AABCC Press Release August 15, 2002

For immediate release

Senator Hill's remarks on Pine Gap - ludicrous!

Senator Hill's remarks as he visits Pine Gap today are totally ludicrous and untruthful. Denis Doherty the national coordinator of Australian Anti-Bases Campaign and one of the main organisers of the demonstrations against Pine Gap in October said today.

"The Australian Government's own agency the Office of National Assessment (ONA) has said that supporting Star Wars in not in Australia's interest.

"Pine Gap's role as an arms monitoring centre has now been made redundant by the abrogation of the ABM treaty. Pine Gap is an aggressive, targeting base for the pursuance of US wars against poor third world countries such as Iraq and Afghanistan.

"The US itself has refused all disarmament treaties in recent years. For example they have refused to sign treaties about landmines and have abrogated the ABM treaty. Aligning oneself so uncritically with such an ally is tantamount to support for US militarism.

"While Australia spends many millions each year on the over 30 US bases here all Australia gets in return is the arrogant raiding of our agriculture markets which undermines our economy.

"In fact there is equipment in Pine Gap which enables industrial espionage to be carried out on our industries, particularly our agriculture and extractive sectors. Supporting Pine Gap is like supporting a known 'Trojan Horse'.

"Pine Gap has a history of being 'sold' under one pretext or another this is another in that long history of lies and half truths. In the beginning the people of Alice Springs were told it was a space research centre and gradually the truth came out that it was a NSA/CIA spying on our neighbours and us and no svelte minister can tell us any different!

For more information

Contact Denis Doherty 02) 9660 7562 or mobile 0418 290 663