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Monday, 11 November 1991
Page: 2820

To the Honourable the President and Members of the Senate in Parliament assembled.

  The humble Petition of the undersigned citizens of Australia respectfully showeth:

  That attention is drawn to Australia's location and involvement in the Asia/Pacific region where there exists a number of actual and potential conflicts, along with several countries which can ill afford to pay for the importation of military equipment yet feel obliged to do so.

  That Australia is increasing its role in the arms trade in this region, and in particular, it is supporting and participating in AIDEX `91. The arms trade is detrimental to Australians affected by the diversion of public money away from health, education, social welfare, and is an integral factor in the oppression and poverty of people of the Asia/Pacific region.

  The petitioners therefore appeal to the Australian Parliament to:

  Stop all military aid and training to governments engaged in repression of their own people.

  Direct those Government Departments participating in AIDEX `91, i.e. Defence, Austrade, Industry, Technology and Commerce, to cancel their bookings for space at the exhibition and withdraw their support for AIDEX `91.

  Redirect all monies currently being used in promoting the arms industry to socially useful research, development and production.

  Explore the possibilities of setting up an Agency for the development of techniques for conflict resolution.

  Increase overseas aid to counteract the reduction since 1983/4.

  And your petitioners as in duty bound will ever pray.