The Greens have ridiculed Australia’s plan to pay $270billion on defence hardware during the coming decade and suggested spending that money on the homeless as an alternative.
The left-wing party’s leader Adam Bandt said the scaling up of military capabilities would neglect to protect Australia from China, and claimed Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s spending spree was built to help Donald Trump get re-elected.
‘As a little to medium power, Australia is not going to manage to outgun China,’ he told Sky News on Thursday night.
With the Eden-Monaro by-election looming on Saturday, Mr Bandt said the money earmarked for defence spending throughout the coming decade would be better spent helping the homeless in southern New South Wales.
‘Spending $270billion on unnecessary weapons is merely wrong while bushfire survivors are still sleeping in tents in Eden-Monaro,’ Mr Bandt said.
The Greens have ridiculed Australia’s plan to pay $270billion on defence hardware during the coming decade and suggested spending that money instead on the homeless. Pictured is Greens leader Adam Bandt
Mr Morrison immediately said Australia faced the particular gravest risk to the existence considering that World War II – when the Japanese bombed Darwin and sent midget submarines into Sydney Harbour.
‘We have not seen the conflation of global economic and strategic uncertainty now being experienced here in Australia in our region since the existential threat we faced when the global and regional order collapsed in the 1930s and 1940s,’ the Prime Minister said.
Military experts fear China, under President Xi Jinping’s authoritarian leadership, will spark a war in Asia within ten years as it escalates territorial disputes from India to the South China Sea.
Despite that, Mr Bandt suggested boosting Australia’s defence spending would put Australia in more danger.
‘This isn’t going to make Australia safer, in fact it’s going to contribute to increased military tensions in the region,’ he said.
Mr Bandt, the member for Melbourne, downplayed the prospect of China even invading Australia.
‘There are better ways to spend money to increase the personal security of people in this country and when you look at what’s happening in our region, the big thing that has happened since the 2016 Defence White Paper came out that said Australia is not at risk of being invaded,’ he said.
The minor party’s leader Adam Bandt said the scaling up of military capabilities would fail to protect Australia from China, hinting Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s spending spree was designed to help Donald Trump win a second term
Military experts fear China, under President Xi Jinping’s authoritarian leadership, will spark a war in Asia as it escalates territorial disputes from India to the South China Sea. He is pictured in October 2019 inspecting troops at a parade to mark the 70th anniversary of Communist rule
Mr Bandt also claimed Mr Morrison’s announcement about a significant defence spending boost was somehow designed to coincide with US President Donald Trump’s plan to be re:elected in November.
‘Donald Trump is facing re-election, he’s behaving increasingly belligerently and erratically on the world stage and now Australia has been caught up in Donald Trump’s domestic politics,’ he said.
More than half of $270billion will be spent on improving Australia’s air and maritime forces, including buying new AGM-158C Long Range Anti-Ship Missiles from the US.
The missiles, which were designed in the United States in 2014, cost about $5million each and can hit a target 370km away, giving Australia significant new range.
The Australian Strategic Policy Institute’s director of defence, strategy and national security Michael Shoebridge said China under President Xi was increasingly aggressive – making a war in the Asia-Pacific more likely within the next decade.
More than half of $270billion will be spent on improving Australia’s air and maritime forces, including buying new AGM-158C Long Range Anti-Ship Missiles from the US (pictured)
‘The most obvious source of military conflict in our region is Beijing under Xi Jinping,’ he told Daily Mail Australia.
‘This all means that major military conflict in our region is now credible well within the “ten years warning time” that Australian strategy has been based on until now.’
A hot war in Asia would mark the bloodiest ideological conflict in Asia since the height of the Cold War.
Australia, under Robert Menzies, directed troops to the particular Korean War in 1950 in addition to to the Vietnam War in 1962 in a bid to crush Communist forces and support the United States – Australia’s biggest defence ally since World War II.
In 2020, Mr Shoebridge said China was Australia’s biggest military threat, despite becoming Australia’s biggest trading partner, and the particular No.1 buyer of iron ore exports used to make steel.
‘This flows from the coercive, expansionist behaviour of the Chinese government,’ he said.
Missiles, drones and artillery systems: How will Australia spend $270billion over 10 years?
Maritime ($75 billion)
Expanded maritime force to provide greater capability for anti-submarine warfare, sealift, border security, maritime patrol, aerial warfare, area denial and undersea warfare.
Between $168 and $183 billion for the acquisition or upgrade of Navy and Army maritime vessels out to the 2050s. Between $5 to $7 billion in undersea surveillance systems.
Between $400 to $500 million in long range maritime strike missiles.
Air ($65 billion)
Expanded air combat and mobility and new long range weapons and remotely piloted and autonomous systems will be introduced.
Between $10 and $17 billion investment in fighter aircraft. Between $700 million to $1 billion for Operational Radar Network expansion.
Between $3.4 billion and $5.2 billion to improve air launched strike capability.
Between $6.2 and $9.3 billion in research and development in high speed long range strike, including hypersonic research to inform future investments
Between $7.4 and $11 billion for remotely-piloted and autonomous combat aircraft, including air teaming vehicles.
Land ($55 billion)
Investment to ensure land forces have more combat power, usually are better connected, protected and integrated with each other and with our partners. Between $7.4 and $11.1 billion on future autonomous vehicles.
Between $7.7 and $11.5 billion for long range rocket fires and artillery systems including two regiments of self-propelled howitzers.
Between $1.4 and $2.1 billion for Army watercraft including up to 12 riverine patrol craft and several amphibious vessels of up to 2,000 tonnes to enhance ADF amphibious lift capacity.
Defence Enterprise ($50 billion)
Investment key infrastructure, ICT, innovation and Science and Technology programs critical to the generation of Defence capabilities.
Between $6.8 and $10.2 billion in undersea warfare facilities and infrastructure.
Between $4.3 and $6.5 billion to enhance Air Force’s operational effectiveness and capacity in the Northern Territory.
Between $900 million and $1.3 billion to upgrade key ports and infrastructure to support Australia’s larger fleet of amphibious vessels.
Between $20.3 and $30 billion to boost the supply of munitions and between $1 and $1.5 billion to explore expanding industry capacity for domestic guided weapons and explosive ordnance production capability.
Information and cyber ($15 billion)
Bolster offensive and defensive cyber capabilities, enhance electronic warfare and command and control systems and improve intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance systems.
Space ($7 billion)
Investment to improve resilience and self-reliance of Defence’s space capabilities, including to assure access to capabilities, enable situational awareness and deliver real-time communications and position, navigation and timing.
Between $4.6 and $6.9 billion in upgrades and future satellite communications systems, including communications satellites and ground control stations below sovereign Australian control.
Between $1.3 and $2 billion to be able to build our Space Situational Awareness abilities.