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The scam within a scam. US, UK officials are flying high on the AUKUS teat.

by Rex Patrick | Dec 11, 2023 | What's the scam?

In October, MWM revealed that the Australian Submarine Agency had spent $15.2 million taxpayer dollars on travel over two years. But wait, there’s more to that story. Much more.

Turns out, included in the $633K per month, or $21K per day, not only is the Australian taxpayer paying for the excessive jet setting of Australian Defence Force officers and senior Defence officials, but we’re paying for US and UK officers to fly backwards and forwards to Australia as well.

On Wednesday last week, Jacqui Lambie rose from her seat in the Senate at the end of question time and sought an explanation from Penny Wong as to why an answer to Question on Notice (QON) 2336, asked in August, had not been provided. QON 2336 was an inquiry into AUKUS costs and included the question:

“Has Defence paid for any AUKUS partner officials to travel to and from Australia; if so, how much was spent on overseas official’s travel.”

AUKUS Gravy Plane: $633K a month in flights with the taxpayer picking up the tab

After Wong failed to provide a decent explanation as to the lack of response from Defence, Lambie launched a scathing attack on the Prime Minster, the Defence Minister and the Defence diarchy.

She started with Anthony Albanese:

“For the whole time you were in opposition, one of the loudest messages we got from the Labor Party was about the lack of transparency from this side—from the coalition government. As opposition leader, the now Prime Minister promised to fix this and provide greater transparency, but here they are, 18 months after they were elected, not practising what they preached. They are hiding behind legal privilege, hiding behind claims of national security, and hiding from scrutiny and accountability.”

She then turned her gun sights to Richard Marles:

“Deputy Prime Minister Marles is letting ADF senior command walk over the top of him. It is an absolute embarrassment. You probably need to sack him and start leading by example. Our national security is suffering for it.”

Finally, she ripped into General Angus Campbell and Secretary Greg Moriarty:

“We’ve got a [Chief of Defence Force] who blames everyone but himself for everything and anything. If he’s wondering who is to blame, it’s about time he really took a good hard look at himself in the mirror. We’ve got a secretary who is just a plain career public servant who has been in there for way too long—way too long. And, worse: we’re paying them over a million bucks each—a million bucks each, to deliver absolutely nothing, let alone to put our national security first and foremost.”

She returned to AUKUS.

“Australia deserves better than the CDF, the secretary and the minister, who avoid scrutiny and have absolutely no future plans except for a paper submarine. That’s all we’re looking at—a paper submarine. There are paper dreams for a submarine that doesn’t exist.”

The Senate agreed to an order that the answer to her question be provided the next day. The answer revealed that we are also paying the airfares for UK and US officers

How’s that for a joint program? All three countries work together and Australia gets to pay.

The US and UK are making a motza from AUKUS as Australia injects billions into their Defence industries, and the taxpayer gets to fork out the travel cost of the foreign officials that are orchestrating the swindle.

So how much are we paying for their travel? Defence’s answer was … wait for it …

It would be an unreasonable diversion of resources to provide a breakdown of costs per AUKUS partner over this period.

You won’t get to know. It’s too embarrassing.

Join our Team! AUKUS foreign expenditure sinkhole blows out to $12B … already

Rex Patrick is a former Senator for South Australia and earlier a submariner in the armed forces. Best known as an anti-corruption and transparency crusader - www.transparencywarrior.com.au.

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