Defence

1. War

1.1. Policy: The Science Party believes war should be the absolute last option, and believes that in recent history many countries, including Australia, have entered into war too easily.

1.2. Discussion: The Science Party holds that one of the greatest wastes of resources is war. War directs human labour away from constructive elements of the economy such technological innovation, infrastructure construction and the production of enjoyment for individuals. This labour is instead put to work making destructible items (e.g. a bomb is dropped and never used again), and put to work destroying the infrastructure and livelihoods of others. It also results in the destruction of human life itself, which is the most immoral and destructive of acts.

People sometimes claim that war results in technological development. Although some technological development does come through the defence industry, the scale of development is tiny compared to the scale of the spending on the defence industry. For example, the war in Iraq has cost Australia approximately $2 billion dollars. The resultant technological developments are nowhere to be seen.

Australia is a small country with very few resources to defend itself from invasion. What protects us from invasion is isolation and the good reputation that Australia has built in the area through trade and through organisations such as ASEAN.  To achieve ongoing security of Australia and to avoid war if at all possible, the Science Party will aim to strengthen ties with regional partners to reduce barriers to economic trade. By allowing free flowing trade, investment, communication and movement of people, the likelihood of war is significantly reduced. Our neighbours should be reassured that Australia has no imperialist ambitions through the reduction in funding of military equipment and structures that could be seen to be offensive.

 

2. National secrets

2.1. Policy: National secrets should only be held as long as operationally important. A review of all currently held national secrets should be undertaken to determine the suitability of those national secrets for early release.

2.2. Discussion: The Science Party is committed to the transparent operations of government. National secrets, while sometimes operationally important, can also be misused to suppress information that may be sensitive to the government of the day, and hence national secrets, when used too liberally, can be a threat to the democracy of a nation. National secrets should only be held as long as operationally important. So, for example, in the process of capturing a group of criminals, if a secret regarding these crimes must be kept to prevent the escape of those criminals, then this is reasonable grounds for establishing a national secret. This secret should only be kept until all of the criminals have been captured. The maximum length for national secrets (including those that are deemed operationally important) should not last longer than 30 years, as currently stands, but the national secret should be released earlier if the operation is completed.