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Arms-led recovery in Queensland?

If God’s on our side
He’ll stop the next war

– Bob Dylan ‘With God on our Side

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk together with former Federal Attorney General George Brandis were in the front row at St Stephens in Brisbane last Sunday surrounded by fully armed soldiers showing off their weaponry. Surely this is not a response to Christchurch?

Palm Sunday Peace rally patron Claire Moore was in the front row with Palaszczuk and Brandis. It would have been interesting to ask Senator Moore why she chose to be there. Labor Party politics … how awkward, especially when Ms Moore has been rolled by Palaszczuk’s AWU faction for pre-selection in a winnable Senator spot. All these nominal catholics in one spot for an ANZAC mass, how weird, how factional.

Recently Queensland minister, Cameron Dick, announced that a Regional Growth Fund will be given to the Rheinmetall Nioa Munitions joint venture to open a factory in Maryborough to manufacture munitions and tanks.

Meanwhile the Courier Mail reports that “International missile manufacturer MBDA is understood to be considering setting up a presence in the state to get a share of the cash, while Rheinmetall has promised to set up an $80 million research fund in conjunction with the Queensland University of Technology and other tertiary institutions if it wins.”

Maryborough like the rest of regional Queensland is in recession. In the past it always had heavy industry. So Minister Cameron Dick said today ‘The economy (is) on the march with all guns blazing‘. I’m sure the pun was intended but the decision is mad. A $7.5 million government grant from the Jobs and Regional Growth Fund will be given to the Rheinmetall Nioa Munitions joint venture to open the factory.

All this under the familiar jobs, jobs, jobs mantra. Why not make electric cars or trains? Insted of Australian governments spending $billions on arms why not build a very fast train linking the capitals.

“The shell forging plant will be one of a kind in Australia, contributing to the establishment of sovereign capability in the state to support the Australian Defence Force and defence exports, while creating around 100 full-time jobs when the plant is fully operational,” RNM Director Robert Nioa said.

Sovereign capability‘, what a joke when Brisbane does not even honor its first nations people with a cultural centre – a place that would engage many capable aboriginal artists in employment, education and cultural business. The working class keeps getting sucked in by jobs, it is time to change that.

Thanks to Tony Robertson and Frontline film for the footage.

Ian Curr
2 April 2019

2 responses to “Arms-led recovery in Queensland?

  1. Another government promotes military spending to promote jobs. Surely there are more socially useful projects and industries that can be promoted rather war industries which masquerade as “defence” when we are not at war and according to the last Defence White Paper there is no military threat to Australia in the foreseeable future.

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