Jubilee Australia

Jubilee Condemns Use of Efic to Fund Arms Sales

Release Date: 05-Feb-2018


Jubilee Australia has condemned the recent announcement by the Turnbull Government to use tax-payer dollars to fund the exportation of Australian-produced defence equipment.

The government plans to finance the arms exports by funnelling money into Efic, the Australian export credit agency, which provides loans and insurance to help exporters sell products overseas.

‘We learned today that the government has decided to use Efic’s National Interest Account as its instrument of choice for this policy,’ said Dr Luke Fletcher, Executive Director of Jubilee Australia. ‘Having followed Efic and its National Interest Account transactions closely for years, we find this development extremely disturbing.’

‘Efic’s National Interest Account is a shady and secretive way to spend taxpayer’s money. The review process is completely obscured from public scrutiny and this leads to poor decision-making,’ Dr Fletcher said.

‘We have seen the painful results. In 2009, National Interest Account funds financed the PNG LNG project, the huge ExxonMobil-led gas project in the PNG highlands. The project has been a disaster for PNG: it helped usher in a new era of corruption and financial mismanagement there in a way that was utterly predictable.’

‘Government subsidies of the arms industry are troubling enough,’ Dr Fletcher concluded, ‘but to achieve them using a mechanism with no accountability and troubled history is to court disaster.’