Senate debates

Tuesday, 21 August 2012


Criminal Code Amendment (Cluster Munitions Prohibition) Bill 2010; In Committee

1:09 pm

Photo of David FeeneyDavid Feeney (Victoria, Australian Labor Party, Parliamentary Secretary for Defence) Share this | Hansard source

Firstly, there is nothing hypothetical about our policy. Our policy is our policy and it is plain. The government strictly monitors the presence of cluster munitions and other explosives on Australian territory. Ships and aircraft owned by foreign armed forces that transit through Australian territory are required to advise the quantity of explosives that they have on board to enable appropriate explosives safety requirements to be met—that is, to ensure that the ship or aircraft is berthed or parked in an appropriate location—and it is standard practice to require such vessels to advise of the total net explosives quantity of munitions that they have on-board rather than the actual type and quantity of specific munitions.

All munitions owned by foreign armed forces that are stored on Australian soil are required to be managed as Commonwealth explosives, in accordance with the Explosives Act 1961 and its subordinate regulations and codes. This requires specific approval for the storage and transportation of these munitions and their inclusion in Defence information holdings. Additionally, munitions are stored in Defence facilities licensed to store explosive ordnance and are managed on the computer system for armaments. As a consequence of that Defence both approves and has full visibility of all foreign armed forces munitions that are stored on Australian soil.


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