‘Town council neglects its duty of care over Pine Gap’

p2367-pine-gap-kristain-l-rLETTER TO THE EDITOR


Sir – Alice Springs Town Council fails to implement civil defence measures to protect its ratepayers.


The council, in its Joint Defence Facility Pine Gap Policy document No 111, supports the retention of this facility on the basis of its “economic and social benefit to Alice Springs and for the defence of Australian territory”.


However, the council appears to have neglected its duty of care to carry out a risk assessment on the possible negatives associated with this facility and the implementation of civil defence measures to attempt to counter the terrible consequences of a missile attack on Pine Gap.


Such an eventuality may be considered very unlikely by some, but Australia is being drawn by the United States into a possible war scenario with China.


Experts who understand the role of Pine Gap warned at the recent IPAN conference in Alice Springs, that it has become a major United States communications and surveillance facility which plays a vital role in in the military strategies of the US.


It would very likely become a target for missile attack, perhaps a nuclear missile attack in the event of a serious war breaking out between the US and China.


Even if this risk is considered low, the consequences are so dire to those who live in Alice Springs that the council must develop and implement a civil defence plan for the city.


The Medical Association for the Prevention of War (MAPW) has researched the implications of a nuclear missile attack on Pine Gap and its likely effects on Alice Springs.


Without going into detail, the electromagnetic pulse associated with a nuclear explosion would take out all electronics in Alice Springs meaning there would be no telephones working, fixed or mobile, no radio, no TV and all computers would be destroyed.


There would be no means of communications with the outside world.


Utilities controlled by electronics would fail. Cars dependent on electronic ignition systems would not start.


Glass windows would shatter under the powerful nuclear wind and low levels of radiation would permeate into Alice Springs.


There is no need to go further except to emphasise that serious civil defence measures and procedures need to be implemented. This has not been done. The council has failed in its duty of care to Alice Springs residents.


Bevan Ramsden
Lambton, NSW


PHOTO: Kristian Laemmle-Ruff.



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8 Comments (starting with the most recent)

NB: If you want to reply to a previous comment, start your comment with this notation: @n where n is the number of the comment you want to reply to.
  1. Felix
    Posted November 11, 2016 at 9:05 am

    Don’t really think town council is the institution responsible for this.

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  2. Ray
    Posted November 8, 2016 at 8:42 am

    Bevan, for the council to have a duty of care, it first must have a duty, or legal obligation. The council does not have this obligation in relation to a nuclear attack. I reckon the military might though.
    Can’t really see how a bomb would be delivered, as we have a pretty efficient Air Force able to intercept, and I reckon the US might have a contingency plan or two in place.
    Keep your scare mongering to yourself, bases like this allow weapons to be guided accurately onto targets, or would you rather see carpet bombing of a large area to get the target?
    They also give a heads up of when weapons are launched. We might not like them, but I say bases such as these are needed these days, and if war was to happen, it would not matter where you were, as high population targets like Sydney and Melbourne would also be targets.
    Get on with life, whatever will be will be, not much that small players can change, besides it’s a good thing for our diversity and economy.

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  3. Evelyne Roullet
    Posted November 7, 2016 at 12:08 pm

    Dear Bevan, if you were our mayor, what would be your recommendations?
    Pine Gap is approximately 18 kilometres from Alice.
    A 100 megaton nuclear bomb would be equal to the effect of exploding 100 million tons of trinitrotoluene (TNT).
    These figures are for the proposed 100megaton Tsar Bomba, the biggest bomb ever designed:
    Fireball radius: 3.03 km / 1.88 mi
    Maximum size of the nuclear fireball; relevance to lived effects depends on height of detonation.
    Radiation radius: 7.49 km / 4.65 mi
    500 rem radiation dose; between 50% and 90% mortality from acute effects alone; dying takes between several hours and several weeks.
    Air blast radius: 12.51 km / 7.77 mi
    20 psi overpressure; heavily built concrete buildings are severely damaged or demolished; Fatalities approach 100%.
    Air blast radius: 33.01 km / 20.51 mi
    4.6 psi overpressure; most buildings collapse; injuries universal, fatalities widespread.
    Thermal radiation radius: 77.06 km / 47.88 mi
    Third-degree burns to all exposed skin; starts fires in flammable materials, contributes to firestorm if large enough.
    Source: nuclearsecrecy.com/nukemap
    Personally I hope I will have time enough to sit down and kiss my ass goodbye.

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  4. The Headland
    Posted November 6, 2016 at 3:50 pm

    Depends on the US election. If Donald Trump wins the risk would be higher and an emergency plan might not be a bad idea.

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  5. Dr Who
    Posted November 5, 2016 at 8:03 pm

    Dear Bevan, please take 1 Bex daily and lie down.

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  6. Ian Sharp
    Posted November 4, 2016 at 8:36 pm

    Perhaps the council should also be responsible for risk assessments for asteroid strikes?
    Wait though, aren’t there three levels of government in Australia, perhaps local councils aren’t the ones with the resources to undertake these tasks?

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  7. Hermann Weber
    Posted November 4, 2016 at 10:01 am

    Is this person for real? It’s not the 1st of April yet …

    View Comment
  8. Greg Latency
    Posted November 3, 2016 at 10:42 am

    The writer is a peace activist and against US coalition, check out his FB page – hardly an unbiased opinion.
    Why he is now attacking the town council beggars belief. Sanity at its lowest ebb.

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