I recently pointed out in News Weekly that a major war could see our supply chains cut with the economy and almost grinding to a halt in three months, according to a major exercise conducted by the Defence Department in 2019.
Defence Department conducted a war games exercise with 17 leading engineers to answer the question: “Can the national supply chains and our national infrastructure support Defence in a war or other crisis?”
Given that Australia’s manufacturing and industrial base has been reduced and thinned out so extensively, now down to 5.8 per cent of the economy, the final report by Engineers Australia laid out a chilling timeline (see below) of how Australia’s essential services would break down in an unspecified global crisis.
Day one: An attack could begin with infiltration of telecommunications and cyber security systems. There would be public hoarding and shortages of specialised medicines.
Week one: mass worker layoffs and water treatment facilities would begin to fail.
Week two: mining exports would cease and there would be diesel shortages.
End of the second month: liquid fuel supplies would be exhausted causing freight and passenger transport services to cease and food supplies would begin to run out.
Third month: high unemployment and social unrest. Software security, undersea communications cables, water supply and electricity supply would be degraded.
Australia is so reliant on imported essentials products transported on foreign owned merchant ships, that in a war this island continent would be cut off from its major trading nations. Our major trading partner is China.
Hence the need for Australia to build strategic industries as outlined in the NCC’s recent White Paper Manufacturing: Double production by 2035. (Read more comment above.)