Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
How much more will Australia's most vulnerable pay for the war on terror?



Download PDFDownload PDF

Senator Vicki Bourne Australian Democrats Foreign Affairs Spokesperson

15th May 2002 MEDIA RELEASE 02/240

http://www.democrats.org.au/

How much more will Australia’s most vulnerable pay for the war on terror?

The Australian Democrats say that the cuts to health and welfare in the budget are only the first down payment that Australia’s most vulnerable will make towards Australia’s future war on terror needs.

“The Government has provided no forward estimate of what the future operational costs of the war on terror will be,” said Democrats’ spokesperson for Defence, Senator Vicki Bourne.

“The Government expects Australia’s operational commitment to the war on terror to end on June 30 next year. This is despite the fact that both the Government and Labor are willing to continue Australia’s open-ended commitment to a US led ‘war on terror’.

“We still do not know when the war in Afghanistan will end, or what will happen in the Middle East.

“The ‘war on terror’ will have cost Australians $2.1 billion by June next year. This includes an additional $194m in operational costs for the war in Afghanistan that were not forecast at last year’s additional estimates,” Senator Bourne said.

“Under the current approach we can expect the Government to continue dipping into the pockets of the poor and needy at additional estimates and future budgets every time the US asks Australia to contribute to its war effort.

“This is money that will continue to come directly from health, welfare and education,” Senator Bourne said.

“The most vulnerable in the community always bear the brunt of a nation’s war effort. It is of great concern that Australia’s war on terror is proving to be no different,” Senator Bourne concluded.

Media Inquiries: Senator Vicki Bourne 0418 861 098 Media Inquiries: Senator Vicki Bourne 0418 861 098 Media Inquiries: Senator Vicki Bourne 0418 861 098 Media Inquiries: Senator Vicki Bourne 0418 861 098