Rudd to announce civilian army

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Rudd to announce civilian corps
April 22, 2009

A civilian corps manned by everyday Australians to help out in war zones and natural disasters is set to be announced by Prime Minister Kevin Rudd in Perth on Wednesday.

Mr Rudd is expected to announce the civilian corps among nine initiatives at a community cabinet meeting in the West Australian city.

As reported in The West Australian newspaper, the regional response strategy would call on professionals and public servants. They would include defence reservists from local, state and federal governments, as well as non-government workers.

A task force has reportedly been established to develop rules of engagement for the civilian corps.

Mr Rudd told the newspaper the army would be expected to mobilise, deploy and sustain a civilian contingent "in a range of threat situations and physical environments".

The civilian corps is one of the main initiatives to come out of the 2020 summit held in April last year and is expected to be operational by the middle of this year.

The initiative is reportedly aimed at building on Australia's peace keeping efforts in East Timor and the Solomons.
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