Peace groups condemn O’Farrell Govt on International Day of Peace

“On United Nations Day for Peace we condemn the O’Farrell Government’s efforts to encourage the arms industry in NSW. This will cost jobs, undermine democracy and open the way for corruption,” Denis Doherty said in Sydney this morning on behalf of the Anti-Bases Campaign Coalition (ABCC) and the Independent and Peaceful Australia Network (IPAN).


The NSW Government recently released its Position Paper on Defence, based on what it calls “expert advice” from Ian Irving who is Chief Executive of Northrup Grumman Australia.


“This is a clear case of putting the wolf in charge of the hen house,” Mr Doherty said.


“In 2011 Northrup Grumman made arms sales worth $21.4 billion,” he continued. “But its products, while profitable, were not high standard.


“In 2012 Northrup Grumman produced 8 Coast Guard ships for the US service at a cost of $100 million. They were unusable, their hulls cracked and the engines did not work properly.


“To attract defence industries to NSW will cost millions of taxpayer dollars. But NSW wont get jobs in return,” Denis Doherty said.


“Military spending is one of the least efficient ways the government can create job.


“Research from the US shows that military spending creates about 12,000 jobs per $1 billion in spending, compared with 17,000 for the green economy, 20,000 for health care and 29,000 for education.


“Creating more job opportunities in this country therefore means moving money out of the military and into socially beneficial domestic spending.”


“Does the NSW Govrnment really not know the reputation of the arms trade,” Denis Doherty asked.


“The corrupt and secretive way the arms industry operates undermines accountable democracy in both buying and selling countries. The arms trade accounts for over 40 per cent of corruption in all world trade.”


“Companies involved in NSW like Northrup Grumman, Lockheed Martin (2011 arms sales of :$36.3 billion) and BAE (2011 arms sales $29.2 billion) and Raytheon (2011 arms sales $22.5 billion) have faced accusations and convictions for bribery and corruption in Europe, Africa and the Middle East.


“A McKinsey report found Australia’s military spending was among the least efficient in the world,” Mr Doherty said. “In a list of 33 major countries, we tied with the United States for worst at getting value for our Defence dollar.


“As just one example, In the mid-1990s, Defence decided it wanted a new anti-submarine torpedo. Over 12 years later, $391 million has been spent and there was still no torpedo.


The paper waxes lyrical about the value of TAFE saying “NSW also has a strong TAFE system that is aligned to the needs of the ADF”. In a bitter irony, the O’Farrell Government is busy dismantling much of TAFE.


“We need a peace economy in NSW, not one driven by arms manufacturers and corporate cowboys from shady companies peddling weapons of death,” Denis Doherty said.


“A peace economy would see both State and Federal Governments investing in socially useful industries and cutting edge climate saving equipment.”


For more information, contact Denis Doherty 0418 290 663

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