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Government fails to allay fears on rocket launchers.



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MEDIA RELEASE

AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY

Joel Fitzgibbon MP

Shadow Defence Minister Member for Hunter

5 January 2007

GOVERNMENT FAILS TO ALLAY FEARS ON ROCKET LAUNCHERS

Today's announcement from Minister Nelson is a belated admission of the obvious, that the stolen rocket launchers were indeed Defence assets.

The question remains - where are the other six rocket launchers? Minister Nelson has admitted that failure to review those security arrangements "has resulted in vulnerabilities that could be exploited by criminal elements". Labor is concerned that these weapons could remain in the hands of criminals and terrorists.

Minister Nelson has admitted that no attempt was made to further review and update Defence weapon storage security arrangements, post September 11 2001.

While Labor is relieved to learn that the audit has accounted for the current stock of M72 rocket launchers, the Australian people are still waiting for some reassurance that the current weapon security arrangements are satisfactory.

There has been no assurance that it is not possible for more rocket launchers to walk out the front gate!

Contact: Joel Fitzgibbon 0418 293 372 www.joelfitzgibbon.com

Brendan Long 0408 421 447