Antinuclear

Australian news, and some related international items

Scott Morrison’s $billion missile spend, a gift to foreign war companies and their sponsor, the Australian Strategic Policy Institute, (ASPI)

Foreign war lobby gets a $billion for missiles – media fawns

https://www.michaelwest.com.au/foreign-war-lobby-gets-a-billion-for-missiles-media-fawns/ 4 Apr 21,
Scott Morrison’s latest billion-dollar missile spend was deftly leaked to the media then talked up by ASPI whose sponsors have raked in $51 billion in Defence Department contracts while doling cash to the conflicted “think-tank”. Marcus Rubenstein investigates.

No sooner had Scott Morrison’s new cabinet been sworn in than it was back to business, feeding out distractions to the Canberra press gallery.

Nearly 14 hours before the prime minister announced to the nation that Australia was going to spend a billion dollars on building “our own missiles” Greg Sheridan from The Australian had the scoop—along with The Age/SMH, Nine Newspapers stablemate Australian Financial Review and the ABC. Along with the ranks of metropolitan mainstream media dailies who all fell in line behind the announcement.

And with military precision they all fired off their online reports at 10:30pm… or, to be more precise, 22:30 hrs.

The Age and Sydney Morning Herald both quoted ASPI (Australian Strategic Policy Institute) in their coverage as did The Conversation, along with others they listed potential weapons maker partners for this home grown missile mission.

Apart from the glaring fact that none of these companies are actually Australian, most were listed by ASPI in a report it published last year. Of the five potential partner companies being touted by mainstream media— Raytheon (USA), Lockheed Martin (USA), Kongsberg (Norway), Rafeal (Israel) and BAE Systems (UK)—all but one is a long-term financial backer of ASPI.

As is de rigueur there was no mention that ASPI’s enthusiasm for substantial new military expenditure was directed towards spending on weapons made by their sponsors.

A number of media reports included PR handout images from US missile maker Raytheon, which for years was a loyal ASPI sponsor and also the former employer of, recently demoted, Defence Minister Linda Reynolds.

The actual announcement was made by the prime minister, not at Parliament House, but at the South Australian facility of Raytheon.

Government access for weapons makers

Since ASPI’s foundation in 2001, when it was created to challenge the policy direction of Defence, it has become more and more commercialised.

This fact was highlighted by ASPI’s founding Executive Director Hugh White, who wrote on the 15th anniversary of its foundation, “The quality of defence policy slumped… [and] ASPI’s focus inevitably swung round to contributing to public debates not government policy-making.”

Under Hugh White’s leadership, ASPI preserved a great deal of independence and only took an average of $28,000 per year in commercial revenue.

In the last financial year, under the leadership of (former Howard Government adviser) Peter Jennings, ASPI raked in $6,953,000 in commercial revenue. Yet it maintains its façade of independence of outside influence.

ASPI sponsor, French-owned Naval Group was awarded the contract for Australia’s controversial $80 billion future submarine project. It has been in the headlines recently after an independent report released in March found the project was “dangerously off track”.

In 2016, when the contract was awarded Jennings, wrote a glowing opinion piece, about his sponsor, under the headline “Vive Australia’s choice of a French submarine”.

The release of the Future Submarines Report was very critical of the entire project and there were suggestions from highly credentialed defence strategists that Australia should walk away from the deal.

In response, ASPI wrote that not only should Naval Group keeps its contract but the Royal Australian Navy should commission un-maned Orca submarines whilst waiting decades for the French submarines order to be fulfilled.

And who makes the Orca? Another ASPI sponsor, Boeing Defense.

This comes after revelations in March that ASPI had been commissioned to write a report critical of the federal government’s awarding of cloud computing contracts to Australian company Canberra Data Centres (CDC).

As it transpires, ASPI had been commissioned to write the report by lobbying firm Australian Public Affairs (APA); the Commonwealth Lobbyists Register reveals APA represent CDC’s three main commercial rivals.

Last October, ASPI’s Peter Jennings told the ABC, “ASPI’s work as a think tank is genuinely independent” and suggestions it was controlled by sponsors were “frankly nonsense”.

The massive ASPI payoff

ASPI is not an independent think tank, it is in fact a Commonwealth Company which reports to the parliament through the Defence Ministry. In its latest annual report ASPI singled out the then Defence Minister for her “continuing close personal engagement and support”.

In her first speech as Defence Minister, Linda Reynolds boasted of her close friendship with ASPI’s Peter Jennings.

Clearly ASPI’s boss and his board, which is chaired by former Chief of the Army, Lt Gen (Ret’d) Kenneth Gillespie and includes former Liberal Defence Minister Brendan Nelson, has access to the highest levels of government and the Defence Department.

Since ASPI’s inception it has received sponsorship from 12 manufacturers of weapons and weapons systems. Over that period, they have been awarded 9,423 Defence Department contracts with a total value of $51.2 billion.

This does not include another 49 ASPI sponsors who do not manufacture weapons, yet Department of Finance data, reveals have benefitted from more than $30 billion in defence contracts since 2001.


ASPI’s most recent annual report revealed that in the year before the COVID-19 pandemic, it hosted 142 separate events and meetings, many of them bringing together defence policy makers and defence suppliers.

At one such event in 2019, sponsored by Thales, Northrop Grumman and Lockheed Martin, then Defence Minister Linda Reynolds was keynote speaker. Presumably executives from these foreign weapons makers had some level of access to the minister.

Department of Finance figures later revealed that ministerial and department staff were charged $30,723 by ASPI in order to attend that speech.

April 4, 2021 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, media, politics, spinbuster, weapons and war | Leave a comment

The Bluff and the Bribing continue as Minister Keith Pitt spruiks on radio about Kimb nuclear waste dump plan

Kazzi Jai,  No nuclear waste dump anywhere in South Australia, 15 Mar 21, 
Minister for Resources, Keth Pitt having a news grab this morning Monday 15/03/2021 on ABC 639 North and West. Had nothing new to say – same old, same old – …..but it was the first interview from him for the dump for 2021!
Following Pitt was a short interview from opposition Labor spokesperson for resources Madeline King reiterating that Pitt could declare the site already right now – he doesn’t need change in the current legislation to do this – and what Pitt wants instead is to remove JUDICIAL REVIEW which is the RIGHT OF EVERY AUSTRALIAN!
The timing of Pitt’s interview is interesting though…because if you haven’t noticed, Kimba Council is posting that it is “excited” and “delighted” for their NUCLEAR BRIBE GRANT MONEY being used for two economic advancement projects….although strangely enough they LEAVE OUT MENTIONING where the money is coming from!
The two projects are: The Kimba Future Workforce and Training Plan….and Economic Development Officer. Remember most importantly that all Grant money projects must be completed by May 31st 2022, as part of Grant conditions.
Hmmmm….May 2022…..isn’t that the latest that the Federal Government can call an election?
The BLUFF and BRIBING continues…..
Interview begins at 48:37 and ends 54:45. There is then the shortened news clip 55:15 to 56:25.

March 15, 2021 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Federal nuclear waste dump, spinbuster | Leave a comment

Refuting Senator Matt Canavan’s inaccurate hype about small nuclear reactors

March 13, 2021 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, politics, spinbuster | Leave a comment

Australian Strategic Policy Institute – a stooge for weapons industries and China-haters

March 2, 2021 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, spinbuster, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Australia’s environmental scientists intimidated, silenced by threats of job loss

 

January 17, 2021 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, civil liberties, culture, Education, employment, politics, secrets and lies | Leave a comment

ANSTO gets a blank cheque for its nuclear waste production at Lucas Heights?

Greg Phillips,  No nuclear waste dump anywhere in South Australia , 13 Jan 2021, Congratulations Canada! “Cyclotron-produced technetium-99m approved by Health Canada”. Why rely on a global network of aging, unreliable, toxic spewing nuclear reactors when you can have a local network of clean, reliable cyclotrons? Especially when pandemics hobble global freight networks. From the article: “The process is safe and precise, employing stable targets and producing little to no long-lived radioactive waste. And, with the right target and extraction systems, these cyclotrons can be used to reliably create technetium-99m regionally and without the need for reactor-based materials.”
… I should explain further for those who might be unaware… ANSTO has plenty of room its reactor waste (for many decades). It is their plans to try and supply Technetium to the world that will produce large amounts of extra nuclear waste.
Unlike cyclotrons, ANSTO’s method produces lots of waste – it involves irradiating enriched Uranium plates and then dissolving them in a strong caustic solution. Imagine the complexities (and potential risks) of handling radioactive+caustic waste liquids. Australian tax payers are subsidising the production of isotopes for other countries, and also having to fully fund the waste disposal. It is madness that can only happen when government hands blank cheques to an organisation…  https://www.facebook.com/groups/1314655315214929

January 14, 2021 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, health, politics, secrets and lies, spinbuster | Leave a comment

Australian govt has quiet nuclear deal with China, but condemns Victoria-China medical research

Double standards on research cooperation with China, Independent Australia 4 January 2021,   The Government is hypocritical in its approval of Australia’s nuclear research body to work with China on the development of nuclear reactors, writes Noel Wauchope.

PRIME MINISTER Scott Morrison’s Liberal Coalition Government seems to remain in silent approval of the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation’s (ANSTOpartnership with a Chinese company to develop Generation IV nuclear technologies such as small nuclear reactors.

But it’s a different story when it comes to the Morrison Government’s concern to put a stop to the Victorian Labor Government’s cooperation with China in developing agricultural, communications and medical research.

We hear very little about the Australian Government’s research connections with China, managed under the Australia-China Science and Research Fund (ACSRF), which has the aim of ‘supporting strategic science, technology and innovation collaboration of mutual benefit to Australia and China’.

One remarkable collaboration between Australia and China is in the strategic partnership between ANSTO and the Shanghai Institute of Applied Physics (SINAP) to develop the Thorium Molten Salt Nuclear Reactor (TMSR) and other Generation IV nuclear reactor designs.

In March 2019, Dr Adi Paterson, then CEO of ANSTO, welcomed renewal of this agreement and was reported as stating that it was “consistent with ANSTO and Australia’s interest in and support of Generation IV reactor systems”. This statement was made at a time when Australia’s federal and state laws clearly prohibited the development of nuclear reactors.

The Age quoted anonymous senior Federal Government sources who reveal that the Australian Government may use its powers to tear up a research agreement between the Victorian Government and China’s Jiangsu province. This agreement was signed in 2012 and renewed in 2019……….

The USA partly funds the Australian Strategic Policy Institute, which strongly advises against cooperative research with China. And, of course, Victorian Liberal Opposition leader Michael O’Brien was quick to join in the chorus, condemning the Labor Government for having the deal with China.

All this makes it all the more inexplicable as to why the Australian Government should have an agreement with China to develop nuclear reactors. Under federal law, Australia prohibits establishing nuclear installations.  ……..

There has been virtually no media coverage of Dr Adi Paterson’s deal with China, which goes back to 2015. I have previously written about this and the secrecy under which it was conducted.

Indeed, ANSTO’s operations and its funding have been conducted in secrecy, under the comfortable shroud of national security.

Right now, there is a move to corporatise the nuclear medicine facility at Lucas Heights as a separate entity to ANSTO. At the same time, the Government is in an unseemly rush to set up a nuclear waste dump near Kimba in South Australia. In the midst of all this came the sudden unexplained resignation of the CEO, Dr Adi Paterson.

The silence on all this is disturbing. It must be especially so for the small rural community of Kimba and for the Indigenous Title Holders as they wait in limbo for the vexed question of the nuclear waste dump to be solved. For the rest of South Australia, that is a concern, too. Victorians may well wonder why their medical research cooperation with China is seen as so dangerous. Meanwhile, is it okay for Australia’s nuclear research body, ANSTO, to work with China on the development of small nuclear reactors?  https://independentaustralia.net/politics/politics-display/double-standards-on-research-cooperation-with-china,14664

January 7, 2021 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, politics international, secrets and lies, spinbuster | Leave a comment

Assange hearing outcome could set an “alarming precedent” for free speech

January 4, 2021 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, civil liberties, legal, media, secrets and lies, spinbuster | Leave a comment

Busting the spin on Kimba’s “wonderful” new industry – nuclear waste dumping


Kazzi Jai
  No nuclear waste dump anywhere in South Australia , 31 Dec 2020, 
As 2020 draws to an end, and we welcome 2021 it is important to reflect what a whirlwind year 2020 has been – and I’m not talking about COVID-19!
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We have had people claiming “thank goodness we are talking about WASTE and not POLLUTION” with regards to nuclear waste ….and to the dump itself being a “growing tech industry”!!!
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We have had “our greatest export, after wheat perhaps— or perhaps before wheat—is our children” – yes that quote is memorialized in hansard – ummmm….pretty sure that’s against the law by the way…..and we have had ….”we’re widely recognized as one of the most informed communities virtually throughout the country but also throughout the world” – ummmm….what about Hawker?…Pretty sure they had the SAME information thrust upon them – surely that makes them TOO “THE” MOST INFORMED!
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“Goodness gracious me”- “it’s just getting out of hand” – “I do get a bit sick and tired….” – particularly when they can’t even get the timeline right about how long Kimba has been “in the process”…..Hint – Kimba was taken COMPLETELY off the list in April 2016 and only through one (greedy) person’s perseverance – how much money are we getting for that “very low value farmland” again????….Kimba was back on the short list the following year 2017
.*********
Might be the reason DIIS are hesitant to actually PUBLISH the recipients of the latest Community Benefits Program….because IF Kimba had been in the process of this dump for as long as Hawker this should be Kimba’s THIRD Bribe Money submission – not its SECOND!
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And WHY is there not a published list of recipients for this latest round? Surely DIIS and NRWMF would be CROWING about how FORTUNATE these towns are to have PARTICIPATED and gotten up to $2 million for their respective communities again. And it WAS communities we were talking about…NOT individuals getting an individual commercial advantage…..BECAUSE that’s right AGAINST the rules isn’t it?
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So where is Kimba’s list – since Flinders Ranges Council was happy to print theirs IN JUST A DAY OR TWO OF ANNOUNCEMENT…
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Was going to keep this short – although the figure 580 seems to come to mind for some reason….something about documents and accusations of alleged deliberate misleading of the Senate Inquiry…..
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These things calling on ACCOUNTABILIITY AND TRANSPARENCY just don’t seem to go away for some reason…….
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Anyway….all I wanted to say is that whatever 2021 brings we will be ready for it!
HAPPY NEW YEAR!
Oh….and thank you to the person for the chuckle doing the rounds about a certain individual needing to be asked to use “plain english” so that her “vague comments” could be properly understood!… 10/10

January 1, 2021 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Federal nuclear waste dump, spinbuster | Leave a comment

Reality bats last-Small Nuclear Reactors just not economic for Australia (or anywhere else)

 

Small modular reactor rhetoric hits a hurdle  https://reneweconomy.com.au/small-modular-reactor-rhetoric-hits-a-hurdle-62196/    Jim Green, 23 June 2020, The promotion of ‘small modular reactors’ (SMRs) in Australia has been disrupted by the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) and the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO).

The latest GenCost report produced by the two agencies estimates a hopelessly uneconomic construction cost of A$16,304 per kilowatt (kW) for SMRs. Continue reading

December 29, 2020 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, reference, spinbuster | Leave a comment

“Ecomodernists” – Ben Heard, Oscar Archer, Barry Brook, Geoff Russell, – Australia’s pro-nuclear fake environmentalists

even in Heard’s scenario, only a tiny fraction of the imported spent fuel would be converted to fuel for imaginary Generation IV reactors (in one of his configurations, 60,000 tonnes would be imported but only 4,000 tonnes converted to fuel). Most of it would be stored indefinitely, or dumped on the land of unwilling Aboriginal communities.
Russell’s description of Aboriginal spiritual beliefs as “mumbo-jumbo” is beyond offensive.
Silence from the ecomodernists about the National Radioactive Waste Management Act (NRWMA), which dispossesses and disempowers Traditional Owners in every way imaginable:
Now, Traditional Owners have to fight industry, government, and the ecomodernists as well.

 

December 29, 2020 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, politics, reference, spinbuster | Leave a comment

Australia’s Industry Department is bluffing in employing staff for non existent nuclear waste project

December 20, 2020 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, politics, secrets and lies, spinbuster | Leave a comment

Analysing Christopher Pyne’s article enthusing about proposed Kimba nuclear waste dump

Examining Pyne’s article in The Advertiser – Outdated leftie ideas let nuclear option go to waste.    G. Bannon 8 Dec 20
Pyne claimed to be in the thick of things with Nick Minchin in 1998 when

Howard was wanting to get a dump established.  There are so many things wrong with his article, – (but if you try to address every single one no one would ever listen to you.

He knows how many jobs they were talking about in his day but says there will be 45 jobs during construction and 25 permanent jobs.  When he was involved they were talking about 5 jobs – we’ve all heard that blow out to 15, then 45 and then more than 45.  25 permanent jobs are not part of the current script!  Does that 25 including the Agency in Adelaide and does it include the 12/15? security guys as well as the nuclear physicists in white overalls driving all the forklifts?

* He doesn’t mention Intermediate Level Wastes (ILW)
* He wonders where in the world those opposing the dump think
Australia’s waste should go.  I haven’t heard one person who opposes the
dump say Australia’s waste should go somewhere else.
* He thinks it’s a “no brainer” that the waste should go in “Outback
South Australia”.  Kimba is remote, but it’s cleared, developed, settled and populated – it’s not “Outback”.  Woomera might be getting closer to “Outback”.  He doesn’t mention that.
* He reckons those opposing the dump have “outdated leftie ideology”
and Penny Wong “should be putting Kimba above kale” (Good, funny old Pyney -It’s such a clever line he says it twice)!  I wonder how the kale harvest went at Kimba this year?  I assume that big shed by the road, just before you get into Kimba, stores all the bales of kale to feed those leftie,
Greenie, tree-hugging, NIMBY activists!
* He, Pitty, Rowan and all their mates just want to get this done! Its
hung around too long.  “It’s time” (sounds like a Labor slogan from the
past, doesn’t it?) to make the hard decisions.  I say always be very wary of
people who want to push you into making quick decisions!  What’s the saying?
– “Decide in haste, repent at leisure!”
* He says it is a $200 million project and says the community will
benefit by $31 million.  We know the breakdown – $20 million for the
Community Benefit Programme, $8 million ($2 million/year for 4 years) to
assist businesses to take part in construction and $3 million for Indigenous training and engagement: 20 + 8 + 3 = $31 million – Who or what gets the remaining $169 million?
* He reckons that a dump in Kimba “would be preferable to the more
than 40 sites in the CBD”, then says that the Bill might be defeated by “not in my backyard NIMBYism”.  He lives in Adelaide and wants the stuff to go to Kimba – Not In His Back Yard!

December 8, 2020 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, spinbuster | Leave a comment

Corrupt spinning of Small Nuclear Reactors -Australia beware – theme for December 2020

With the financial collapse of the nuclear industry, and with the Nuclear Weapons Ban Treaty coming into force soon, the nuclear lobby is pitching a pack of lies, as it desperately promotes Small Nuclear Reactors (SMRs.).

Australia is not immune to this corrupt spin.  Indeed, Australia is a sitting duck

November 28, 2020 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Christina themes, spinbuster, technology | Leave a comment

Australian children targetted for propaganda by the weapons industry

Reputation Laundering: weapons companies infiltrating schools to promote education https://www.michaelwest.com.au/reputation-laundering-weapons-companies-now-infiltrating-schools-to-promote-education/, by Michelle Fahy | Nov 27, 2020  A Lockheed missile blows up a bus full of Yemeni children; in Australia Lockheed Martin gains kudos by sponsoring the National Youth Science Forum. BAE Systems sponsors underprivileged kids in Australia while being complicit in the killing of thousands of needy children in Yemen. All you see in industry marketing pitches is euphemism, with nary a mention of the word “weapons”. Michelle Fahy reports.

The UK’s largest weapons-maker, BAE, is working inside Saudi Arabia supporting Saudi-United Arab Emirates military operations in Yemen, a war that has killed or injured tens of thousands of civilians, including thousands of children.

Meanwhile in Australia, BAE sponsors The Smith Family’s STEM education program for under-privileged children.

Flagrant hypocrisy? Welcome to the weapons business.

Then there’s Lockheed Martin, the world’s largest weapons-maker, also raking in billions from the Yemen war. A Lockheed missile blew up a bus full of Yemeni school children in 2018, killing at least 29 kids and injuring dozens more. Back in Australia, Lockheed was cultivating kudos with kids as major sponsor of the National Youth Science Forum, a registered charity.

US missile-making giant Raytheon also continues to supply the Saudi-UAE coalition, despite evidence of numerous attacks with Raytheon missiles that targeted and killed civilians, including children. No mention of that in Australia. Instead, Aussie school kids had fun hanging out with the young Australian snowboarding paralympian Raytheon hired to front the launch of its Maths Alive! STEM program.

The French company supplying Australia’s new submarines, Naval Group, is at the centre of multiple corruption scandals globally, some of which involved murder. That hasn’t stopped Naval promoting itself as a model future employer, with the help of Port Adelaide footy heroes, to 90,174 kids in 329 South Australian schools since 2017.

And let’s not forget the list of sponsors of the Australian War Memorial, Legacy, Invictus Games and Soldier On, which include numerous weapons-making corporations.

There’s a name for this cynical behaviour: reputation laundering. And nearly every weapons company is doing it.

Promoted as innovators

The world’s weapons producers have taken with gusto to promoting themselves as innovators in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM). Military industry has adopted the STEM mantra to target children and young people as future employees, usually with the willing partnership of respected educational institutions. Many, if not most, Australian universities now have joint agreements, strategic partnerships or some other form of collaboration with the weapons industry.

The sales pitch is, join us for an exciting and challenging high-tech career in science. This enthusiastic support of STEM serves two purposes: reputation laundering is one, the other is as a recruitment drive. STEM provides a socially acceptable way to promote the weapons industry to children, and parents, as a potential employer.

There’s nothing wrong with promoting STEM education, or seeking new employees. The issue is the way these companies are now targeting children as young as primary school age, with the full support of government. (eg. The MD of weapons-maker Saab Technologies is on the South Australian education board.) The problem is the spin and glamour applied to increased militarism, with pertinent information omitted from the marketing. Warfare isn’t mentioned, for starters.

There’s nothing about how the kids will use their STEM education to enhance the ‘lethality’ of their employer’s products. Or about a future where employees have eliminated the need for human involvement in the ‘kill chain’ by creating autonomous robotic devices to make those decisions. (This is not science fiction, these research and development programs are already under way.) Working on nuclear weapons isn’t discussed, either.

You won’t find the underlying arms manufacturing realities in the STEM marketing by weapons giants. In fact, you’ll be hard pressed to find the word “weapons” at all.

A world of euphemism

Instead, you’ll enter a world of euphemism: “high end technology company”, “leading systems integrator”, “security and aerospace company”, “defence technology and innovation company”. It’s also a fair bet you’re reading weapons company marketing if you see the phrase “solving complex problems”. Especially if there’s mention of working to make the world safer and more secure.

The following are a few examples of many in which multinational weapons corporations are co-opting organisations of good purpose in Australia.

BAE and The Smith Family

BAE operates inside Saudi Arabia, training Saudi pilots, maintaining Saudi’s BAE-supplied fighter jets, and supervising Saudi soldiers as they load bombs onto the planes. Indiscriminate bombing, a well-known feature of the Yemen war, has killed or injured tens of thousands of civilians, including children.

BAE has earned £15 billion from sales to the Saudis since 2015 when the Yemen war started. A BAE maintenance employee was quoted last year saying, “If we weren’t there, in 7 to 14 days there wouldn’t be a jet in the sky.”

BAE’s role in helping the Saudis prolong the world’s worst humanitarian crisis in Yemen has been pointed out more than once to The Smith Family since news broke of its sponsorship by BAE. Understandably, The Smith Family has responded defensively along the lines that critics are trying to steal an education from needy Australian children.

But what about the tens of thousands of needy children starved, maimed, and killed on the other side of the world? BAE Systems has given The Smith Family a mere $100,000 –  about 0.3% of The Smith Family’s $36.3 million in non-government fundraising income.

Cheap reputational PR for a company that has gained tens of billions of dollars in defence contracts in Australia, while facilitating war crimes elsewhere.

Raytheon and Maths Alive!

Raytheon has marketed this program to children across America, the Middle East and Australia. Raytheon’s intention? To reach children at an early age and create a “healthy pipeline” from primary education, through secondary, to tertiary studies, to secure its future workforce.

The then Assistant Minister for Defence David Fawcett lent his support to the 2018 Australian launch of Maths Alive!, telling media: “I welcome the ongoing commitment by Raytheon to engage young Australians by helping them visualise what a career in science or engineering might look like.”

Lockheed Martin and National Youth Science Forum


The National Youth Science Forum
 was created by Rotary, which remains involved. The forum, now run by a board chaired by former senator Kate Lundy, has several programs, the flagship program being for Year 12 students interested in science.

Each year about 600 students complete the program, which exposes students to various career pathways in science. Since Lockheed started as major sponsor in 2015, students visit Lockheed Martin laboratories and speak with Lockheed staff as part of the program. (Watch a short video here from Lockheed’s website with some students.)

The National Youth Science Forum’s website does not mention Lockheed’s dominant influence as the world’s No. 1 weapons manufacturer or its significant role in producing nuclear weapons. Lockheed’s role in civil sectors is covered, however this work constitutes a minor aspect of its business. The most recent information from Stockholm International Peace Research says 88% of Lockheed’s revenue comes from arms sales.

Lockheed Martin and the Gallipoli Sponsorship Fund

This year Lockheed Martin became the first corporate partner of the Gallipoli Scholarship Fund. This partnership includes the new $120,000 Lockheed Martin Australia Bursary for the educational benefit of descendants of Australian veterans.

One of the aims of the Gallipoli Scholarship Fund is to contribute “to the future security of our nation and our national values of democracy, freedom, and the rule of law”.

Nuclear weapons will become illegal under international law in January 2021 when the new UN treaty prohibiting them comes into force. The world’s nine nuclear-armed countries haven’t signed it – nor their hangers-on, including Australia – so it won’t apply to them. But two-thirds of the world’s countries (including New Zealand) did vote to bring the treaty into being, banning the world’s worst weapons of mass destruction, and setting a new global norm.

Professor Ramesh Thakur, Director of the Centre for Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Disarmament at the Australian National University, has said, “The ban treaty embodies the collective moral revulsion of the international community.”

The awkward truth is that the Gallipoli Scholarship Fund’s new corporate partner, Lockheed Martin, is one of the largest nuclear-weapons-producing companies on the planet. Lockheed is all set to provide its 12 bursaries from now through to the end of 2023.

Such are the ethical dilemmas these weapons corporations create for organisations doing good work that are in need of funding.

Morally indefensible positions

Such sponsorships might appear less self-serving if weapons companies behaved consistently, and stopped supplying weapons to war criminals. Claiming they are just doing the bidding of the US or UK governments in supplying the Saudis, as these companies have, is not a morally defensible position, particularly in the face of evidence of ongoing war crimes in Yemen.

Similarly, claims that they are committed to serving the national interest might be more believable if they ceased bribing and scamming their way into the next arms deal, or concocting endless ways to extend and inflate government contracts and invoices for their own corporate financial benefit, blatantly siphoning funds from the public purse.

November 27, 2020 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Education, weapons and war | Leave a comment