Australia needs debate on US base proposals

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Australian Greens Leader Bob Brown says there needs to be a public and parliamentary debate about Australia forgoing the option of an independent relationship with its neighbours and a stronger profile in affording civil aid and peace operations in our region.

"Now is the time for Australia to be thinking more independently about its foreign policy and boosting civil aid in our neighbourhood," Senator Brown said, responding to a report in Fairfax newspapers, ‘Obama to announce US Marine base in Darwin'.

"The proposal for Darwin needs to be clearly qualified and quantified by the Gillard government," Senator Brown said.

"The Australian Greens' policy is to ‘end foreign troop deployment, training and hosting on Australian territory'," Senator Brown said.

"Full Australian sovereignty over any new facility should be made abundantly clear. There should be a parliamentary debate before this proposal is decided, taking into account the opinion of experts that other nations such as China will be riled by the news of a US base at Darwin."