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Notice given 9 April 2003

1383  Senator Allison: To ask the Minister for Defence—

(1) Can the Minister confirm that ‘bunker busters’ or nuclear earth-penetrating weapons been used in Iraq by the United States of America (US) military, as reported in the Age on 29 March 2003.

(2) Is it the case that nuclear-tipped B61-11 bombs have been or are intended to be used by the US military in Iraq.

(3) Is it the case that robust nuclear earth penetrators have been or are intended to be used by the US military in Iraq.

(4) Is the Minister aware that the US Department of Energy 2003 budget specifically requests funding for robust nuclear earth penetrator weapons.

(5) Is the use of nuclear earth-penetrating weapons or nuclear-tipped B61-11 bombs permissible under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

(6) Is the Minister aware of the report on the medical consequences of the use of nuclear weapons produced by US team of experts, Victor W Sidel, MD of the Albert Einstein College of Medicine and physicist Robert W Nelson, Princeton University, which concludes that even a very low-yield nuclear earth-penetrating weapon exploded in or near an urban environment will inevitably disperse radioactive dirt and debris over several square kilometres and could result in fatal doses of radiation to tens of thousands of victims.

(7) Has the Government assessed the implications of nuclear earth-penetrating weapons being used against underground bunkers containing biological or chemical weapons or weapons materials in terms of the dispersal of those materials.

(8) Will the Government withdraw Australian troops if nuclear earth-penetrating weapons or nuclear tipped B61-11 bombs or robust nuclear earth penetrator weapons are deployed by the US military in Iraq.