The Global Day of Action on Military Spending (GDAMS) will be marked by an open mike SpeakOut outside Defence HQ
12.30 – 2.00 pm am Monday 14 April 2014
Blamey Square, Russell, ACT.
GDAMS coincides with the release by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) of their annual statistics on global military spending which reached $US 1.75 Trillion in 2012.
At present the Australian government spends $26.5 billion pa on the ADF. But at a time when the Abbott government is slashing spending to health, education and environment, a military White Paper is claiming more military spending is necessary.”
“From nowhere, the arbitrary figure of 2% of GDP has been hailed as essential by the military and its think tank advocates,” said SpeakOut organiser Graeme Dunstan of Peacebus.com. “This translates as an extra $8 billion a year. But the White Paper is urging even more spending – a staggering $50 billion pa.”
“And this after 12 years of a failed and costly war in Afghanistan – it cost Australia taxpayers $7.5 million!” exclaims Mr Dunstan.
“There appears to be no end to the spending aspirations of the military and the greed of its armament suppliers.”
“Time to rethink the role of the military and to employ non violent means to resolve regional conflict,” he said. “Let the lessons of the costly failures of following the US into imperial wars be learned. Non violent resolution to conflict is known to be less costly and more enduring.”
Also under fire at the GDAMS SpeakOut @ Defence HQ will be the recently confirmed $7.74 billion acquisition program of the F35 Strike Fighter by the RAAF, the most costly ADF acquisition ever.
“To ADF we will be saying loud and clear that this war plane is unnecessary and wasteful. That it is a fraudulent project designed to make shareholders in Lockheed Martin, the world’s biggest war profiteer – about $2.7 billion annually – even richer by stripping funds from health, education and environment in Australia and elsewhere,” said Mr Dunstan.
“Even promoters of the project such as Lockheed Martin’s salesman, Lieutenant General Chris Bogdan, admit the F35 has ‘reliability and maintainability’ problems.”
Some countries who initially signed up for the project such as Italy and Canada are hesitating and dropping out because of the ballooning unit costs. A Canadian government audit estimates that the “cradle-to-grave” bill to taxpayers for buying and operating 65 of the F-35 warplane will exceed $600 million per unit. Which is way in excess of the $90 million per unit presently toted as the cost to Australian taxpayers.
“This war plane is a flying lemon and a boondoggle,” concludes Mr Dunstan.
“The project has had no public assessment of its usefulness to Australian defence needs and one has to ask how much of the $US14.4 million spent annually by Lockheed Martin lobbyists is being spent buying the Abbott government,” says Mr Dunstan.
Graeme Dunstan, Peacebus.com 0407 951 688