Gas Week

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Australian Minister for Defence explains: Pine Gap is for spying and listening into everyone’s phone calls and controlling US missile defence system

Posted by gasweek on 9 October, 2007

Brendan Nelson, Minister for Defence, Australia Liberal Party, House of Representatives, Commonwealth – for reasons not made clear – made a ministerial statement concerning the Joint Defence Facility at Pine Gap, Alice Springs, on 20 September 2007. He said: “Pine Gap will remain a central element of Australia’s security and its relationship with the United States for the foreseeable future. All activities at the Joint Defence Facility Pine Gap are managed to ensure that they are consistent with Australian interests. These activities take place with the full knowledge and concurrence of the Australian government, and Australia benefits fully from them”.

The facility at Pine Gap had two principal roles:

• the collection of intelligence by technical means; and

• the provision of ballistic missile early warning information.

The intelligence collected at Pine Gap meets critical requirements of both our nations, providing us with information on;

• priority intelligence targets such as terrorism;

• the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction; and

• military and weapons developments.

“It also contributes to the monitoring of compliance with arms control and disarmament agreements and provides communication support. The operations at Pine Gap continue to provide us with intelligence which is valuable to our own security.

Supports United States and its ballistic missile early warning program Through the relay ground station at Pine Gap, Australia supports the United States and its ballistic missile early warning program, thereby making a significant contribution to global security. The program provides;

• reassurance against the possibility of surprise or accidental nuclear missile attack as well as early warning capability against shorter ranged tactical missiles;

• provides information about the occurrence of nuclear explosions. Our participation in this program, therefore, in addition to contributing to global security;

• helps us to inhibit the proliferation of ballistic missiles and provides information on ballistic missile launches of interest to Australia.

Ballistic missile launch early warning information could be used in any US missile defence system and, as such, this would be a continuation of a ballistic missile early warning partnership that we have shared with the United States for over 30 years. The capabilities present at Pine Gap will continue to evolve to meet new demands and to take advantage of new technologies. In that regard, our two nations will continue to have technical exchanges.

Reference: Brendan Nelson, Member for Bradfield, Minister for Defence, Australia Liberal Party, House of Representatives, Commonwealth, 20 September 2007.

Erisk Net, 7/10/2007

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