Australian news, and some related international items

Australia’s Defence minister ‘welcomes’ USA submarines, cagey about upgrades for nuclear submarine visits

Defence Minister evades nuclear sub questions In My Community, 27/Apr/2012 By Laura Tomlinson, Weekend Courier FEDERAL Defence Minister Stephen Smith used a visit to HMAS Stirling today to reiterate the Australian Government’s commitment to its relationship with the United States.

However, the minister would not be drawn on whether Garden Island’s infrastructure was in line for an upgrade to help host American appliances, including controversial nuclear submarines. Mr Smith and Brand MHR Gary Gray toured one of the US’s biggest submarines, the USS Michigan, which is currently docked at Garden Island, before Mr Smith conducted a media conference on the wharf. ….. Mr Smith told reporters of the Federal Government’s previously-announced commitment to building 12 new submarines.

Nuclear subs have been ruled out – because there is no local capability to construct or maintain them, but that doesn’t mean America’s nuclear fleet is unwelcome. Mr Smith said it was important that Australian defence assets were appropriately geographically distributed “for the challenges of the future”, and that American vessels could use Australian ports……

April 28, 2012 - Posted by | weapons and war, Western Australia

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