Broome berth offer for US Navy co-operation

Written on the 30 October 2017

The tourist town of Broome could become a northern Australian hub for the US Navy amid increasing tensions with China after the State Government invited it to berth warships at the soon-to-be dredged port.

WA Defence Issues Minister Paul Papalia told The Weekend West he "rolled out the welcome mat" during discussions with high-level US officials on the sidelines of the Australian American Leadership Dialogue in Honolulu last week.

The State Government this month announced $7 million in dredging works would remove obstacles in Broome Port's approach channel to improve access by bigger vessels and secure more cruise ship visits.

Mr Papalia said he told foreign policy, operations and logistics chiefs from the US Pacific Command of the development.

"We've talked to the very highest people in the directorate of operations that schedule ship visits and they are now aware that we are very welcoming, the welcome mat is out and we have a range of capabilities," he said.

Mr Papalia said destroyers or cruisers could bring up to 500 crew to spend money in Broome.



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