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East Timor Christmas Concert Launched

The Minister for Defence, John Moore, today officially launched a planned Christmas Concert for Australian troops deployed into East Timor with the UNTAET peacekeeping force.

The tour, which has been named TOUR DE FORCE EAST TIMOR 2000, will comprise a series of four concerts. These will be held in Dili on 16th December, Suai 17th December, Balibao on 19th December and Batugade on 20th December.

The Concert is a follow-on to the highly successful TOUR OF DUTY concert which was held in Dili in December last year.

"That Concert played an extremely positive role in helping to restore morale to the people of East Timor," Mr Moore said.

"It also reminded our personnel serving in East Timor how proud we were of the humanitarian work they were doing."

"The fact is, Australian personnel are still in East Timor and they are still doing a difficult, dangerous job."

"Much remains to be done to rebuild the devastated nation, but, one thing remains constant, and that is the tremendous, on-going pride we have for all Australians serving there."

"The Government and the Australian Defence Force wish also to acknowledge the sacrifices being made by families of Australian personnel serving in East Timor. With Christmas approaching, it isn't an easy time of year to be separated from loved ones. So, on behalf of all Australians, we say 'thank you'."

Performers who are volunteering their time and talents to the event include Sally and Katie from Bardot, Taxi Ride, Skunkhour and Tim Freedman from the WHITLAMS. The concerts will be hosted by Triple JJJ personalities Merrick and Rosso.

NOTE FOR EDITORS AND CHIEFS OF STAFF:

Extra media kits, stills and footage will be available through pool from Media Liaison, Defence Public Affairs For Information:

Brian Hickey 6265 2376 or 0414 238 354 Media Liaison

Issued by Public Affairs and Corporate Communication, Department of Defence, Canberra, ACT, 2600 Media releases are available by email if you register at the Media Centre at www.defence.gov.au


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