Press Release 15 December 2006

Defence's $1billion extravagant excess!

The Government's announcement today that it will inject $1 billion into the military is just extravagance. The need and reason for the $1 billion injection of funds into the military has not been established.

"Australia's spending on the military is greater than that spent on education despite the fact that we have no enemies and no prospect of being attacked by another nation state's military. Australia's military budget is approaching $20 billion per year. Why do they need more?" Said Denis Doherty of the Australian Anti-Bases Campaign Coalition.

"Instead of giving the young people of Australia an adequate education and providing institutions to allow students to develop skills needed for progress in Australia, the Government is diverting resources into the military.

"The 'gap year' process after year 12 to entice young people into the military is ill thought out and will produce accidents rather than numerous 'star recruits' for the military.

"The Department of Defence already has a reputation for 'bastardisation, bullying, suicides and sexual harassment' how can they be entrusted with gormless young people just trying their luck for a year? Today there are reports that military personnel are being investigated for stealing anti-tanks weapons and an Australian sailor on charges of murder in Vanuatu.

"Even more basically the size and equipment of the Australian military is hugely hyped up and is making Australia poorer not more secure.

"The Australian Government's approach to international problems is a simplistic 'send troops' yet it is meanest aid donor to the world's poor. Teachers and agricultural experts would better serve Australia's interests rather than school children with guns.

"Australia's security needs will not be served by exorbitant military spending rather they will be achieved by a many pronged approach to internal fairness and external generosity for peoples' needs.

"Behind all this rush to increase the military is the dead hand of the US-Australian alliance which skews Australia's military spending to excessive levels.

For more information: contact Denis Doherty 0418 290 663