AABCC Press Releases 4 February 04, 4:17pm

For immediate release

Defend our future - don't waste it (Response to Defence Capability Plan)

The decision to spend $50 billion on military equipment projects over the next ten years, outlined in the Federal Government's Defence Capability Plan released in Sydney today, is a price Australia cannot afford to pay, Denis Doherty, National Coordinator of the Australian Anti-Bases Campaign (AABCC), said in Sydney today.

"The Federal Government has announced spending on items that fit into support for US pre-emptive strike plans but have little to do with the security of the Australian people.

"High tech ships and planes cannot stop a terrorist with a car or suitcase bomb.

"Defending Australians requires more creative and multi-dimensional responses than splashing billions of dollars on hardware to assist our integration into the US military machine.

"And with military spending already costing over $43 million dollars every day, how many more students will go without university places, how many more people will be denied adequate health and educational services in order to pay this extra $50 billion?" he asked.

"The DCP gloats about the value to Australian industry, in other words arms manufacturers. They will receive the resources of the Australian people while ordinary people will go without education and health.

"Our security cannot be enforced by ever greater numbers of weapons.

"Security comes with jobs, homes, education and health care, democracy and human rights. Australia's current military spending of over $43 million a day steals the resources needed to provide these necessities.

"Australia needs an independent, non-aligned foreign policy which is efficient, affordable and genuinely serve the defence of our country and the need for peace and stability in our region.

"Canberra's constant support for US aggression, illegal invasion and occupation of other countries is not sustainable," Denis Doherty said.

For more information,

Contact: Denis Doherty on: 0418 290 663, 9660 7562 (h), 9698 2954 (0ffice)