AABCC Press Release Wednesday, 21 September 2007

For immediate release

Nelson's Pine Gap revelations threaten Australia's economic security.

The announcement by Defence Minister Brendan Nelson concerning Pine Gap's role simply underlines how the Howard Government acts in the interests of the US rather than Australia.

"The Anti-Bases Campaign has been saying for years that Australia is involved in the US strategy 'of containing China' by the use of bases and agreements to aid the US in its endeavours." Said Denis Doherty National Coordinator of Australian Anti-Bases Campaign Coalition (AABCC) today.

"The US has strengthened its bases in the Asia-Pacific region beefing up its bases in South Korea, Japan and Guam. Australia has been complicit in this strategy all along with the Howard Government assisting and providing bases and training for the US and its allies.

"Is it any wonder that China respond with less than fulsome praise for such a deceitful double standard? Howard is prepared to sacrifice Australian interests for the United States interests.

"There is nothing benign about Pine Gap, it is a war fighting base and the world knows it. Pine Gap makes us a nuclear target and threatens to have major countries like Russia and China targeting us in the event of war. Bill Hayden said this in the 80's when he was the Foreign Minister in the Hawke Government.

"The bland statements of Mr. Nelson such as 'partnership' and 'continuing to evolve' are nothing less than abject subgejation of Australian interests to the those of the US.

Some of Mr. Nelson statement last night about Pine Gap stated: "missile launch early warning information could be used in any US missile defence system, and as such this would be a continuation of a ballistic missile early warning partnership that we have shared with the United States for over 30 years." The capabilities of Pine Gap would "continue to evolve" to meet demands and take advantage of new technologies."

"These are nothing less than weasel words that do not fool the Chinese Government or anyone in the world. Mr. Doherty commented.

"We cannot expect politicians to act for peace but one would think that they have enough self interest to act for the economic good of the Australian people. However, with the Howard Government no such expectation can be expected. He is quite happy for China to cancel its contracts with Australia because of our complicity in the US's threatening and containing of China.

For more information: contact Denis Doherty 0418 290 663

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