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Four corners backs Opposition call for air-crash study



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M E D I A RELEASE

ALEXANDER DOWNER MEMBER FOR MAYO SHADOW MINISTER FOR DEFENCE

FOUR CORNERS BACKS OPPOSITION CALL FOR AIR-CRASH STUDY

"The Federal Opposition today reiterated its call for a comprehensive enquiry into the disturbingly high number of Defence Force aircraft crashes over the last two years."

Speaking following ABC Television's Four Comers program last night, the Shadow Minister for Defence, Alexander Downer, said that the Government should not refuse to disclose the results of the investigations into recent Defence Force Aircraft crashes.

"There is a great deal of public concern about the number of recent Defence Force air crashes. It is unacceptable for the Government to refuse to disclose information about these tragic events.

"The Government has given a commitment to the Opposition to provide us with the Airforce crash reports, but now they appear to have backed away from this promise", Mr Downer said.

"But the Government has an obligation to address Defence Force and public concerns about these crashes.

"Firstly the Government should keep its promise by providing the crash reports to the Opposition. Some material may need to be withheld for security and personal reasons, but that should effect only a small part of each report.

"Secondly, the Government should commission a broader study of all recent Defence Force crashes to see if there are any common features between the crashes. This report should also include an examination of pilot training procedures.

"The report of this wider investigation should also be made public.

"The Opposition has been calling for this for more than a year since the F/A-18 Crash of 5 June 1991", Mr Downer said.

"The need for this study is only reinforced by the information presented in last night's Four Comers report." r

(ends) 14 July 1992 (25) More Information: (06) 277 4145

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