How we could spend $270 billion (spoiler: it’s not on missiles)

How we could spend $270 billion (spoiler: it’s not on missiles)

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Australians have had a difficult year - we’ve watched our country burn, we’ve been hit by the worst pandemic in a century and are now embarking on a recession with mass unemployment. We need to sort out our own problems rather than spend our resources escalating tensions abroad. 

We are calling on the government to cease any plans to spend the $270 billion they have allocated to “upgrade defence capabilities” including the plan to acquire long range missiles. In his own words, Scott Morrison has acknowledged “the risk of miscalculation – and even conflict – is heightening.” By spending a record amount of tax money expanding our arsenal, $75 billion more than the previous and already excessive budget, we are waving the war flags at our neighbours. This does not make Australians safer, but rather puts us in danger to become collateral damage in an arms race.  

Here’s a list of all the things the money would be better spent on to not only protect Australians, but to put us in a position where we as community are strengthened and can become global competitors in more constructive fields. 
Any single one of these things would be better than the current weaponised plan, and with the enormous multi-billion dollar budget we would have the option to fund multiple programs: 

  • More stimulus payments for medium and small businesses that have suffered as a result of the pandemic 
  • More funding for welfare and jobs programs to support those who have lost their jobs and/or are vulnerable because of the pandemic 
  • Increase Newstart permanently
  • Expansion of mental health programs and support networks  
  • Switch the entire country to renewable energy within the next decade - including training programs for fossil fuel workers and reliant communities to help them transition to the new industry
  • Rebuild the communities ravaged by the bushfires and provide funding for programs, events and businesses that will bring tourists and people relocating to these areas
  • Create a fire safe plan for Australia - including new fire bomber aircrafts for each state and a panel made up of members of the fire authorities, scientists and indigenous experts to make recommendations on how to prevent and combat future fires 
  • Protect the Great Barrier Reef and try to repair the extensive damage it has already sustained 
  • Protect our endangered species and create breeding programs for threatened fauna and flora  
  • Create more national parks and protect the ones we have already 
  • Protect and repair the Murray-Darling basin 
  • Protect and repair scared indigenous sites from further decimation by mining and fossil fuel companies 
  • Honour the requests of the Uluru Statement 
  • Make TAFE and university free for all
  • Add dental to Medicare
  • Build more social housing to create more jobs and help combat homelessness 
  • Fund renovations to homes and community services to make them more accessible for people with a disability 
  • Additional funding to climate change and renewable energy research and training programs 
  • Additional funding to medical research and hospitals 
  • Expansion of schools and hospitals in regional areas and underserved communities 
  • Additional funding to all state schools
  • Free childcare to every parent
  • Expand the first home buyer programs and grants 
  • Build the bullet train from Melbourne to Sydney (and power it with renewable energy)
  • Abolish stamp duty on property purchases 
  • Fund every Australian earning below $80,000pa to see a financial planner, career coach or property consultant to give them insight on how they can improve their circumstances
  • Expand the TV & film industry in Australia so we can tell our own stories, and encourage the world to make productions here as well
  • Restore funding to the ABC 
  • More funding to the arts as a whole - including programs and prizes for writing, music, theatre, dance, painting, sculpture, photography, textiles and animation
  • National science prize for different areas of discovery and age groups 
  • National invention prize for different areas of discovery and age groups 
  • Funding to struggling farmers, particularly those in bushfire zones or areas impacted by drought 
  • More public gardens, dog parks and playgrounds 
  • Trees for people program - the government allocates land and money to fund the planting of at least 160 trees per Australian to help combat Co2 levels and climate change 

Tell the government what options on this list are important to you in the comments when you sign and/or if you can think of something else - add that in! 

Being the wealthy and resourceful country we are, we should be able to achieve all of these things, but we need to reallocate where our money is currently going. It’s time our taxes are spent on what we as a community value, and it’s on us to let the government know what that is. 

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