Defenceless & poor is Labor’s only legacy

by ROGER CROOK – OVER the past 40 or 50 years successive Australian governments have abandoned defence planning and have been lured away from national security and self-sufficiency. 

Free trade agreements on trinkets, beads and bargains made by others, including the Middle Kingdom, is largely to blame. 

Does this Albanese Government want to commit itself to the defence of the nation, or does it consider its political ambitions and yearning for a place in the history books to be more important?

These politicians didn’t notice nor care that progressively, and slowly, Australia became defenceless and reliant on others for the necessities of life, particularly food and fuel.

In 1788, Governor Phillip, about eight hundred convicts and marine guards landed at Botany Bay. They were almost totally dependent on the food and other supplies they brought with them from England.


In 1788 supplies by sea were vital to sustaining life in Australia; Australia was defenceless in those days.

Over the next 200 years the people of Australia created a new land, which was the envy of many, and with the help of tariffs and trade sanctions, Australia almost became self-sufficient. And it was absolutely capable of defending itself from any likely aggressor.

That enviable position started to disappear when Hawke and Keating, to conform to the political fashion of the day, employed Thatcherism and Reaganomics to the Australian economy.

Now, in 2024, two hundred and 36 years later, Australia has completed the full circle; from dependence to almost independence to dependence once again; and once again, Australia is defenceless.

Like the original pioneers we increasingly rely on others for food and totally rely on others for fuel oils and defence.

If the shipping lanes into this country were closed, for whatever reason, for more than thirty days, there would be extreme stress in the land.

Australia imports goods to the value of about $300b from two hundred sources every year. The majority from China, America, Japan, Thailand and the EU, including the UK; 99 per cent of which arrive by sea.

In 2021 exports by sea totalled 939m tonnes.

We can and should no longer rely on America to protect or defend us and be the world’s police force.

The ANZUS Treaty is 73 years old; the world and America has changed since then, even if we haven’t.

The eleven US Navy strike groups (some 250 ships) are already deployed and the tensions in the Middle East, the South China Sea and northern hemisphere keeps them occupied, and the free world is grateful.

It is disturbing to be constantly informed that tensions in the world today are of greater concern than they were during the height of the cold war.


The Australian Government claims that China has made the biggest military build-up of any country since 1945, yet all of the defence experts in our society appear to agree that Australia is totally unprepared for almost any armed conflict; we cannot even protect our own shipping lanes.

In 2024 the mañana syndrome is the mantra of this Australian Labor government. For them, the defence of Australia is for tomorrow and tomorrow never comes.

For this Prime Minister and his Deputy, the pursuit of their political ideology takes precedence over the security of the nation and for that, they are culpable.

The Royal Australian Navy (RAN) cannot put to sea in any number because their ships are old and defenceless against attacks, even from rebels in Yemen, let alone a modern enemy; they are also short of sailors to crew the ships.

The RAN has been told it will have to wait until the 2030s before they can replace the old, tired and almost useless ANZAC frigates, with the new Hunter Class, which will be built in South Australia.

It will not be until the 2040s that RAN will have a veritable armada of eight nuclear-powered submarines, twenty frigates and destroyers, six missile-armed, large, optionally crewed surface vessels; the latter are only just on the drawing board in America.

Six Offshore Patrol Vessels and eight patrol boats are also planned to join the fleet by 2040.

According to this Labor Government, anything the RAN needs to defend this country is at least a decade away, so any war will just have to wait until we are ready.

Previous Coalition Governments were no better, they are all guilty, and should be judged harshly by the Australian people for their lack of competence in planning the defence of this nation: dereliction of duty comes to mind. The definition of that is the deliberate or accidental failure to do what you should do as part of your job.

Labor’s conduct is like the gestation period of an elephant: after all the squealing, stamping and clouds of dust to achieve conception; it’s years (for Labor decades), before any result for effort comes into the world!

The last time the world and Australia learned that tomorrow never comes was in 1939; still reeling from the Great Depression, two military juggernauts, Germany and Japan decided to wage war on what they believed was a weakened world.

Like never before, the world responded to their aggression and showed what can be achieved when the very devil drives.

Towards the end of World War 2, at Willow Creek in America, a factory built and operated by the Ford Motor Company was building a Liberator heavy bomber every hour.

In Britain, a group known as the Halifax Group Production, built the Halifax heavy bomber. This entailed making, inspecting and assembling 254,000 parts.

At the same time the Americans were building and commissioning almost six Fletcher Class Destroyers every month.

Starting in 1941, eleven American shipyards built 175 ships over 32 months. These were state-of-the-art battle ships and the first to be fitted with radar.

In Australia, 113 RAN naval vessels were built in ten dockyards during the six years of the World War 2 – in addition to the repair of more than 4000 RAN ships, 500 US Navy ships and 391 Royal Navy ships.

At the start of the war it took both the Germans and the Americans about nine months to build a submarine. In 1944 the Germans had this time down to 25 weeks and with a far more complicated vessel.

Meanwhile, to give the Germans something to attack, the Americans were building a Liberty cargo ship every 42 days, in 1943 three new Liberty ships were being launched each day.

In 1942 Permanente Metals Corporation (Kaiser) No 2 Yard in Richmond, California, the keel of the SS Robert E Peary was laid at 12.01am on November 8, 1942, and the 250,000 parts weighing 14,000,000,000 pounds were assembled and put together in 4 days, 15 hours and 29 minutes.

She was launched on November 12, 1942, and went to war on November 22. She was finally scrapped in 1963.

The 1940s were the days of the blueprint and then the whiteprint; every part drawn by hand at a drawing board with sharp pens and pencils, protractors, tee squares and the like.


All the unskilled men and women recruited to build the planes and ships had to be taught how to read and understand the blueprints; to not deviate a fraction from what was on the drawings, for to do so could cause failure of the part, leading to the failure of the whole.

In the Halifax bomber there were 254,000 parts, the Liberty nearly the same; that means a blueprint or whiteprint for every part; yet men and women, many who were old and/or unfit for military service and untrained, assembled all of those parts and built a bomber in an hour and a ship in four days.

Why is it, in 2024, in Australia, with all the modern technology, which has been developed in the years since World War 2; in 2024 it takes decades to build a battleship equivalent to what the Americans in 1939, could build in less than a year?

The Chinese can now build a type 056 Corvette in six weeks, something they have been doing since 2012, (National Interest July 17, 2021) and which the Americans are trying to match. In Australia, we don’t even try.

By all accounts, the Chinese vessel is a modern and sophisticated, 21st century warship; just what we want.

Are the Chinese and the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) now driven with the same zeal which drove the people in Britain and America during the war?

The drive and zeal provided by Hitler and Hirohito to build a heavy bomber in an hour, a cargo ship in four days and a Destroyer in a year?

How does Australia find that zeal in 2024?

Does this Albanese Government want to commit itself to the defence of the nation, or does it consider its political ambitions and yearning for a place in the history books to be more important than the defence of Australia?PC

Roger Crook

MAIN PHOTOGRAPH:  Defence Minister Richard Marles. (courtesy Reuters)

3 thoughts on “Defenceless & poor is Labor’s only legacy

  1. “Being lured away from national security and self sufficiency” is the lethal consequence of elitist Big Governments’ addiction to the lucrative but utterly deluded and deceptive task of erecting a corporate Globalist Infrastructure as the ultimate “Safe” haven.

    This has proved a complete con job off the back of zero accountability and zero protection or benefit for trusting citizens of yesteryears’ blink-of-an eye constitutional western democracies, now labelled global citizens (and domestic terrorists if they disagree).

  2. “Does this Albanese Government want to commit itself to the defence of the nation […] ?”

    Anyone who knows anything understands that Albanese is nothing more than an empty-headed peacock who is only ever looking for a mirror, and that there’s not a single member of his government who is any better.

    “According to this Labor Government, anything the RAN needs to defend this country is at least a decade away […]”

    A lack of hardware, although serious, is not even close to being our biggest problem with regards to our unpreparedness to defend this country – and our biggest problem is something that no government is going to be able to fix. We are in very deep trouble, and it appears that there is no way out.


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