Monday, November 21, 2005

US Bombing Range in NT not acceptable anywhere!

The Queensland Nuclear Free Alliance (QNFA) are appalled at the proposed use of Delamere Long Range training facility by US forces for live bombing.

Spokesperson for the Brisbane Peace Convergence and member group of the QNFA Kim Stewart says, "This is a clear show of force to our neighbours in the Pacific with whom the Howard government has been reluctant to sign a non-aggression treaty. We think this is particularly directed at China, the biggest threat to the US dominance in our region.

"The Howard government is walking a knife's edge talking development of our uranium sales with China while at the some time facilitating the US's military posturing.

"This is just another insult to the communities of the Northern Territory who are already having a nuclear waste dump thrust upon them at nearby Katherine. This development poses an increased threat to the RAMSAR listed wetlands of Kakadu and Katherine Gorge. The US forces have a track record of inaccuracy in their bombing, including a near miss of a control tower at Delamere by a 500 pound laser guided bomb in August this year, and a fighter crashed on a nearby cattle station in September 2004.

QNFA are concerned about the presence of nuclear war ships and nuclear weapons in our waters and on our land and the possible use of deplete uranium munitions such as those that have polluted and rendered toxic, dangerous to human health and unliveable numerous US bases including Vieques, Okinawa, Germany, South Korea and Italy.

Pauline Rigby, spokesperson for Depleted Uranium Silent Killers (DUSK) says, "If the bombing is 'so safe' then the Government should have no problems with independent soil tests being taken from the NT and Shoalwater Bay to be assessed at the Uranium Medical Research Center in Toronto Canada.

"What steps are being taken by the Australian Government to 'prove' to the Australian people that DU weapons, 'have not' and 'will not' be used on our soil?

"The Australian Government needs to be aware that if they use or allow the use of 'depleted uranium' weapons, which are illegal under International Law, this places Australia in breach of the Geneva Convention, to which we are a signatory. We are calling on all Australians to reject the Howard government's support of the US military presence in our country and to stand in solidarity with the communities opposing the nuclear industry and the nuclear waste dump being forced on them by the Howard government.

The QNFA demand an end to US forces using our country as a bombing test site.

BPC spokesperson Kim Stewart says, "There is a difference between "helping your allies" and being used by them. The fact is US forces are not permitted to train using live fire or DU on any US territory. What makes that acceptable in Australia?"

The Queensland Nuclear Free Alliance is a network of Peace, Environment and Anti-Nuclear groups dedicated to opposing the industrial and military nuclear cycle and promoting peaceful, environmental and socially just alternatives.


Brisbane Peace Convergence -- Kim Stewart 0413 397 839

Depleted Uranium Silent Killer -- Pauline Rigby

By Peace Convergence posted 21 November 05