No say for Alice in Fyles defence dialogue



Facilitating “strategic dialogue” is among the aims of NT Defence Week in May, according to an announcement by Chief Minister Natasha Fyles. but Alice Springs won’t be a part of it.

“A suite of events” is being scheduled for Darwin and Katherine while the big daily newspapers in Sydney and Melbourne, in several full-page comments over three days, are declaring Pine Gap, the spy base outside Alice Springs, as targeted for destruction in what they describe as the likely event of war over Taiwan.

“With the development of strategic infrastructure, the Northern Territory is positioned as a key enabler for defence in the Indo-Pacific region,” says Ms Fyles.

By strategic dialogue the Chief Minister clearly means discussing business opportunities not exploring the public’s view of the relentless militarisation of the NT.

“The Territory hosts a capable and resilient local defence industry which is evolving to support platforms, programs and projects coming to the region.

“The Territory industry stands ready to deliver defence and national security requirements in response to the imminent Defence Strategic Review.”

She has not responded to a request for an interview, in keeping with Marion Scrymgour and Malarndirri McCarthy, her fellow Labor politicians in Canberra.

“The program will ensure local businesses receive a greater understanding of the Defence market and have the opportunity to engage with decision makers across the domains,” says Ms Fyles.

Nuclear weapons capable US Air Force B-52 Stratofortress bomber, similar to the type to be stationed in Tindal outside Katherine. Photo Australian Aviation.


  1. From Wikipedia:
    In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex.
    The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.
    Dwight Eisenhower

  2. Ike Eisenhower was a military man. He saw the world (and the USA) under the balance of power concept where the USA had supremacy.
    He commanded the allied forces landing in North Africa in November 1942; on D-Day, 1944, he was Supreme Commander of the troops invading France.
    After the war, he became president of Columbia University, then took leave to assume supreme command over the new NATO forces being assembled in 1951.
    In strategic terms, would he act in the same way in the 21st century?
    Read his lips: The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.
    In contrast, Ms Fyles is only too happy to see “The Territory hosts a local defence industry which is evolving to support platforms, programs and projects coming to the region.”
    She sees the militarisation of the Northern Territory in economic terms and public displays during the forthcoming NT Defence Week.
    More importantly, she seems to brush aside the major role played by Alice Springs where the Joint Defence Facility remains central to any strategic dialogue affecting the whole Indo-Pacific region.

  3. There are numerous issues concerning “the spy base”, surely an outdated term in the Indo-Pacific, where the sovereignty of Taiwan is offered as a set-piece for the values of democratic nations against communist authoritarianism.
    Sovereignty of our nation and its ability to defend itself relies, like democratic nations in WW1 and WW2, on AUKUS.
    Pine Gap plays a major role as do nuclear submarines’ missile-firing deterrence.
    Ceding sovereignty to other than a democratically-elected Federal Government is folly and Voice proponents who blithely vote to test those powers at a future time are myopic.
    The Chief Minister is singing from the AUKUS songbook and in the face of rapidly increasing defence budgets, it’s naive to think that Australian workers should strike against an existential threat, externally and internally.


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