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Byron Shire
May 12, 2021

Billions spent on fighter jets, yet aged care funding cut

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Australia is about to spend $24 billion all up on untested, unready F35 Joint Strike Fighters.

Unlike bomber aircraft that drop bombs, fighter aircraft’s main job is fighting other fighter aircraft and launching small missile attacks on ground targets.

How often has the RAAF used fighter aircraft in combat since the end of WWII, 70 years ago?

Twice. In 1950 in the Korean War. And 53 years later in 2003 our F16s were used in Iraq supporting George W Bush’s hunt for ‘weapons of mass destruction’.

Our F35s and their fuel tanks are so small their range is 2,200 kilometres. They should just about make it to New Guinea.

Yet in aged care facilities across Australia, senior aged care workers typically work their feet off for the $18.25 an hour federal award. I know because I am on the board of a nursing home.

If fighter purchases are a priority under Tony Abbott and Joe Hockey, it’s time they enrolled in an ethics class, at a primary school level. And if Bill Shorten and Tanya Plibersek support these F35 purchases, they should join them.

Our aged-care staff are angry. They get it. Do our politicians?

Jim Beatson, Byron Bay

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