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Monday, 19 September 1994
Page: 957

(Question No. 1625)

Senator Margetts asked the Minister for Defence, upon notice, on 23 August 1994:

  (1) How many personnel currently work at the Pine Gap facility and, of those personnel, how many are Australia staff versus American staff.

  (2) How many radomes and satellite antenna are present on the base.

  (3) Are there any plans to upgrade the Pine Gap base; if so, please detail the extent of the upgrade.

Senator Robert Ray —The answer to the honourable senator's question is as follows:

  (1) There are currently about 725 personnel working at the facility; about 405 of them are Australian staff.

  (2) There are ten radomes and associated antennae, as well as three additional satellite antennae, at the facility.

  (3) Yes. The upgrades involve no change to the role and function of the facility and are undertaken with the full knowledge and concurrence of the Australian Government. The upgrades include replacement of the power house at Pine Gap, with construction beginning in early 1995 and due for completion in 1996; beyond this, however, I have nothing to add, in keeping with the Government's longstanding policy of not commenting on our intelligence capabilities.