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$2.3 million in community projects for southern Iraq.



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Media contacts Sascha Meldrum (Senator Hill) 08 8237 7920 0409 034 241

Defence Media Liaison 02 6265 3343 0408 498 664

www.defence.gov.au

MEDIA RELEASE SENATOR THE HON ROBERT HILL Minister for Defence Leader of the Government in the Senate

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Thursday, 14 July 2005 114/2005

$2.3 MILLION IN COMMUNITY PROJECTS FOR SOUTHERN IRAQ

Australia will leave a lasting legacy in southern Iraq with the Howard Government approving $2.3 million worth of community projects to be coordinated by a working group within the Al Muthanna Task Group (AMTG).

Defence Minister Robert Hill said a range of community projects are now underway as part of the Civil-Military Cooperation (CIMIC) program.

Senator Hill said the primary role of the Al Muthanna Task Group (AMTG) is to conduct security operations in support of Japanese Forces as well as assisting in the training of local Iraqi Army units. However, the Government has identified there is capacity through CIMIC to also assist with small local community projects.

“Nine projects, valued at approximately one million dollars, have already been approved in the first tranche of funding for the program,” Senator Hill said.

“The projects are part of the Australian Government involvement in local infrastructure development and are specifically targeted to improve the quality of life for the Iraqi people living in the region.

“The projects have been selected with close cooperation with the Al Muthanna Provincial Council and will use local contract labour which will directly benefit the regional economy.

“The projects were identified to fill gaps between the large-scale reconstruction projects and are designed to deliver smaller scale projects that will provide good services to the community and help to build relationships with the Iraqi people.”

The projects cover areas such as veterinary services, grain storage, media equipment and community facilities. The approved projects include: • Construction of a Veterinary Centre in the rural centre of Darraji; • Construction of a Veterinary Medical Storage facility at As Samawah;

• Renovation of the As Samawah Grain Silo Laboratory; • Provision of equipment for Al Muthanna media outlets; • Construction of an animal waste disposal unit in As Samawah; • Building of an Ambulance Station at Al Khidr; • Provision of a Mobile Health Clinic for the Al Muthanna Province; • Renovation of the Community Centre at Al Salman; and • Water testing kits for the At Muthanna Province.

The projects will involve local Iraqi contractors with oversight by ADF personnel within the CIMIC team, whose role is to coordinate between civil organisations and the military.

Australia has three CIMIC members in Al Muthanna, drawn from the Brisbane-based Deployable Joint Force Headquarters, as part of a nine-member Multi-National Force CIMIC cell.

Media Note: Images available at http://www.defence.gov.au/opcatalyst/images/gallery/20050714/index.htm