Mil­i­tary visit mooted

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - FRONT PAGE -

HIGH- RANK­ING Amer­i­can and Aus­tralian mil­i­tary of­fi­cials are re­port­edly plan­ning to visit the Scherger RAAF base, 26km from Weipa, on May 2.

The visit could in­di­cate grow­ing in­ter­est from the US in a strate­gic air base.

Scherger has hardly been used by the air force since it was opened by then Prime Min­is­ter John Howard in 1998.

There have been nu­mer­ous train­ing ex­er­cises at the base and, for three years, it served as a mi­grant de­ten­tion cen­tre, when it pro­vided sig­nif­i­cant stim­u­lus to the Weipa and district econ­omy.

The news­pa­per quoted Weipa Town Au­thor­ity chair­man Ian McNa­mara as say­ing that high-rank­ing mil­i­tary of­fices were due to at­tend a con­fer­ence in Townsville and would come north af­ter that to visit Weipa.

The WTA had been asked to or­gan­ise trans­port for up to 50 peo­ple to visit the base from Weipa.

The Bulletin said War­ren Entsch, Mem­ber for Le­ich­hardt, had heard “whis­pers” about a grow­ing in­ter­est from the US in the base, but knew no more than that.

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