Country Liberals Senator for the Northern Territory Nigel Scullion says today is a historic day for the Territory with the first visit of a sitting American President to the top end when US President Barack Obama flies in this afternoon.
“It is a proud day to be a Territorian and to see President Obama visit Darwin,” Senator Scullion said.
“Had there been more time in the President’s schedule I would have loved to shown President Obama some of the real Territory by taking him fishing or to some of the Territory’s unique natural wonders.
“Some of the soldiers serving under President Obama will, however, get to see more of the Territory following the announcement of a boost in American military presence in Darwin.
“I welcome that during a staged approach over time up to 2,500 Marines will be based in the Territory, with 250 commencing from next year.
“There are a host of locations in the Territory for joint training exercises for American and Aussie soldiers to test their skills in a variety of landscapes and conditions.
“The US Marines will undergo first class combat pre-deployment training at facilities at Bradshaw and Mt Bundy
“The world renowned facilities and training offered here in the Territory is what has helped give our diggers among the highest combat survivability rates in the world.
“The increased US military presence will also be good for the Northern Territory economy.
“Australia’s alliance with the United States is the vital underpinning of our defence arrangements, with this visit marking 60 years since Sir Robert Menzies and President Truman agreed to formalise our alliance under the ANZUS treaty.
“The Coalition supports an enhanced US presence at Australian military bases and this announcement finalises plans started by the Howard Government.
“It is both in Australia’s security interests and important for stability in the Asia-Pacific region.
“It is vital that the Northern Territory and Darwin, which is Australia’s door way to Asia, helps play our part in the security and stability of the Asia Pacific region.
“The greater American military presence will allow for faster responses to regional humanitarian disasters such as floods, Tsunamis or earthquakes.
“As Shadow Minister for Indigenous Affairs I am also pleased to see the President will receive a Tiwi artwork by artist Jean Baptiste Apuatimi,” Senator Scullion said.
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Historic day for Territory with Obama visit and increased US military presence.pdf