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08 June 2007

Thales Australia welcomes today's signing of the principal contract for the redevelopment of the Commonwealth's propellant manufacturing facility at Mulwala, N.S.W. by the Department of Defence and representatives of the contractor, Bovis Lend Lease.

"Thales Australia is pleased that this essential strategic capability in military explosives, propellants and munitions is maintained in Australia as it is a fundamental pillar of strategic sovereignty and self reliance" said Norm Gray, Managing Director, Thales Australia. "Recent experience has demonstrated that this strategic need is stronger now than at any time in the past 50 years" added Norm Gray.

Thales Australia would like to commend the Hon Dr Brendan Nelson, Minister of Defence on his stewardship and support of this long running project. In addition Thales Australia wish's to acknowledge the Hon Dr Sharman Stone, the Hon Sussan Ley and Mrs Sophie Mirabella for their tireless advocacy for this project.

Once implemented, the project will deliver a safe and environmentally responsible facility that maintains Australia's strategic capability for the manufacture of rifle and cannon propellants into the future.

The redevelopment of the propellant facility at Mulwala will complete the last remaining step in the restructuring of Australia's munitions industry, replacing the military propellant manufacturing capabilities established at Mulwala over 60 years ago. "Thales Australia fully supports the redevelopment of the propellant manufacturing facility at Mulwala and looks forward to continuing to assist the Commonwealth, and the Commonwealth's contractors, to redevelop the facility," said Darryl Page, Vice President, Land Systems, Thales Australia.

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