Another election season has come and gone, and Australia’s future has never looked more secure. Both parties made it clear that the budget would be a tight one this year – as Labour struggled to balance its budget, our triumphant Liberal-National Government was forced to make $2 billion dollars-worth of savings from Higher Education and $1.2 billion from aged care.
Thank God that in this frugal period, both sides of parliament agreed to not even suggest making cuts to our beloved military. In fact, continuing the trend from the previous four years, the Liberals have once again, wisely increased military spending, with promises to continue to grow the defence budget for a further three years.
Of course we can’t give them all the credit. It is refreshing to see in this increasingly divisive parliament, such strong bilateral party support for good policy. Back in 2014, when Prime Minister Tony Abbott pledged to buy 58 F-35 fighters, Bill Shorten declared to Radio National that “it was Labour who believed that the Joint Strike Fighter was an appropriate addition to our air power”. And what an appropriate addition it was! With current costs looking like a measly $17 billion, the planes should be up and running by 2020. And as long as they are not made obsolete over the following 25 years by unmanned drones or other more advanced weaponry, which is rapidly being developed, they can only be described as a smart investment. That is of course, only if we use them in some war, but that surely won’t be too difficult.
Of course, the fighter jets can only be considered cheap when compared with Turnbull’s $50 billion Adelaide based project to build 12 submarines by 2030. But then again, nothing does stop a boat full of refugees like 4765 tonnes worth of submersible weaponry.
Of course, to guarantee that not a single boat slips past, Turnbull has sensibly pledged a further $40 billion to build up to 21 naval patrol vessels. It just makes good economic sense to spend $90 billion securing one’s borders, when one considers the cost of settling all those refugees.
And of course once Australia has added 33 vessels to our navy, we can all breathe a collective sigh of relief knowing we’re safe from ISIL and Chinese expansion.
With this sort of value coming from just a part of our military budget, we have to ask ourselves why our government doesn’t divert more of our $33 billion education budget towards defence.
Nonetheless, it’s Christmas in July for our Armed forces and Australia can look forward to plenty of new toys, which we’re just itching to play with.