Peace groups criticise local inaction in face of 5th USMC deployment
Tuesday 19th April, 2016
A national peace group claims the fifth rotation of USA Marines to Darwin sees Territorians no better informed or prepared for what they call a “growing foreign military presence”
Justin Tutty is a founding member of BaseWatch, the Darwin chapter of the Independent Peaceful Australia Network (IPAN).
BaseWatch criticise what Mr Tutty says is the failure of local authorities to take a role in defining boundaries to the American military build-up.
“Australia has already committed to a 25 year agreement to host permanent co-located rotational deployments at Robertson Barracks, RAAF Base Darwin, and later Tindal,” said Mr Tutty.
“Initially, we were assured that this agreement wouldn’t proceed without a public process to assess the social impact of the full anticipated extent of the Darwin component of the Joint Posture Review”
“We welcomed social impact assessment as an appropriate way for codifying expectations of the visiting forces, and setting limits to what still seems a fairly unbounded growing presence.”
“The federal government dropped the ball on that commitment. And instead of picking up the slack, Chief Minister Giles has urged the foreign forces to build up faster.”
“We know from local experience of hosting irregular ship visits and war games, plus evidence from other USA bases in our region, that these bases do impact upon host communities.”
“Territorians deserve to have an opportunity to scrutinise those impacts, and play a role in managing the risks of the growing foreign military presence.”