Australian governments and their defence leaders, with help from lobbyists, choose immensely complex, overpriced and overmanned weaponry. Wasteful spending has to end, writes Brian Toohey.
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As Australia is a global pariah on climate change, it is a pariah for not cracking down on money laundering and financial crime that facilitates child exploitation and terrorism. But with the Greens’ amendment to the anti-money laundering/counter-terrorism financing bill to be debated this week, Labor, the Coalition and the cross-bench senators will have to decide
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.
Australia’s psychological torture of Julian Assange includes isolating and demonising him; flatly rejecting evidence of ill-treatment; refusing to respond to specific allegations; and divesting themselves of any responsibility. Leaders can’t, or won’t, accept the difference between psychological torture and ‘a legal matter’, writes Dr Lissa Johnson.
Scott Morrison says Australia’s position has been wrongly interpreted as siding with the US over China. Yet two of the main funders of the Federal Government-owned think-tank ASPI, a constant critic of China, are the US State Department, whose secretary Mike Pompeo has led the charge of global anti-China sentiment, and foreign weapons makers. Marcus Reubenstein investigates.
Water infrastructure projects are being fast-tracked in NSW, ostensibly to drought-proof communities. But concerns are growing that this is a cover story to allow more water-guzzling mining operations to develop and expand, with taxpayers footing the bill. Troy Walsh reports.
Where the bloody hell is it? Did Scott Morrison lie about the report that saved his bacon at Tourism Australia?
Scott Morrison was sacked as managing director of Tourism Australia in 2006 with a year left to run on his contract. For 14 years the reason for the sacking has remained one of the best kept secrets in Parliament. FoI documents accessed by Jommy Tee reveal that the PM either lied about a critical probity report, or numerous government departments and agencies are so incompetent that they have lost it.
Donald Trump’s bigger-than-life persona hides an empty inner core. Exposure of any flaws in his façade has the potential of destroying him, at least in his mind, since there is nothing of substance to fall back on. Some experts believe the period ahead could therefore be the most dangerous period of Trump’s presidency. Dr Bandy X. Lee and Elizabeth Mika report.
Department of Defence secretly investigates itself, does not make public the review’s existence or its terms of reference, and keeps any resulting report secret. Defence recommends buying hundreds of vehicles from Thales, despite no need for them, just so Thales can keep its factory open. Houston, we have a problem, writes Michelle Fahy.
ABC’s Four Corners on Monday night raised questions about Christian Porter’s personal behaviour. Michelle Fahy reports on the Attorney General’s political integrity and concerns over dealings with multinational arms manufacturer Thales.
With its favouritism of funding wealthy Independent and Catholic schools, the Morrison Government has completed the demolition of the Gonski funding model that began with the Abbott and Turnbull governments. Yet public schools educate more than 80% of disadvantaged students and 95% of disadvantaged schools are public schools. Trevor Cobbold reports.
NSW’s integrity commission ICAC continues to uncover extraordinary corruption yet last week, under cover of the Queensland and US elections, federal parliament passed a law overriding state anti-corruption powers. Monash University’s Associate Professor Luke Beck reports.
While US Republican politicians and conservative commentators were quick to condemn President Trump, not so Australian conservatives, despite their professed love for freedom. Bernard Keane reports.
The good thing to come out of Donald Trump’s four years in power is that he has not sent America into war, joining the Democrats’ Jimmy Carter as the only other president since 1950 to show such restraint. Brian Toohey reports.
Ministerial responsibility is dead. With the refusal of Aged Care Minister Richard Colbeck to accept responsibility for the deaths of 683 residents in aged care homes who died from Covid-19, so too dies accountable government in Australia. Dr Sarah Russell reports.
The arms company at the centre of a deadly criminal saga and numerous global corruption scandals, Naval Group, was selected by the Australian government to build our new fleet of submarines – a deal heralded as ‘one of the world’s most lucrative defence contracts’. How did this happen? In this special investigation Michelle Fahy discovers significant gaps in anti-bribery and corruption measures
From a legal perspective, NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian delivered a gala performance at ICAC. Citing a loss of memory more than 150 times to questions put by counsel allowed the Premier to distance herself from implications that she may have had knowledge of Daryl Maguire’s corruption. Daniel Anstey reports.
So much for sovereignty. Australia is locked out of repairing key US components of our submarines’ computer systems, and the government has committed our fleet to the extraordinarily dangerous role of helping the US conduct surveillance in the South China Sea. Brian Toohey reports.
The media we consume influences our compliance with Covid-19 recommendations. The unbalanced media coverage in Victoria is impeding the state’s recovery, writes Michael Tanner.
When the Coalition communications minister very quietly changed the regulations to enable access to millions of unlisted mobiles for ‘political research, the Liberal Party’s pollster Crosby Textor was quick out of the blocks with an application to access the database, writes Jommy Tee.
The privatisation of Vocational Education and Training has created a disastrous shortage of workers with intermediate skills, which the jobs of the future require. Employer subsidies will do nothing to tackle this, writes Bruce Mackenzie.
Michelle Fahy investigates the corporate influence on government policy and how weapons makers cultivate relationships with politicians and top officials in the public service.
The Australian Strategic Policy Institute is not only funded by the Defence Department but also receives sponsorship money from foreign governments, weapons manufacturers, and US corporations that have used or are using prison workers paid as little as 23 cents an hour. Marcus Reubenstein reports.
As families at public schools scrimp and save to provide the bare necessities, the federal government funnels ever more money into private schools without taking into account parents’ true capacity to pay. Trevor Cobbold reports.
While the government’s pragmatism and its willingness to abandon its past ideological railing against debt and deficits is welcome, Scott Morrison appears to be returning to his core beliefs in lower taxes and smaller government, plus favouring welfare for business. Michael Keating reports on Budget 2020.
Australian weapons manufacturer Electro Optic Systems, with financial support from the federal and ACT governments, is capitalising on the ‘growth market’ of the Middle East, one of the world’s most volatile regions. Michelle Fahy reports.