As net zero strangles Australian industry, Australia is becoming green,
powerless and defenceless.
History holds lessons which we ignore at our peril.
Japan was opened to trade with the US in the 1850’s. They were daunted by
the naval power of Britain and the US but were determined to catch up.
In the 1930’s Japan attacked China, Mussolini attacked Ethiopia and Hitler
planned how to avenge WW1 in Europe. Britain’s PM Chamberlain negotiated
with Hitler and proclaimed he had achieved “Peace in our Time”.
But Churchill warned:
“Britain must arm. America must arm. We will surely do it in the end but how
much greater the cost for each day’s delay.”
In November 1938, just after the signing of the Munich Pact, John Curtin
(Leader of the Labor Party in the Australian Parliament), made this
“. . I say that any increase in defence expenditure appears to be an
entirely unjustifiable and hysterical piece of panic propaganda.”
Source: Hansard, p1095, Nov 2, 1938.
Just ten months later, in September 1939, Germany attacked Poland.
On this side of the world, the Japanese built a large navy and air force.
However the Americans, British and Dutch controlled Asian oil supplies
needed for trucks, tanks, ships and planes. With Britain pre-occupied with
Germany and Italy in Europe, Japan decided on a huge grab for land and
In 1931 Japan occupied Manchuria and by 1937 Japanese troops were attacking
Chinese soldiers outside Beijing. Japan invaded French Indochina in 1940 and
a large Japanese force threatened the Philippines where US General Douglas
MacArthur was based.
On Monday 8 December 1941, Australian PM Curtin was told that Japanese
aircraft had attacked the large US Pacific Fleet at Pearl Harbour and US
bases in the Philippines.
Three days later, two “invincible” British warships, “Repulse” and “Prince
of Wales” were sunk by Japanese planes off Malaya. Soon Japanese armies were
rampaging through Asia towards Australia. In December 1941 Hong Kong fell.
By Feb 1942, the British fortress of Singapore surrendered and Japanese
bombs were falling on Darwin. By Sept 1942 the Japanese army had slashed
their way down the Kokoda Track across Papua New Guinea. They could see the
lights of Port Moresby and were looking across Torres Strait to Australia.
Further south, five Japanese submarines were snooping in the seas off Sydney
harbour. Two midget submarines entered the harbour and one sub sank HMAS
Kuttabul. The Japanese navy later bombarded Sydney and Newcastle.
By that time, most of Australia’s trained soldiers were fighting Rommel at
Tobruk in North Africa or were in Japanese prison camps. Australian
politicians discussed the infamous “Brisbane Line” – surrender of Australia
north of Brisbane.
Suddenly Australia was on its own and needed to defend itself with what we
Armies need manpower, weapons, ammunition, vehicles, tanks, planes, ships,
fuel and lubricants.
Soldiers volunteered and others were conscripted. Australian conscripts
formed part of the force that met the Japanese on the Kokoda Track in Papua
Britain lost so many weapons at Dunkirk that Australian factories and
American sportsmen were sending guns to them.
Enfield Rifles, Bren Guns and Vickers Machine Guns were produced in large
numbers at the Small Arms Factory at Lithgow in NSW supported by feeder
factories in the area. Australians even designed and built the fabulous Owen
Machine Gun, so loved by our young Nasho’s in the 1960’s.
Australian coking coal was used to produce steel and thermal coal provided
reliable electricity and powered locomotives. However, coal production was
often interrupted by bitter strikes in the early war years. But after Hitler
invaded Soviet Russia in June 1941, the communists among the coal miners
suddenly became more supportive of the war effort.
Motor oil was produced in limited quantities from oil shale at Glen Davis in
central NSW, but petrol was in serious short supply, and had been rationed
Petrol Ration Card
With the fall of Singapore, this fuel shortage became severe, and charcoal
burners suddenly appeared to keep cars and trucks moving. The demand for
charcoal was so great that firewood became scarce, so it was also rationed.
Kerosene was also scarce, so carbide lights were recovered from junk sheds
and widely used.
To conserve supplies for soldiers, rationing was also introduced for tea,
clothing, butter, sugar, meat and cigarettes. Australian farmers were
forbidden to kill their own animals for meat (but many of them did anyhow).
Australian school kids got cards to be used to identify enemy planes
overhead and fathers with picks and shovels were told to dig air raid pits
in school grounds (even then I thought that our one-room Wheatvale school
with 13 pupils was probably not a top priority target for Japanese bombers.)
We saw no enemy planes at Wheatvale but a bomber from our side was forced to
land in our neighbour’s wheat paddock and a big convoy of American Jeeps and
trucks stopped at our farm to make their morning coffee (it was the first
time we ever tasted coffee).
A critical war time shortage was copper for cartridge cases and
communications – Australia had mines producing lead, zinc, silver, gold and
iron, but there was a critical shortage of copper.
Fortuitously, just before the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbour, an
exploration drill hole at Mount Isa had struck rich copper ore.
Mount Isa was then called on to avert a calamitous shortage of copper in
Australia. With government encouragement, Mount Isa Mines made the brave
decision to suspend their profitable silver/lead/zinc operations and convert
all mining and treatment facilities to extracting copper.
The lead concentrator could be converted to treat copper ore, but the
biggest problem was how to smelt the copper concentrates. Luckily the
company had skilled engineers and metallurgists in the lead smelter. In a
miracle of improvisation, scrap steel and spare parts were purchased and
scavenged from old mines and smelters from Cloncurry, Mt Elliott, Mt
Cuthbert and Kuridala and cobbled into a workable copper smelter. In 1943
the first Mount Isa blister copper was produced. Production continued after
the war when Mount Isa returned to extracting the then more profitable
silver/lead/zinc. Later, new plant was built enabling both lead and copper
to be produced from this fabulous mine.
This story of the importance of self-reliance has lessons for today
especially at a time when the final closure of the great Mt Isa copper mines
has just been announced.
The war on carbon energy, net zero propaganda, the renewable energy targets,
escalating electricity costs and the voices in Parliament calling for
Emissions Trading Schemes have all unnerved our big users of carbon fuels
Smelting and refining have become threatened industries in Australia.
Already six major metal smelting/refining operations have closed in
Australia this century and more are likely. The closures have affected
copper, lead, zinc, steel and aluminium – the sinews of modern industry. And
car manufacturing, with all its skills and tools, has gone.
Local production and refining of oil is also declining, while
“lock-the-gate” picketers are trying to prevent domestic exploration and
production of gas. More and more land and offshore waters are closed to
exploration and mining, and heavy industry is scorned.
Australia has lost over half of its oil refining capacity and most of our
liquid fuel comes from foreign refineries. At normal rates of usage,
national reserves of diesel would last about three weeks and ULP about four
weeks. But in the event of a panic for fuel, city food shelves and fuel
supplies would be cleaned out in days, maybe hours. Commercial aircraft
would be grounded in a fortnight and our Air Force soon after.
We are losing the resources, skills and machinery needed for our own
security. And we fritter our declining resources on green energy white
elephants like Snowy 2, green hydrogen, dream-time extension cables to
transmit “green” electricity from Darwin to Singapore, hydrogen electrolyser
magic in Gladstone, a Pioneer Valley pumped hydro scheme (Snowy 3?), massive
new power lines to collect piddling energy everywhere and many other green
dreams with net consumption of energy and metals.
Green Admirals hope to run our destroyers on recycled cooking oil and Green
Generals are wasting energy designing electric bushmasters (with long
extension cords?). These foolish green energy policies and the suicidal war
on carbon fuels are killing real industry leaving us unskilled and
defenceless – like a fat toothless walrus basking on a warm sunny beach.
And imagine the mental and physical capacity of the flabby WOKE recruits
that an urgent conscription would produce today. And which toilet would they
use? Hopefully a few bikie gangs would sign up? At least they know how to
fight and could bring their own guns.
Australia plans to spend heaps of money and decades of time on AUKUS nuclear
submarine dreams – another Snowy 2? Imagine the chance of getting our
no-nukes mobs to build a nuclear-powered submarine in Australia that works
and is launched before the barbarians are again knocking at our gate.
Alexander Downer describes it “A political fantasy.”
Another Asian tiger in Beijing is currently gazing south at the resources
locked up in Red-Black-Green Australia. Its advance guards are already
installed in academia and the media.
The next war may be very short with simultaneous attacks on US military
installations from South Korea and Guam to Pine Gap. And imagine when our
power, radar, internet, social media and electric engines are suddenly
disabled with an EMP from a well-placed neutron bomb. And the tankers
carrying our fuel supplies from Asian refineries meet a guided torpedo or an
Our rainbow warriors with ill-chosen air and naval equipment, insufficient
ammunition, rationed fuel and lubricants and half-built nuclear submarines
will surrender quickly.
Wake up Australia.
Viv Forbes is old enough to remember the end of WW2, was called up for
National Service training in 1958 and also spent several years as a
part-time soldier in Australia’s Citizen Military Forces. He was the
founding Secretary of the Australia Defence Association in 1980.
For those who would like to read more:
“Mines in the Spinifex – the Story of Mount Isa Mines” by Geoffrey Blainey,
Angus and Robertson, 1960
“The Challenge of Standing on the Shoulders of Giants” by Collin Myers,
Congress of the International Mining History Association, Charters Towers,
Living in the Latter Days:
Playing Green War Games:
“Hidden Hand” – how the Communist Party is reshaping the World by Clive
Hamilton and Mareike Ohlberg
“Danger on our Doorstep” by Ex Major General and Senator Jim Molan.
Warning: Some of the above sites may contain war-related material, including
images which some of today’s wimps may find confronting and disturbing.