|MEDIA RELEASE FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 23rd March 2020
Stop USA Troops coming to Australia-virus spreading threat
- Peace Groups urge no USA marine deployment to Darwin
- Risk of COVID-19 infection
- No exceptions for military personnel
In a strong letter addressed to the Minister for Defence, Senator Linda Reynolds, the Independent and Peaceful Australia Network (IPAN) has pointed out the risk of allowing 2,500 USA marine personnel to start arriving in Darwin next month.
IPAN’s letter insists that restrictions on non-Australians arriving in the country should be applied consistently across the board. “There should be no special exceptions made on the basis of whether or not an individual happens to be a member of the USA’s armed services”, said IPAN’s spokesperson Justin Tutty.
“Any marines in Darwin should immediately be returned to the USA, and no further marines permitted in Australia in the foreseeable future”.
“We note that USA forces in Europe already have cases of COVID-19 amongst their number. Clearly, military personnel are no more or less likely than ordinary citizens to contract or transmit the disease, which is indiscriminate in who it infects.”
“We have therefore called on the Minister to preclude the arrival of the marines scheduled to arrive in Darwin from the beginning of April, and asked her to indicate that they will not be coming during this time of crisis.”
“Furthermore, the movement of foreign personnel through Pine Gap is particularly urgent for the people of Alice Springs, who include many vulnerable indigenous people., but is also critically important for Australians generally”.
“The emergence and spread of the COVID-19 requires that the Government take this step to protect the nation from the spread of Coronavirus”.
“In IPAN’s view, national security involves a lot more than mere military security and protecting the health of the nation should be the priority at this critical time”.
“We look forward to hearing a public announcement on this matter in coming days.”
 (reported in the Washington Times on March 20 https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2020/mar/20/us-military-preparing-worst-case-scenario-europe-c/ )
Media Interviews: Contact Justin Tutty 0424-028-741
IPAN Media Liaison: Kathryn Kelly, contact 0417 269 984