Australia's preparedness for any future conflict should be the theme for this year's Anzac Day messages.
Australia was totally unprepared for war in 1939; we are much less prepared now.
We would be very foolish to ignore the very real military preparedness of China.
Former CIA director and US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said that he was reasonably confident that COVID began in the laboratory.
China is continuing with biological weapons research.
China has seen how western economies and societies can be disrupted by a virus. China was prepared.
It is now using vaccination diplomacy around the world to win influence with poor nations.
China is using economic influence to "take over" economies in the South Pacific, and in New Zealand. Victoria almost fell into the Belt and Road trap.
IN OTHER NEWS:
Australia used to be an industrial powerhouse, particularly when it came to pharmaceuticals. We still are, if we count complementary medicines.
But COVID has illustrated how far behind we have fallen in producing vaccines.
We had millions of doses of imported vaccines on order. Europe banned vaccine exports. Now our vaccination program is running behind.
CSL is racing against time to produce enough AstraZeneca vaccine in Australia for our own use.
Clot fears might now mean imported vaccines for many.
Brisbane-based AnteoTech has received European registration for its 15-minute rapid COVID detection test - but it will be manufactured in Spain.
We have allowed a situation to develop where China produces 90 per cent of our daily medicines.
If ever there was a warning bell ringing loudly, our inability to produce our own medical supplies would have to be it.
We have to reward Australian medical research, and produce our own medical supplies. We talk about Australian manufacturing, but see little action.
When World War II broke out, Australia had small factories scattered in every capital city, and throughout the countryside. These factories were mobilised to support our defence.
Ford produced engines that powered scout cars, trucks and even light rail shunters. Chrysler was able to press large aircraft components.
I have visited the foundry in Uralla where cannon barrels had been cast.
Where is our industry today? Where is our defence preparedness?
Every school child should be shown the war documentaries currently being screened on SBS TV each Saturday and Sunday at 5.35pm.
Apart from the horrors of real war, the unpreparedness of Australia will stun.
Darwin is best known for being bombed by the Japanese. But so was Townsville, so was Broome.
Australia had a plan to completely abandon northern Australia if the Japanese landed.
Before the war, some gun placements were built in Darwin to repel a naval attack. An aerial bombardment was considered impossible.
The oil tanks that served Darwin harbour were on a headland. The Japanese bombed Darwin's oil reserves.
New underground oil tanks were constructed. They were finished by war's end. They were never used, and now lay rotting, a tourist attraction to demonstrate Australia's stupidity.
Australia is allowing its oil refineries to close. We have only four remaining. Kwinana in Western Australia is slated for closure.
All our fuel supplies come from Singapore. What did the last war tell us about Singapore?
Angus Taylor bought massive supplies of oil last year at very cheap prices. Where is this oil?
It is stored in the US, and you can just imagine how easy it would be to extract "our" oil during a conflict. With few refineries, what could we do with it?
We have to face the reliable energy question. Coal is Australia's natural energy source.
We have to recognise that in a conflict, factories would need to operate around the clock.
At night, if the wind is not blowing and the battery has run flat, everything would stop.
China's actions in Hong Kong and its threats to Taiwan show that without serious economic preparation we, too, could be surrendering our country and our lifestyle.
They'd mine our coal. They'd use our water. All those wonderful climate distractions would go out the window.
This Anzac Day, let us remember the dead and those who served - but also a prepared Australia would not be threatened. The choice is ours.