Southern Gazette (South Perth) - - NEWS -

1. When an­nounc­ing the $195 bil­lion for de­fence fund­ing ac­qui­si­tions in Fe­bru­ary, Prime Min­is­ter Mal­colm Turn­bull said it was nec­es­sary be­cause Aus­tralia was fac­ing its great­est de­fence chal­lenges since World War II. Do you agree with that state­ment? The Govern­ment's own De­fence White Pa­per states that “there is no more than a re­mote prospect of a mil­i­tary at­tack by an­other coun­try on Aus­tralian ter­ri­tory in the fore­see­able fu­ture” and I dis­agree with the Prime Min­is­ter. The UN recog­nises that global warm­ing pro­vides the great­est threat to wa­ter and food se­cu­rity, and there­fore global se­cu­rity; if this govern­ment was se­ri­ous about se­cu­rity, we would be in­vest­ing re­sources into cli­mate mit­i­ga­tion and adap­ta­tion. Global warm­ing acts as a threat mul­ti­plier, ex­ac­er­bat­ing drought, famine, dis­place­ment, food and wa­ter scarcity, refugees, disease. 2. Should the Fed­eral Govern­ment be spend­ing $195 bil­lion on de­fence ac­qui­si­tions over the next decade with its budget con­straints? There is no ev­i­dence to sup­port this dra­matic es­ca­la­tion in de­fence ex­pen­di­ture out­side of war time. The De­fence White Pa­per does not say that there has been an es­ca­la­tion in the over­all threat level to Aus­tralia, de­spite the prospect of ter­ror­ist at­tacks. The Greens sup­port the United Na­tions Char­ter in that we be­lieve that gen­uine se­cu­rity can only be achieved by ad­dress­ing the un­der­ly­ing causes of con­flict. This means bas­ing con­flict res­o­lu­tion on co-oper­a­tion and fo­cus­ing on hu­man rights, nat­u­ral jus­tice and dis­ar­ma­ment. As al­ready men­tioned, this means tak­ing ac­tion on global warm­ing. With in­equal­ity grow­ing and con­tin­ual at­tacks on our public health and ed­u­ca­tion sys­tems, our fo­cus should be on putting peo­ple first and in­vest­ing in our fu­ture as a com­mu­nity. 3. Should the Govern­ment be look­ing at get­ting the best pos­si­ble re­turn on tax­pay­ers' funds by sourc­ing de­fence equip­ment from over­seas, or is it more im­por­tant to sup­port the Aus­tralian de­fence con­struc­tion in­dus­try? Aus­tralia has a strong and proud his­tory in man­u­fac­tur­ing and con­struc­tion, and the Fed­eral Govern­ment should pref­er­ence lo­cal pro­cure­ment in or­der to sup­port lo­cal em­ploy­ment. We know that blan­ket rules can be in­ef­fec­tive, but one op­tion is to com­mit to a cer­tain per­cent­age of lo­cal in­vest­ment.

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