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Australia: Demand accountability on US base

Greens demand accountability on US base

Revelations that even the State Government has not been told about the impending establishment of a US military base in the north-west are alarming, Senator Rachel Siewert said this morning.

"Proposals for US bases on Australian soil have been proceeding under cover of darkness," Senator Siewert said. "With the Government acting by stealth and the opposition running dead on the issue, the Greens appear to be the only ones concerned that US military forces will shortly be establishing a permanent foothold in WA and the NT."

In response to a question in State Parliament by Giz Watson MLC, the
Hon Kim Chance admitted that "...The Premier is unable to comment as there has been no consultation on this issue and he has not been provided with any details on this proposal." *

Senator Siewert has submitted an extensive list of parliamentary questions to the Federal Government seeking details on how far the
Howard Government is willing to go to accommodate the changing needs of US military strategists.

"I want to know what they plan to do up there," Senator Siewert said.
"Unexploded munitions and chemical contamination now haunt training ranges around the world, and I'm not going to stand by while the
Kimberley is written off in this fashion. The US military also deploys depleted uranium as a standard issue anti-tank munition - do they plan on using this material in their exercises?"

"Military bases and bombing ranges come with a heavy cost in environmental contamination, social disruption and economic dependence," Senator Siewert said. "I am dead against permanent US bases on Australian soil, but how are people meant to make their minds up when the Government is acting with such secrecy?"

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