By Kato Rivera

Australia’s celebrated Arnhem Land aerospace project, rather than being dedicatedly civilian as the nation was media-led to believe, will have a US military component.

This was admitted quietly in the Northern Territory Government’s Estimates Committee Hearings (28 November 2017, P49).

Just a little bit military? This is like being a little bit pregnant. When military are involved this becomes, by definition, a military project with the usual tight security provisions; and the only kind of military rocket that makes sense in today’s tense global context is an ICBM; inevitably aimed at China.

This means that the Arnhem Land rocket base will become one of China’s automatic nuclear strikes. Other probabilities are Darwin airport; the two Echelon spy satellite bases in rural Darwin; Tindal air basePine Gap; and at least one other in coastal Western Australia. This is Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s ‘clever’ defence policy. But wait, there is more.

Only 40 kilometres from the proposed rocket base is Melville Bay, a deep-water harbour long coveted by the Pentagon as the Southern Hemisphere Asia-Pacific naval base, now urgently required considering the demands of the people of Guam and Okinawa that Americans depart pronto. The host nations have good reason to want the Americans out: day and night aircraft noise; their women regularly raped by servicemen; and the usual toxicity associated with military aircraft bases polluting their drinking water.

Tindal air base has already poisoned Top End water, polluting the Katherine River. This was oh so predictable.

What will happen if our Prime Minister approves a Trump-owned Melville Bay? Based on the security exclusion zones applied to other foreign US bases, everywhere within a 20 kilometre radius of Inverell Bay, within wider Melville Bay, will be accessible only to people with US military and/or intelligence security clearance.

The rocket base will feature an even tighter security exclusion zone, both bases forming a geographical figure eight. As this would entirely encompass the Central Arnhem Highway for a distance of 40-50 kilometres, it is likely that Yirrkala Aboriginal community will also be removed. And goodbye Garma Aboriginal Festival.

Exclusion will also mean that Ski Beach and Wallaby Beach Aboriginal settlements will have their populations relocated, no doubt the land redeveloped to become beachfront accommodation for US Naval personnel.

Can the town of Nhulunbuy be permitted to survive? Probably not. Rio Tinto’s bauxite mine will soon close and the only other functions of the town are as a servicing hub for local Aboriginal communities and as a staging post for tourism. Obviously, both roles will end.

How will this affect Nhulunbuy’s population? There will be no compensation. The White House will apply its own lucrative corruption of the US Law of Eminent Domain, which was originally intended to pay market value for real estate acquired for public service. The cunning Catch 22 now applied is that once word is out about the security exclusion zones, the value of Nhulunbuy real estate will collapse and all properties will be unsaleable. Australian government valuations will follow the inevitable pattern of descent, following in the footsteps of the tragic US experiences (i.e. New York and New Orleans).

And the Indigenous population? Without access to Songline sites, morale will collapse, and Arnhem Aboriginal culture will go into terminal decline.

No prizes for now guessing what wider part of Australia Scott Morrison has turned over to the US military in return for Trump’s tariff concessions; the new colony of American Top End. Sixty per cent of Australians believe we must pay any price to keep the US as our ally. Malcolm Fraser, a former Prime Minister, vehemently disagreed. He warned Australians that America cannot be trusted.

Fraser pointed out that there is no treaty requiring America to protect Australia and that the US has already betrayed us; twice taking Indonesia’s side against Australia.

Moreover, he said, the US intends confrontation with China and Russia, which will mean WWIII and several pre-emptive or retaliatory nuclear strikes on Australia. If the Melville Bay and rocket base deals go ahead we will certainly experience nuclear strikes right here in North East Arnhem Land.

As they say, if you want to lose everything, just do nothing.

© Copyright Kato Rivera 2018. Arnhem Development Research Unit

This article was originally published on Gumshoe News.