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Don't be tempted into sharing US missile defence technology. It will cost us a bomb.

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Senator Vicki Bourne Party Whip and Senator for New South Wales Australian Democrats spokesperson for Defence

Press Release Dated: 1 Jun 2000

Press Release Number: 00/314

Portfolio: Defence 

Don't be tempted into sharing US missile defence technology. It will cost us a bomb. The Democrats have warned the defence policy makers not to feel tempted to take up Bill Clinton's offer to share missile defence technology.

Democrats’ Spokesperson for Defence and Foreign Affairs, Senator Vicki Bourne, said that Australia cannot afford such a move.

"While there has been no talk of Australia becoming involved, the Democrats want to make sure that no defence planners are contemplating such a move," Senator Bourne said.

"Both Australian and American academics have been pressuring Australia to keep up with the US in technology terms, without thinking through the consequences both in financial or ideological terms.

"We have just seen that the Department is having enough problems with the present defence expenditure," said Senator Bourne.

Senator Bourne was referring to the ANAO report, which showed the Department had lost over $15 million in foreign exchange transactions.

"Given that the missile defence technology program is a US project, and our Defence Department has shown it is has problems not hedging against foreign exchange risks, we should not be tempted to go anywhere near this project," she said

Senator Bourne also expressed some concern that the discussion paper that was to precede the new Defence White Paper may now be scrapped.

"It is precisely because of the reactive way the Department does business that we need to see a discussion paper first," said Senator Bourne.

The Australian Democrats have consistently called for greater planning and accountability within the Defence Department, and will continue to do so before any thought is given to increases in defence spending.


Top | Email Authorised by: Jim Downey, 10 Brisbane Avenue, Barton ACT 2604. Copyright © 2000 Australian Democrats Last modified: Thu, 18 May 2000 13:51:26 Today: Mon, 05 Jun 2000 06:49:41