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Labor botches new defence export guidelines - Durack



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THE SENATE

SENATOR PETER DURACK, QC Deputy Leader of the Opposition in the Senate Shadow Minister for Defence

La b o r b o t c h e s n e w d e f e n c e e x p o r t g u id e l in e s - D u r a c k

"Labor has botched its promise to improve the defence export controls, by issuing a set of guidelines even more confused than the ones they replace."

Commenting on the revised export guidelines issued today the Shadow Minister for Defence, Senator Peter Durack, said that the new document was "a great

disappointment".

"Following their promise in the Force Structure Review we have waited nearly a year for the Government to issue these guidelines, only to find that they will be even more confusing for industry."

"For example, the original guidelines sensibly restricted the sale of defence goods in cases where the sale might reduce any 'Australian military advantage'.

"The new guidelines complicate this with an added requirement, saying that the export of equipment cannot be allowed to '...have similar consequences [of reducing military advantage] for countries in the region of the proposed export destination.'

"What an absurd proposition! It means that we can only export defence goods provided they have no impact on the defence capability of the country which is importing it, or other countries in the region.

"From a practical point of view I do not know how one can interpret this clause. What impact-would it have, for example on the export of such things as frigates to New Zealand or elsewhere in the region?

"This clause also conflicts with another statement in the new guidelines which says that defence exports will be supported where they;" promote the capability of a recipient to meet legitimate self defence needs in relation to its specific strategic circumstances."

"The result of the review is that Labor has again let down Australian defence industry by failing to develop clear export guidelines."

31 March 1992 (11)

(ends)

More Information: Peter Jennings (06) 277 3725

Telephone: 09/221 1277 06/277 3725. Facsimile: 09/221 3350 06/277 3169