Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
Coastline must become Defence priority



Download PDFDownload PDF

SENATOR SID SPINDLER AUSTRALIAN DEMOCRAT SENATOR FOR VICTORIA

MEDIA RELEASE

PARLIAMENT OF AUSTRALIA ยท THE SENATE

2 March 1992 92/102

COASTLINE MOST BECOME DEFENCE PRIORITY

The Australian Democrats today called on the Government to place coastwatch arrangements under the control of the Defence Forces.

Following the tabling of the Report into the undetected landing at Montague Sound on the West Australian coast of a boat carrying 56 people, Democrat Spokesperson on Defence, Senator Sid Spindler described current coastwatch arrangements as 'ramshackle',

lacking resources, coordinated targeting and adequate

intelligence support.

"The end of the Cold War should have refocussed Australian defence strategy on self-reliance, i.e. protection of our coastline and airspace in lieu of long range offensive capacity designed to play a support role in the United States global

strategy," Senator Spindler said.

"The protection of our coastline should be the mainstay of our defence strategy and the ultimate responsibility of our defence forces. To save costs, current coastwatch activities on behalf of Customs, Quarantine and Immigration authorities should be upgraded, integrated with defence force activities and placed under the control of the Defence Department."

"In line with this policy, the Government should immediately redirect its purchasing program towards aircraft and vessels suitable for coast protection duties, saving up to $1 billion on its present program which continues to be based on the superseded

forward defence strategy," Senator Spindler concluded.

For further information: Contact Senator Spindler - 06 277 3640 (w), 06 255 2343 (h).

CO M M O N W EA LTH

PARLIAMENTARY LIBRARY M IC A H