INDEPENDENT NEWS

Greens Now Control Defence Policy

Published: Wed 23 Aug 2000 09:46 AM
"Labour has rolled over to extreme Green isolationist views," National Defence spokesperson Wayne Mapp said today.
"It is clear that Helen Clark is more interested in an isolationist stance than working alongside our most important ally, Australia. Abandoning the upgrading of the Orions means we will no longer have proper surveillance of our own region.
"The upgrade would have meant greatly improved search and rescue capability, and surveillance of the Exclusive Economic Zone. The Orions need sophisticated radar and data processing systems to be able to do the best possible search and rescue missions.
"That was the promise of Project Sirius. It is not about Cold War notions of anti-submarine warfare.
"The ability to create a picture by radar, by day and night, would mean it would be so much easier to identify a life raft or a fishing boat. Instead, Labour will lock us into outdated 1960s and 1970s technology. The price will be measured in lives lost at sea.
"It also means we will no longer be able to play our part in South West Pacific security. This is obviously Labour's intention.
"By spending all the money on the Army, Labour is ensuring that both the Air Force and the Navy will wither on the vine.
"Putting all our eggs in the Army basket is wrong. It will destroy the morale armed forces, and set service against service.
"The Government seems committed to robbing the defence forces of its options. That's a strategy we will regret - sooner rather than later," Dr Mapp said.
Ends

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