Agreement For U.S. Bases In Australia Extended 10 Years
CANBERRA, Australia (AP) _ Australia and the United States have extended their agreement on two U.S. military bases for another 10 years, Prime Minister Bob Hawke told Parliament today.
In Washington, a State Department official confirmed Hawke’s statement and said the United States was pleased the agreement was extended.
The Pine Gap and Nurrunga space satellite facilities had until now operated under agreements that could be terminated at one year’s notice by either side, Hawke said.
″We do not regard this as satisfactory, both because of the continuing importance of (the bases’) effective operation to global peace and because of the specific benefits to Australia of long-term access to their capabilities,″ the prime minister said.
″We have further agreed that three years’ notice shall be required to terminate the agreement,″ he said.
He said the United States has also agreed to allow more Australian involvement in the management of the bases.
Hawke said that until the early 1980s, only about 10 percent of the staff at the bases were Australian. He said that under the new agreement, the Australian staff will increase to about 30 percent of the employees.
Another U.S.-run base at North-West Cape, whose military function is less sensitive than that of Pine Gap and Nurrunga, is not subject to the new agreement.
Australian officials said the number of U.S. military personnel in Australia is classified information.