A “major investigation” by try-hard journalist Antony Loewenstein uncovers a projected astronomical increase in Australian exports of military tools of death and destruction:

“[Minister for Defence Industry Christopher] Pyne said in July that his ambition was for Australia to ‘enormously increase that capacity and send a lot more weapons overseas to appropriate countries and appropriate places of course. We simply wouldn’t do so willy-nilly. We have a particular process for that.’

He says that current contracts are worth $200 billion in the coming years. That’s a massive expansion of defence exports from 2003/2004, when they amounted to just under $600 million.”

Pyne isn’t quoted on the $200 billion in current contracts and there’s no link to his statement because Loewenstein, whose first book My Israel Question placed Lebanon inside Israel, is really dumb or a liar, or both. Here’s what Pyne actually said:

Pyne said by the end of the current contracts, Australia would have built 12 submarines, 12 offshore patrol vessels, nine frigates and 21 patrol vessels for the Pacific. He said current contracts are worth $200bn over a decade.

“We have completely reenergised, in a renaissance for ship-building industry in Australia, and they were decisions being made by this government,” he said.

“As part of that massive buildup of capability in the defence industry, we then need to look at exporting that capability because it brings treasure, investment and jobs to our economy here in Australia.”

Pyne said Australia could create a weapons export industry if the country overcame its reflexive response that it could not be done.

“What we have to overcome, with great respect, is that instantaneous and reflexive response that Australians sometimes have that we can’t do it here,” he said.

“We can do it here, we are a great manufacturing nation and a great export nation.”

The $200 billion is for procurement and has nothing whatsoever to do with exports. Loewenstein’s fictions are, of course, published by Fairfax.

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