Sean Parnell; 6/4/10
Defence Minister John Faulkner has blocked another Australian shipment feared destined for a weapons of mass destruction program, sparking an angry response from the award-winning Victorian manufacturer targeted in his secret intelligence. GBC Scientific Equipment managing director Ron Grey yesterday confirmed his company had attempted to export to Pakistan, only for Senator Faulkner to intervene using the extraordinary powers of a little-known act. The Weapons of Mass Destruction (Prevention of Proliferation) Act was used only once in its first 14 years of operation, but Senator Faulkner issued its contentious prohibition notices three times last year to stop goods reaching Iran. The $US115,000 ($125,000) GBC shipment to Pakistan is the fourth to be blocked by the minister, demonstrating his willingness to scuttle Australian business deals if it will help the government meet its international obligations.