sabre 2007 (TS07), Queensland Democrat Senator Andrew Bartlett said that Australia was risking irreversible environmental damage for the sake of warmongering.

“The integrity of the ecologically sensitive Shoalwater Bay Training Area (SBTA) faces grave risks,” Senator Bartlett said.

“The government claims that ‘environmental management is the number one consideration’ in these war games but this couldn’t be further from the truth. Our government’s number one consideration is tying Australia further to US Foreign and Defence policy.

“Military exercises like TS07 can cause terrible environmental harm. There will be live firing and bombing, underwater detonations, amphibious landings and the use of sonar at frequencies that cause harm to marine life.

“Heavy metals and toxins used in munitions, erosion-causing amphibious landings, the possibility of toxic spills and the use of sonar all impact on the 38 listed vulnerable species in the area including dugong and the Green Turtle.

“Australia has voluntarily entered into a relationship with the USA that sees its peace-time military presence in the Asia Pacific region greatly expanded and we do so at the expense of our own environment.

“We have become one of the USA’s major troop training grounds; enabling them to avoid peaceful conflict resolution and continue their militarisation of our Pacific region.

“The alliance with the USA is important to Australia, but it should not involve uncritical support of all military strategies and agendas of the USA,” Senator Bartlett concluded.

Field training for exercise Talisman Sabre 2007 will be conducted between 19 - 2 July.

Media contact - Tracee McPate - 0417 607 655

Electoral office: Suite 14 B1, 7/421 Brunswick St, Fortitude Valley, QLD 4006 t: 07 3252 7101 local call cost (Qld): 1300 301 879 f: 07 3252 8957 e: senator.bartlett@aph.gov.au web: www.andrewbartlett.com