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Ground Defence and a strong Australia



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M E D I A R E L E A S E

ALEXANDER DOWNER MEMBER FOR MAYO SH ADO W MINISTER FOR DEFENCE

GROUND DEFENCE AND A STRONG AUSTRALIA

The Australian Army will receive a significant boost under a Coalition Government.

Speaking in Canberra today on the launch of the Coalition's defence policy, A Strong Australia, the Shadow Minister for Defence, Alexander Downer, said that under a Coalition Government Army would be more mobile and better able to rapidly deploy smaller forces with independent fire-power.

"For too long, Labor has denied Army the equipment it needs to effectively get on with its job. A Strong Australia reverses this declining trend.

"The Coalition will scrap the ill-considered Ready Reserve and reconstitute two Regular Army battalions based in Brisbane.

"We will inject an additional $15 million to General Reserve activities to improve Reserve equipment holdings and increase exercise and training times. z

"We will create a Regular Army Commando Company to operate with the Operational Deployment Force in Townsville and train with the Reserve Commando Regiment in Sydney.

"The need for greater Army mobility is one of the more obvious areas for reform.

"Exercises such as Kangaroo 92 highlighted the lack of helicopter transport available to Army. The Coalition will enhance Army's tactical mobility and acquire more troop transport helicopters at an estimated cost of $300 million over several terms of Government.

"The medium lift capability of the Chinook helicopter is also essential for mobile operations. To provide a realistic lift capability, the Coalition will ensure that up to eight Chinooks re-enter service," Mr Downer said.

(ends) 18 October 1992

More information: Peter Jennings (06) 277 4145

COMMONWEALTH PAR LIA M EN TA R Y LIBRARY MiCAH .

Parliament House, Canberra, ACT 2600 Telephone (06) 277 4145 Facsimile (06) 277 2143 After Hours Telephone: (08) 339 5152 or (06) 286 1504

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