marinesdarwinThe Independent Peaceful Australia Network (IPAN) condemned the arrival of the US Marines in Darwin on Monday morning.

IPAN spokesperson Jo Vallentine said “There are no threats to Australian security that justifies Australia spending this amount of money on a foreign force.”

“These continuing arrivals of US Marines is costing Australia millions of dollars, at a time when our government is telling us that we are in a budgetary emergency” said Jo Vallentine, former Senator for Western Australia, a spokesperson for IPAN.

Justin Tutty from Darwin is concerned that the money going into hosting the Marines could be put elsewhere in his community “There have been no economic benefits to the people of Darwin, cost of living is bad enough- we would be better off having more money for better education or infrastructure, rather than housing an expensive foreign military power.”

Jo Vallentine said Australia needed to look at better options for its security. “Today is the Global Day Against Military Spending. It’s a day for us to look at the real cost of this US alliance. The government has never been clear exactly who the Marines are protecting us from. If it’s China- they are our biggest trading partner and we should not be jeopardising that relationship over unfounded paranoia. If China is not the threat then the Government needs to be clear on exactly who the US Marines are providing security against. If the government can’t, then Marines should be asked to leave, and the money spent hosting them put back into the Australian people.”

IPAN is a network of organisations from all regions of Australia who are united by their support for an independent Australian based foreign policy based on peaceful resolution of conflicts.

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