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Thursday, 14 November 1985
Page: 2170


Senator GARETH EVANS —The other day Senator Vallentine asked me a question about the joint facility at Nurrungar and its implications for the strategic defence initiative. I am happy to be able to answer now on behalf of the Minister for Defence as follows: The changes at Nurrungar have nothing to do with the strategic defence initiative. The forthcoming construction at Nurrungar is only to provide better accommodation for both Australian and United States of American staff working at Nurrungar and for the equipment that is housed there. The construction work does not mean any change in the function of the station. The construction is being funded by the United States, as was announced by the Minister for Defence on 21 October 1985. Australia is not involved in SDI. None of the Australian-US joint defence facilities will be involved with SDI. As to the possibility of a first strike capability being achieved, I refer the honourable senator to the answer which I gave her on that subject yesterday-that is to say, the answer incorporated in Hansard from the Minister for Defence.