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Democrats sceptical on PNG assurances



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P A R L I A M E N T O F A U S T R A L I A · T H E S E N A T E

SENATOR VICKI BOURNE Australian Democrat Senator for N ew South Wales

August 28, 1992 PR 92/463

NEWS RELEASE

DEMOCRATS SCEPTICAL ON PNG ASSURANCES

The Australian Democrats remain concerned by the supply of another helicopter · to PNG defence forces despite reported assurances on their use given to the Australian Minister for Foreign Affairs by the PNG Minister for Defence.

Senator Vicki Bourne, Foreign Affairs Spokesperson for the Democrats, said today "Despite past PNG assurances, claims continue of Australian supplied helicopters being used in an attacking role. The latest reports claim the helicopters were involved in an attempted bomb drop last weekend.

irWe are yet to be convinced this helicopter would not be used as a gun-ship against secessionist rebels on Bougainville.

"It is difficult to effectively monitor the use of these helicopters. If the Government wants military aid to PNG to continue they must reveal the exact assurances provided by PNG as well as the policing measures proposed.

"Australia must exercise extreme caution while evidence implicating these helicopters in human rights abuses continues to mount. Australians do not want our military aid to be involved in any human rights abuse."

For further information phone Senator Bourne: 02 247 3377 W 018 205 407 H

-COMMONWEALTH

PARLIAMENTARY L IB R A R Y MIC AH

Commonwealth Parliament Offices, 5 6 -7 0 Philip Street, Sydney, N-S.W. Postal Address: G.P.O. Box 36, Sydney, N.S.W. 200l" Telephone (02) 247 3377 Facsimile 247 9681