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F-111 deal should be scrapped

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Λ τ .SENATOR SID SPINDLERM E D I A R E L E A S E AUSTRALIAN DEMOCRAT : ■ ' . SENATOR FOR VICTORIAP A R L I A M E N T O F A U S T R A L I A ■ THE SENATE15 October 1992 92/552F-111 deal should be scrappedThe Australian Democrats today called on the Government to scrap the planned purchase of 18 F-111 bombers from the United States.Australian Democrats' Defence spokesperson Senator Sid Spindler said there was absolutely no justification for the purchase."It would be a waste of taxpayers' money at any price, a useless addition to our import bill", Senator Spindler said."Most of all, it sends the wrong message to our regional neighbours. The regional security climate is improving steadily, but Australia wants to take a step into the past."Our F - l l l s can y a huge weapons payload and can get to Jakarta and back without refuelling. Together with the F/A-18 fighter-bombers, they provide Australia with offensive air-strike power against our South-East Asian and South Pacific neighbours."This is a force which our neighbours can't match, and which is not justified by any strategic assessment."Senator Ray can't justify beefing up our war-fighting arm when we can't even stop two children from being spirited out of Australia on a cabin cruiser, and we can't detect a boat-load of unarmed Chinese landing on the Western Australian coast."We need less firepower, and more surveillance and patrolling of northern Australia."If Senator Ray can't see the logic of this, then Mr Keating and Senator Evans should take him aside and spell it out."Contact: Senator Spindler 06 277 3640Richard Bolt 06 277 3224COMMONWEALTH PARLIAMENTARY LIBRARY MICAH