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Christmas Concert For Interfet Troops In Timor

John Farnham and Kylie Minogue are among high profile performers from the Australian music and entertainment industry expected to perform at a special Christmas concert for INTERFET troops in East Timor on Tuesday December 21, the Acting Minister for Defence, Mr Bruce Scott, announced today.

The unique Christmas concert, being organised by the Managing Director of Talentworks, Glenn Wheatley, is also expected to feature Doc Neeson, The Living End, Gina Jeffery, James Blundell and the RMC Big Band. Roy and HG Nelson are expected to compere the concert, to be beamed live to Australian audiences as part of a multi-channel broadcast event.

Major sponsors will be Westfield, Compaq and Qantas.

"It is important to ensure that our troops in East Timor have as much support as possible during the Christmas period to take account of the fact that they are performing a demanding service away from their families," Mr Scott said.

"I am delighted with the generous support from the entertainment industry and sponsors to enable this concert to take place," Mr Scott said.

Mr Scott said Defence would provide transport, support staff and equipment needed to stage the concert. Qantas will provide airlift support and Compaq will be supplying computers to enable the troops to communicate with their families at home via the internet.

Westfield will be offering the Australian public the opportunity to sponsor a 'Dili Bag' for each of our troops. Donations can be made at special Westfield/CARE Australia booths at all 30 Westfield Shoppingtowns across Australia from next week until Christmas. The Dili Bags will contain Australian products donated by companies and the money raised from the public's sponsorship will be donated to CARE Australia to help their efforts in East Timor.

Mr Scott said Defence was still negotiating with Mr Wheatley over contractual and logistical arrangements to ensure the concert's success. It is also hoped that smaller concerts can be held for troops outside Dili, in addition to the main concert, on December 21.

"It is a major exercise to stage a concert like this and much work will need to be done between now and December 21," he said.

"This initiative shows the strong support from Government and the Australian people for our ADF personnel involved in the INTERFET operation in East Timor."


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