SPREAD IT AROUND: A reader believes Bundaberg would be the better place for Rheinmetall to manufacture from, not Ipswich.
SPREAD IT AROUND: A reader believes Bundaberg would be the better place for Rheinmetall to manufacture from, not Ipswich. Rob Williams

LETTERS: We need defence industry here

TALK about putting your eggs in one basket. Once again logic appears to be denied as the latest release states that Rheinmetall will manufacture its armoured vehicles at Redbank in Ipswich.

Even the ordinary rank and file armed forces member knows you don't store all your ammunition in one area; you spread it around to avoid losing the lot to one attack or a mishap.

The present state of armed forces in Queensland means if hostilities ever break out, the state will most likely be the first cab off the rank for engagement with an enemy.

Ipswich is home to the long-established RAAF Amberley Base, coupled with the Australian Army's 9th Forward Support Battalion, 21st Construction Squadron, there is also the Chora Valley Lines Driver and Maintenance Training Facility. Just 43km away, Brisbane has the Army's Gallipoli Barracks, at Enoggera, and the Austra- lian Navy has a "shipless” presence at Bulimba.

There are also several more CMF and naval and air cadet posts throughout the Greater Brisbane suburbs.

North of the Brisbane/ Ipswich area, the next substantial armed forces are the army and air force presence at Townsville.

In between there are only a few CMF companies and naval and air cadet detachments.

A specialised industry which cannot be set-up overnight is the manufact- uring and supply of general ordinance/ ammunition. There are only a few manufacturers in Queensland capable of providing this service.

Like many countries, Australia was caught napping when WWII broke out. The only saving grace was that the type of arms had changed little since WWI, so many of the existing tool shops and small engineering works could easily convert to manufacture armed forces requirements. Such is not the case in hi-tech 2018.

Bundaberg, in the dead zone defence wise, is roughly halfway between Brisbane and Townsville and it still has ample vacant land which is not all that suited to growing crops, where both the manufacturing of military vehicles and munitions could be set up. Such industries create flow-on businesses and could help to alleviate unemployment in this area.

From my research, since 1960, politicians of all persuasions have said Bundaberg needs some type of sustainable, manufact- uring industry, yet none has delivered anything of substance.

Of the 46-odd employed at Knauf, while this is great, when put in to the district jobless perspective, that is like having one match instead of a box of matches.

Likewise, if our council is as progressive as it likes to think it is, the proposed $16 million for the Bourbong St CBD would be better spent setting up a sustainable manufacturing industry.

Ken Chinnery, Bundaberg

STOP PLAYING VICTIM

ON January 26, 1788, when the First Fleet ships unloaded their 1200 convicts, Royal Marine guards and officials, not a shot was fired.

As they looked around what's now Circular Quay they saw nothing other than bush.

Not a single building, planted field, domesticated plant or animal - nothing at all. It was the same across the continent.

It was terra nullius - a vacant land.

There was no Aboriginal army to defeat in battle. There was nothing to claim as the spoils of victory.

There was just wild bush. The few Aborigines who came out to have a look at these strange people were completely illiterate and innumerate and those on the south side of the harbour spoke a language completely unintelligible from those on the north side of the harbour, and they'd been constantly at war with each other for as long as anyone could remember.

There was no "invasion”.

Captain Phillip was instructed by the government in London to treat the natives "with amity and kindness”, and he did.

No Aborigines were shot; no platoon of marines fixed their bayonets or loaded their muskets or took a shot at anyone who emerged from the bush to see what was going on. Instead, they offered them gifts and friendship.

Most people now "identified” as indigenous - like myself and my children and grandchildren - have European (mostly British) ancestry to a greater or lesser extent.

I recently had a DNA test that shows I'm 48 per cent Irish, 20 per cent English, 30 per cent Scandinavian, 1 per cent Spanish and 1 per cent Aboriginal.

The absurdity is that, in this time of identity politics, I am an "Aborigine” by virtue of the fact that one of my Irish ancestors married an Aboriginal woman six generations ago.

There is no reason to change Australia Day. It was the day "Australia” came into being, and had it not been for those British on January 26, 1788, I wouldn't exist and neither would Anthony Mundine.

The names "Anthony” and "Mundine” are as English as a cold pork pie or fish and chips wrapped in newspaper.

It's time for all indigenous people to get over what happened 229 years ago and stop playing the victim card.

Keith Wright, Norville



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