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Defence recruiting new scientists to combat terrorism.

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MEDIA RELEASE Senator the Hon. Robert Hill Minister for Defence Leader of the Government in the Senate


28 Aug 2002 MIN 431/02



Defence recruiting new scientists to combat terrorism


Defence will recruit up to 10 new scientists to enhance Australia’s capability against chemical, biological and radiological threats, Defence Minister Senator Robert Hill announced today.

The new recruits will be employed by the Defence Science & Technology Organisation.

"This initiative is part of a national strategy to combat terrorism," Senator Hill said.

"The scientists will provide support to the Incident Response Regiment, which is being established to assist Australian forces deployed overseas in a high threat chemical, biological and radiological environment as well as to respond to domestic terrorist threats.

"While there is a low risk of a chemical, biological or radiological attack in Australia, September 11 highlighted that we must be prepared for any contingency.

"The Government committed $121 million over four years to make permanent Defence’s capability to respond to such an incident through the regiment, which I will launch next week."

Senator Hill said the Incident Response Regiment would comprise 300 personnel including a Science and Technology Cell staffed by qualified researchers from DSTO.

"DSTO scientists are skilled in measures to detect, identify and protect against chemical, biological or radiological threats," Senator Hill said.

"In particular, the ability to rapidly detect and identify a suspected chemical threat is a skill which in Australia resides uniquely with DSTO."

Senator Hill said the recruitment of additional scientists would build on this capability to provide specialist CBR advice to frontline troops and national agencies, and to ensure a comprehensive

rapid-response capability for emergencies.

To meet the increasing demand from the new regiment, DSTO is expanding its CBR defence program in toxicology, vaccines, radiological studies, advanced mass spectrometry, rapid diagnosis, detection and identification of biological agents, development of protective clothing and decontamination techniques.

Enthusiastic, innovative scientists are required with a background in chemistry, biosciences and nuclear/radiological science. Advertisements will be placed in newspapers next week.

"These positions offer an exciting career opportunity in challenging research fields with the additional prospect of participating in exercises with Australia’s newest Regiment," Senator Hill said.

The Incident Response Regiment, to be launched next week, is an extension of the Incident Response Unit which deployed successfully during the 2000 Sydney Olympics and CHOGM.






Vision of DSTO scientists involved in toxicology and other work is available from Defence Public Affairs.




















Media contacts:

Minister’s office Catherine Fitzpatrick 02 6277 7800 or 0405 351 245 DSTO Darryl Johnston 02 6265 7947 or 0404 823 741

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