Gas Week

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New APEC security pact grants Australia top-secret US weaponry: but 75pc think APEC, was overkill

Posted by gasweek on 19 September, 2007

US president George Bush will unveil a new security pact in Sydney this week, granting Australia preferential access to top-secret US military technology and enhancing co-operation on defence and counter-terrorism. With polling showing almost three-quarters of NSW residents believe the $300 million APEC bill is a waste of money.

Prime Minister John Howard urged people to be more positive. US and Australian sources say the new security agreement will include;
• a framework to speed up Australian access to defence technology and information;

• could also include a waiver from stifling US regulations when obtaining certain military equipment and software, allowing Australian defence companies to produce them locally. “We get loads of US defence technology, but we don’t get the cream,” said Mark Thomson, a senior analyst at the Australian Strategic Policy Institute. “Even for some of the unclassified stuff, including things like mechanical spares, they won’t give us a licence to manufacture on security grounds.”

The Age, 3/9/2007, p. 1

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