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-   -   War in Australia (any Oz Politics): the Original (https://www.pprune.org/jet-blast/477678-war-australia-any-oz-politics-original.html)

7x7 20th Jun 2014 23:59

SMH reporting that, according to the UN, there are now 51.2 million refugees in the world (and, with the current events in Iraq and Syria, I'd be guessing that that figure is growing by around 100,000 or so per day).

These figures include (and I quote):

UN figures show there are 18 registered refugees from New Zealand, three from Iceland and even one from Vanuatu.
And Sarah Hanson-Twotoomanydads wants open borders.

BenThere 21st Jun 2014 00:02

if one should arise, means we are inevitably linked to the Yanks
That bet is becoming less viable.

But I think a good discussion point is that if Australia committed to designing and building the best regional fighter/bomber, using the engineering and industrial capacity it has, it could create a viable and global industry. Or it could fail spectacularly.

I brought up Sweden, though, because with a population of less than 10 million it managed to compete in the manufacture of automobiles and fighter aircraft, and gave the world IKEA while shouldering the burdens of the welfare state. Sweden is doomed now to crumble under its immigration policy, but for a few decades it punched well above its weight in terms of industrial capability. Sweden and Australia share significant common attributes.

7x7 21st Jun 2014 00:16

if one should arise, means we are inevitably linked to the Yanks
Transpose the UK for the USA and that was exactly the basis of Australia's defence policy until 1939 (or, more accurately, 15th February 1942, when the fall of Singapore proved it was totally fallacious). The way Barak Obama is handling the leadership of the USA, history could well repeat itself, and in not too many more years.

...and I don't see another 'white knight' nation anywhere in the wings standing by to bail Australia out as the USA did in 1942.

BenThere 21st Jun 2014 00:33

Australia will have to build a nuclear weapon defense. It's inevitable.

parabellum 21st Jun 2014 00:34

"if they can do it why can't we"
I think the fact that Australia has a population of only 23million is a factor.

Research and development is a very big ticket item, therefore it makes good sense for Australia to let another country bear that load. (Yes, a portion of R & D costs get added to each item, or unit, but nothing like the total cost). This means that the relatively small budget of Australia can stretch further and buy more of the item, be it aircraft, surface ship or submarine, (another story!), not to mention tanks and other equipment. If Australia had to do the R & D on the F35 then they would be lucky if they could buy a pair!

The problems arise when the Australian DMO screw up getting the correct piece of equipment or not ensuring it is modified to Australian requirements.

500N 21st Jun 2014 01:47


About all we'd get is an F-35 mock up and we have that already :rolleyes: :O

Worrals in the wilds 21st Jun 2014 05:06

You've touched on a valid point and also a pet hate of mind, and that is "if they can do it why can't we" syndrome.:p
It's a very...attractive (for want of a better word) argument for a lot of people. It plays on nationalist ideals and conjures up the pleasant image of lots of jobs for Aussies and big hangars/factories full of happy workers waving their Aussie flags as the dinki di fighter/sub/tank cruises past. Therefore it's a very a populist argument, so traditionally MPs from both sides of politics prefer not to speak against it or address its flaws.

However, in recent times I think the collapse of the local car industry has demonstrated that this type of manufacturing is no longer viable here. Nor do the recent homebuilt defence hardware seem to have been very successful, though I'll leave the technical debate to those of you who know what you're talking about. :8

For many years I was a keen proponent of the 'if they can do it why can't we' argument (particularly wrt cars) but in recent times I've come to think you're correct, and we would be better off examining what we can do well with the resources we have. Otherwise we just end up with industries that require constant (and expensive) government CPR to stay afloat, and a bunch of substandard products.

dubbleyew eight 21st Jun 2014 06:14

australia could never build an effective fighter aircraft because it lacks the key ingredient needed to develop a fighter.

paranoid all consuming fear.

if you look at the histories of Area 51, The CIA, The FBI, the american military machine. behind all of those developments is the all consuming fear of an enemy attack.

we australians are much more subtle in handling our fears. we use foreign aid and diplomacy.

what are our greatest fears?
indonesia would attack. why would they? they understand tropical environments. australia is the most uninviting arid nation on the face of the earth. it has almost no useful soils over huge areas and an evaporation rate that far exceeds its rainfall. the middle of australia isn't called the GAFA for nothing.

China would attack. why would they? they have a far greater target in populating the african continent. far more useful resources available and far less resistance to their expansions.

New Zealand abandoned their airforce. the logic was implacable why would a nation smaller than Sydney need an airforce? lets face it they just emigrated here for the jobs :-)

the greatest threat to australia is probably the inevitable demise of america as a superpower. why would we need fighters for that?

500N 21st Jun 2014 06:15

We can't even build a submarine and all we had yo do was build them from plans supplied. What hope have we of designing and building a stealth aircraft ?

The Chinese populate Africa and buy up the Kanchenjunga and resources they want in aus.

Andu 21st Jun 2014 07:42

In 1942, when 'backs to the wall' became a stark fact rather than a trite catchphrase, Australia did in fact produce first grade equipment to support its war effort. The optical equipment produced in Australia (artillery gun sights etc) during the war was apparently first class. However, as soon as the war ended, like many other industries, we dismantled the whole shebang so we buy from Britain, because the feeling in Canberra was (as hard as it might be to believe today) that we should help poor Britain to get back on its feet after the suffering the Old Country had endured in the war by buying its products rather than building our own.

Aviation went the same way. In 1942, Australia produced the Boomerang, a half way usable stopgap fighter clapped together from bits and pieces of the Wirraway, the Australiansed (yes, we were even doing it then) version of the Havard. We produced the Mosquito, the Beaufort and the Mustang in very large numbers along with a number of trainer types and the locally-designed Woomera twin engined bomber, which never went into production, was said to have features not seen on other allied aircraft until after the war. The CA-15, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CAC_CA-15 which again never went into production, was said to be the fastest piston engined fighter ever produced and was slated to replace the Mustang before the jet age (and post war 'buy British') put paid to it.

But the elephant in the room, that I'm surprised no one has mentioned here yet, was the Australian unions. Even at the height of the war, when Australia was literally with its back to the wall and facing a very real threat of invasion, the unions still indulged in what can only be called sheer bastardry. This is revealed in some detail in the recent book by Hal Colebatch, Australia’s Secret War: How Unions Sabotaged Our Troops in World War II https://quadrant.org.au/shop/books/a...-world-war-ii/ .

The unions did not change their attitude after the war. Their almost universal 'corporate culture' of demanding overly generous wages and all too often ridiculously feather-bedded conditions for even the lowliest, unskilled workers has seen a succession of local industries close down. We once had a ship building and shipping industry, a car industry, a textile industry, an aircraft production industry and any number of other industries, most of which we no longer have. (The only remaining one, the car industry, is soon to close down completely, which can perhaps be explained in part by having bloody cleaners drawing over $100,000 a year.)

I'd rightly be accused of oversimplification to say that only the unions were to blame for these industries' demise. However, I'd be equally correct to say that they played a very large part in all those industries' demise. The current Royal Commission into union practices is revealing that they have been, in fact, little short of a self-serving criminal mafia in this country for generations. And not self-serving for their members, but just the lucky few in the top ranks of the unions.

Any attempt to build a home-grown fighter bomber today would have to overcome the union hurdle as well as the perhaps well-meaning but usually destructive intrusions of any number of people from within DMO as they attempted to make it all things to all men in one airframe.

7x7 21st Jun 2014 09:40

The last two comments on the Kangaroo Court site on Bill Shorten's supposed arrest over the 1986 alleged rape back in March 28th make for interesting reading, and leading some to ask whether the MSM (which haven't even remotely touched it) would self-censor if the alleged perp. was... say, Tony Abbott?

kurt flahavin June 21, 2014 at 9:07 am #

Bill Shorten must resign immediately as the labor party leader. The next time he gets arrested by the Victorian police he will be charged. It’s obvious that this investigation will lead to charges against Shorten. Why isn’t the Australian media reporting on Shorten on this rape investigation & the numerous times he has been named in the Royal Commission. Does the Australian media love Shorten?. I believe Shorten’s career is over, the question is how long he can hold on. As for Kimberley Kitching & Andrew Landeryou, they are both lowlife criminals who will both be exposed sooner rather than later. I have said this before and I will say it again, Kitching & Landeryou are a Bonnie & Clyde criminal team.


Greg June 21, 2014 at 5:35 pm #

Am sick of the censorship that the ruling class imposes on us plebs. I don’t want to be told only what Laurie Oakes thinks is appropriate. The ALP legal threats must be flying behind the scenes and AB ordered to shut up. Maybe the doyens of the press gallery have already told BS they won’t touch it similar to the assurance Julia got in 2007 about AWU. Puzzled why AB deals with Kitching. She and Landeryou are part of Shorten’s cabal and prime examples of the amoral ALP/Union mafia-like operatives the RC is set up to expose.

bosnich71 21st Jun 2014 10:14

Andu .... I think it's rather simplistic to blame unions for the lack of an aircraft industry in Australia.
Australia used to have an aircraft industry,one which I worked in, and I can assure you that I never earned anything near the wage that some people seem to think we earned and that included those with engineering degrees. With regards to unions and strikes I have to admit that during my over 30 years at the same aircraft business we did go on strike once. It lasted a week, not something I would have thought would bring the industry to it's knees but if people want to think that it did who am I to argue.
Most of the projects I was involved with were upgrades or whatever to existing systems. The first one, back in the late 70s' was not only done on time but also worked first time out of the box. At the time it was the largest modification ever done on a RAAF aircraft.Those involved at aircraft level were a mixture of British and Australian tradesmen. The British, including myself, had previous experience of major modification work on military and civilian aircraft which the Aussies at that time did not have. We, the British, did not go on strike despite the newspapers of the time claiming that the country was being run by "Pommy Shop Stewards". As stated, the job,20 aircraft in total, was completed as per the schedule which had been drawn up some 12 months prior to handover of the first aircraft by the RAAF to the company.
That company is now no more. The machine tools that enabled it to build a complete aircraft, something no other company in the world ever achieved, were sold off very cheaply to companies from New Zealand. The politicians, of both persuasions who allowed this to happen also facilitated the closure of existing aircraft businesses in Victoria and N.S.W. for political vote catching opportunities elsewhere in the country.

Worrals in the wilds 21st Jun 2014 10:14

I'd rightly be accused of oversimplification to say that only the unions were to blame for these industries' demise.
You would. We're at the arse end of the global logistics chain, we have a small population, we traditionally made a lot of crappy products sold by crappy retailers that have now been supplanted by a wide range of imports that are available online...Of course we made some great stuff too, and we still do. However, there's a lot more market competition than there was even twenty years ago, and only the fittest survive. Australia is not the only place discovering this.

If Holden/Ford had made a local car of equal quality and market relevance than Mazda et al then people would have bought them, but they didn't. They made tired ol' V6 dinosaurs that no-one wants anymore. That's got nothing to do with wages and everything to do with crappy business decisions by well-paid executives and marketing gurus. BTW, what's a Chinese executive make? How about their marketing poppets? It's not just Australian 'workers' who earn more than their third world counterparts.

I get very sick of being told by Gina (an heiress) and the Business Council that I should be grateful to have a job and be happy to work for Chinese wages, particularly when 1. I pay far more for stuff than the Chinese do, 2. I pay more tax than they do and 3. our senior execs earn exponentially more than their Chinese equivalents do, even when the company's bottom line is even redder than the Greens and said exec has made even poorer decisions. Alan Joyce... come on down. :mad: What did the little git earn again last year? How much did dear Olivia Wirth (sorry, Howes :E) take home for dragging a great Australian icon even further into the mud and giving Virgin a few more free kicks? :yuk:

I'd say that the main elephant in the room is crap management. Crappy short sighted decisions, a crappy grasp of what the market wants rather than what the company's alwaysdone :rolleyes: or what the execs think consumers should want, and a strict policy of blaming everyone around them when it goes pear shaped (whether it's the workers, the government, the global economy etc etc etc :bored:) rather than examining what went wrong and what needs to change.

And of course that ignores the many Australian companies who are quietly doing well. The big failures make the headlines (as do the big industrial disputes) and give the false impression that everyone's either going broke or storming the barricades. The facts that many companies are doing well (or at least ticking along) and most workplace agreements are negotiated without incident are not even remotely newsworthy; they sell far more papers by concentrating on the relatively few epic failures.

rh200 21st Jun 2014 12:06

Its actually a combination of several factors, the crappy product is just a function of cost. If you look at the overseas manufacturers they generally supply to a global market. If you want cars made in Australia manufacturing, then the majority would need to be going overseas.

Another words for each model, there would need to be significant market penetration in several nations.

CoodaShooda 21st Jun 2014 13:55

If I might add a further aspect to our industries' punching well below their weight...don't forget the regulatory environment that has evolved over the past 40 years to supplant initiative, innovation and common bloody sense.

The quality of Australian middle management has never been great but it doesn't help to tie them up in red and green tape and make doing their job a strict liability offence.

Dark Knight 22nd Jun 2014 01:42

Andu, you are indeed partly correct; unionism and high wages conditions have played a significant part destroying many Australian industries.

Similarly they have contributed to the demise of the USA vehicle industry though economy of scale assist there.

WITW; the latest Holden (VF) Commodore is a bloody good car equivalent to any in this class if not better; the Holden Ute (and the Ford Ute) particularly the big V8 models are the best (unbeatable) of their type anywhere in the world.

We can do it but have to be and maintain competitiveness.

We were a leading country in the production of optical supplies, lens materials and contact lens which, as I recently discovered, has just been moved by the manufacturing company to the UK?

Many of the losses of industry are caused by Australians who own companies or shares being only too willing (shortsighted?) to sell to overseas interests for profit?

Flying Binghi 22nd Jun 2014 01:59

via Worrals in the wilds:
If Holden/Ford had made a local car of equal quality and market relevance than Mazda et al then people would have bought them, but they didn't. They made tired ol' V6 dinosaurs that no-one wants anymore. That's got nothing to do with wages and everything to do with crappy business decisions by well-paid executives and marketing gurus...
I suggest further research there. Management had no choice. Look at the profit margin on a large car compared to a small car for an understanding of just how Oz car manufacturers got painted into a corner by idiotic unions..:hmm:

Not long ago when Oz built cars ruled we had small Holden built Torana's and Gemini's, even the first Commodores were a major size reduction on the previous cars. Management knew where the future lay. Unfortunately the cheaper equivalent Japanese small cars of the time ultimately forced Oz manufactures hamstrung by union idiots down the large car product differentiation path - a dead end path.

And its all a joke to them unionists. They sit and grin knowing that when the factory fails they get the big redundancy payout. Country can go to hell...:ugh:


chuboy 22nd Jun 2014 03:03

We should aspire to be more like our manufacturing competitors in China, Bangladesh and Thailand.

500N 22nd Jun 2014 03:03

IMHO, back when the Commodore came out, the opportunity was there to build both a large and a small car.

The first small car - the Camira - bombed a bit because it was under powered and crap quality.

If they had fixed those two things - or did what Toyota did - they would have been fine or at least in with a chance.

Textiles went off shore as it was just too expensive here. Unions have tried to bugger up everything else, especially the building industry.

You have no hope in this country.

Flying Binghi 22nd Jun 2014 04:05

via chuboy:
We should aspire to be more like our manufacturing competitors in China, Bangladesh and Thailand.
At the time of the first Holden Commodores and the continuing escalation of Japanese car sales none of those countries exported cars to Oz.


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