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Budget 2003: Disarmament of Iraq.



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BUDGET 2003-04 SENATOR THE HON ROBERT HILL Minister for Defence Leader of the Government in the Senate

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Tuesday, 13 May 2003 53/2003

DISARMAMENT OF IRAQ

The Howard Government has committed an extra $645 million over three years to cover the estimated costs of the pre-deployment of ADF elements to the Middle East, Australia’s contribution to coalition military operations to disarm Iraq (Operations Bastille and Falconer) and stabilisation and recovery operations (Operation Catalyst).

Defence Minister Robert Hill said Australia had made an important contribution to combat operations and was now providing specialist assistance to help stabilise and rehabilitate Iraq so that the Iraqi people can receive the full benefits of their liberation.

Senator Hill said the decision to deploy about 2000 Australian Defence Force personnel had clearly been in Australia’s national interest. It had resulted in a safer global community by contributing to the elimination of weapons of mass destruction and bringing greater stability to the Middle East.

“The decisive success of the coalition operation in Iraq sends a clear message to other rogue states that they cannot get away with threatening world peace through the development of chemical, biological and nuclear weapons,” Senator Hill said.

“It also underlines the resolve of the countries concerned to ensure that these terrible weapons do not fall into the arms of international terrorist organisations.”

“Australia’s contribution demonstrated the outstanding skill, courage and professionalism of the men and women in all three services and the ADF’s capacity to make a vital contribution to coalition military operations beyond our own region. It is a performance that all Australians can be proud of.”

Media contacts Catherine Fitzpatrick (Senator Hill) 02 6277 7800 0405 351 245

Anna Marsden (Defence) 02 6265 6934 0410 626 702

www.defence.gov.au