One thought on “The Lies – Big Coal and Anzac

  1. The Guardian (Australia) this morning, in an article by Christopher Knaus, drew attention to the fact that the Director of the Australian War Memorial Dr Brendan Nelson currently receives payments from a large weapons making company, Thales, for his work as a Thales board member. The AWM states that Dr Nelson donates his payment to the Memorial and strongly denies that there is a conflict of interests.

    However Dr Sue Wareham, President of the Medical Association for Prevention of War (MAPW), states that simply donating his payment from Thales to the Memorial does not absolve the Director or the Memorial of any conflict of interests. Dr Wareham said, “It seems that Dr Nelson has served Thales very well in his position as AWM Director. In December 2015, he extolled the virtues of the Bushmaster Protected Mobility Vehicle, specifically mentioning its maker Thales, when the vehicle was installed on the AWM grounds.”

    Dr Wareham also said, “The fact that Dr Nelson claims to have the relevant approvals for his role with Thales – from the AWM Council, the Secretary of the Dept of Veterans Affairs, the Minister for Veterans Affairs and the Aust Public Service Commissioner – simply compounds this problem. Did not a single one of those people consider that payments from a company that profits from warfare to our pre-eminent place of war commemoration represent a conflict of interests? The whole thing just looks rotten and riddled with unanswered questions. It demands an examination of the problem of weapons company funding of the AWM.”

    MAPW first drew attention to this problem in a submission in May last year to a parliamentary inquiry into Canberra’s national institutions, stating then:

    “Among the AWM’s financial donors are several of the biggest names in weapons manufacturing globally, the very companies that profit financially from the horrors that we commemorate…..The problem goes further than the mere acceptance of donations from war profiteers, and even extends to the promotion of brand names.”

    Dr Nelson has indeed promoted the brand name Thales, among others, at the Memorial.

    For more information:

    Dr Sue Wareham, MAPW President: phone 0407 924 152 or 02 6253 1117

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