Government allows US ballistic missile testing

August 20, 1997

Government allows US ballistic missile testing

The Australian government has agreed to cooperate with the US government in "Project Dundee" — ground to air Terrier missile tests off the coast of Western Australia.

"These tests could threaten many of our neighbours and provoke a destabilising and escalating regional arms race. Only arms manufacturers would benefit from this", the Australian Anti-Bases Campaign Coalition says in a letter to the minister for defence, Ian McLachlan.

The AABCC says: "We are also concerned about any developing cooperation between the Australian Defence Science and Technology Organisation and the US Ballistic Missile Defense Organisation. BMDO — which is the latest version of the US Strategic Defense Initiative or 'Star Wars' — is not primarily a defensive system but an offensive one.

"Developing ballistic missiles is not going to deal with the causes of war. The wars afflicting the world at present are almost all internal conflicts ... caused by injustice, exploitation and poverty. Developing ballistic missiles will make huge profits for armaments manufacturers, but the money would be far better spent on solving these problems through environmentally sustainable development programs."

Australia is a signatory to the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty.

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