End the Avalon Air Show Arms Fair - MAPW concerns presented to Victorian Legislative Council - March 8 2017

MAPW is calling for the Avalon International Airshow to no longer promote the sale of weapons. Over 400 people signed a petition calling on the State Government of Victoria to no long support the airshow financially. The Petition has been presented to Daniel Andrews office.

We are grateful to Sue Pennicuik MLC, for raising the issue in the Parliament.

Statement by Ms Sue Pennicuik - Members Statements, 8 March 2017

Ms PENNICUIK (Southern Metropolitan) — The Australian International Airshow was held at Avalon from 3 to 5 March. The air show has been around for years and is very popular. Many people in the community though are becoming concerned that it is promoting military might and arms dealing in addition to the thrilling aerobatics that have always been a part of it. The international air show website advertises it as the 'ultimate family adventure', marvelling at the latest military jet fighters, bombers and attack helicopters.

The Medical Association for the Prevention of War asks:

Is it wise to encourage our children to delight in our ability to harm others? An ability we should ideally use reluctantly, and as a last resort? Secondly, the international arms trade, which is larger and more corrupt than ever before, has become a scourge in other parts of the world.

The flooding of the Middle East and Africa with weapons has contributed to the scale of armed violence there, with disastrous humanitarian consequences, as well as diverting funds from health and education —

and other public purposes —

and restricting development.

Our region has been largely spared this, except in the case of Papua and New Guinea where tribal battles and criminal raids now use military assault weapons …

Almost 500 Victorians have signed a petition drawn up by the Medical Association for the Prevention of War calling on the state government to stop the arms trade event that is being held in conjunction with the Avalon air show. The petition reads:

Avalon air show used to be just an air show, and now it promotes military might and weapons dealing. An expanding arms trade ultimately harms communities and nations. Please return it to just an air show, and stop the arms trade being promoted at this event.

It is time to withdraw government sponsorship and stop the weapons dealing at the Avalon air show in 2019.