The Australian arms industry. MAPW: Peter Wigg - 2013

An October 2013 account by MAPW member Dr Peter Wigg of the Australian arms industry. This was once largely state-owned and geared towards providing for the needs of Australian forces. From the 1980s it has been the deliberate policy of federal and state governments to privatise it and to promote the export of military products to generate revenue. Private arms dealers established in Australia now attend the Australian army’s planning and strategy meetings, allowing aspects of army policy to be set by the public relations and advertising campaigns of the dealers, even though a privatised military sector cannot be counted on to place national security, peace or human rights interests above the pursuit of profit. In addition, former limited public scrutiny, through parliamentary process, of the production and sale of arms has largely ceased. Most arms industry activities are now classed as ‘commercial in confidence’, and the Australian public is largely unaware that we even have such an industry.