Press Release Tuesday, 2 September 2003

"NOT IN MY NAME" - Crocodile Leads Anti-War Games Protest

A peace loving crocodile will lead a protest against the Crocodile 2003 war games
on Tuesday, 2 September Sydney Town Hall Square from 5 to 6.30 PM

Organised by Australian Anti-Bases Campaign Coalition in association with Sydney Peace and Justice Coalition

"With the Australian military budget now over $43 million a day, every cent wasted on the military means less money for employment programs and the health, education and housing needs of Australians," Dr Hannah Middleton, Co-convenor of the Sydney Peace and Justice Coalition, said in Sydney this morning.

The Australian military budget for 2003/2004 put aside $400 million for war games. The biggest and most expensive of these is Crocodile 2003.

The Crocodile 2003 war games involve 7,000 Australian and 3,000 American troops together with ships, planes and other equipment. They are being held throughout September at Shoalhaven Bay and other areas around Rockhampton, Queensland and in the Coral Sea.

"The government should cut Australia's military budget by ten per cent a year," Dr Middleton said.

"This would produce a "peace dividend" providing major funds to satisfy community needs for jobs, housing, education, health care, welfare, environmental protection, transport and communications, culture and leisure.

"With a ten per cent cut, Australia would still possess enough military force to defend our territory against likely military threats but not to have either the weapon systems or military doctrine to be able to threaten the territory of other states," she continued.

"Security is much more than weapons. Real security comes with jobs, steady food supplies, homes, clean water, warmth, education and health care, democracy and human rights.

Trade, co-operation and aid with our neighbours would be more effective in promoting peace and security for Australia and the region than spending more on the military," Dr Middleton concluded.

For more information, contact Dr Hannah Middleton, Sydney Peace and Justice Coalition 0418 668 098
Denis Doherty, Australian Anti-Bases Campaign Coalition 0418 290 663