SARAH NIELSEN-HARVEY GREENS
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.