148 page Defence White Paper – four paragraphs on the greatest security threat of the century

148 page Defence White Paper – four paragraphs on the greatest security threat of the century

Australian Greens spokesperson assisting on Defence – Senator for Western Australia Scott Ludlam. 3 May 2013.

The Government continues to downplay the security significance of climate change while wasting time and money pursuing the dud Joint Strike Fighter, the Greens warned today after the release of the Defence White Paper.

“The security challenges presented by climate change will be particularly acute for Australia. Projected climate-induced migration patterns, the concentrated locale of extreme weather events, and hot spots for resource conflicts make this abundantly clear, yet the White Paper dedicates only four paragraphs out of 148 pages to the issue of climate security,” said Greens spokesperson assisting on Defence, Senator Scott Ludlam.

“This White Paper represents an outbreak of bipartisan denial. While providing a perfunctory acknowledgement that climate is a security issue, there is no indication whatsoever that any procurement decisions have been informed by this recognition of the obvious. The irrational focus on the Joint Strike Fighter is an example of flawed procurement decisions flowing from misunderstanding of the changing security environment.”

Senator Ludlam’s submission to the White Paper process documents how other governments are addressing the security implications of climate change while Australia seems set on proceeding with business is as usual.

“The Government must also come clean on the ongoing Australian military presence in Afghanistan. It is intimated that Australian special forces will continue to operate in Afghanistan but there has been no indication of the scale or duration of those operations – will Australia have a permanent presence?

“It’s a relief that this Paper at least attempts to erase the diplomatic blunders of the 2009 Paper with regard to China, but the fact remains we will have at least 2500 US marines based in Darwin as an ongoing signal to Beijing.

“We welcome the news the Government has ruled out nuclear powered submarines.”

Media contact: Giovanni Torre – 0417 174 302

(More detail on JSF here http://scott-ludlam.greensmps.org.au/content/motions/scrapping-joint-strike-fighter )

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