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Is Australia joining a new arms race?

Bruce Duncan |  30 March 2018

Australians have been startled that our government, apparently without any public consultation or debate in parliament, intends greatly to expand Australian arms production to become within ten years one of the top ten defence exporters, on a par with Britain, France, and Germany.

Currently, Australia exports about $2 billion of high-tech defence equipment, compared to $10 billion exported by the UK. A new financing facility of $3.8 billion will be set up for Australian defence companies planning to sell to foreign governments, including to those in unstable areas of the Middle East and Asia. The government will spend $20 million a year to promote this plan, augmenting spending of $200 billion on defence in the next decade, even though the director of defence strategy at the Australian Strategic Policy Institute, Andrew Davies, said he was “baffled” by the government offer to underwrite arms manufacturing, as there was plenty of investment funds already available.


Bruce Duncan

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