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Statement by the Hon. Tim Fischer MP

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Tim Fischer mr Federal Member for Farrer

Leader of the National Party of Australia

Shadow Minister for Energy and Resources

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Federal Leader of the National Party, Tim Fischer, said today that it is now a red alert situation with regard to expatriates leaving the Gulf area, especially as many scheduled air services are already being cancelled.

"Australians in the area with no requirement should heed

Government advice and leave now.

"Evacuation plans should be further reviewed to take into account the current situation, given the breakdown of the Geneva talks.

"Some key airports, such as Bahrain, are only accessible by a causeway or single road link which if knocked out will create further problems.

"Civilian air services operating in the Middle East face massive disruption and charter evacuation flights will also face great difficulties.

"There will be a chaotic situation in the immediate aftermath of any outbreak of war and communications with the several hundred Australian expatriates will be extremely difficult.

"I understand the Australian and British Governments and others have evacuation plans in place, but obviously these need to be continually reviewed to take account of the latest developments.

"Many Australian and other expatriates have departed already, especially spouses and children, but some are unable to do so.

"In fact on one island in the Gulf, namely Bahrain, there are an estimated five thousand British expatriates and a number of Australian expatriates."

11 January 1991

F o r F u r t h e r I n f o r m a t i o n Phone 06 277 405 8


Parliament House, Canberra, A.C.T. 2600. Telephone (06) 277 4058. Facsimile (06) 277 2052