Tuesday, 26 May, 2020
Australian Greens Peace and Disarmament spokesperson Senator Jordon Steele-John has expressed deep concern that the United States Marine Rotational Force will be going ahead in Darwin in early June.
“All military cooperation with the United States in Australia must cease while the threat of COVID-19 remains high to protect people in the the Northern Territory, including First Nations Communities and Australian Forces who would ordinarily be undertaking shared activities with US Troops based in the Top End,” Steele-John said.
“The Northern Territory has worked hard to ensure that COVID-19 is contained, including strict border controls and placing restrictions on movement into remote communities. So far, these measures have been extremely successful at keeping Territorians safe.
“Conversely, the United States has more than 1.2 million active cases of COVID-19 and President Trump’s handling of the crisis has been nothing short of a disaster.
“There have also been serious COVID-19 outbreaks on the USS Kidd, USS Theodore and many others. This risk is further amplified by a decision by the US military to clamp down on publicising the number of cases there are amongst deployed forces due to security concerns.
“Noting that Darwin has already had returning Australian troops come in with COVID-19 from overseas deployments, I urge you to reconsider the allowing Marine Rotational Force to go ahead over the next couple of week.
“There is absolutely no reason to put communities or the health system in the Top End at risk.”
STEELE-JOHN; Tim Oliver - 0448 316 387