Ah, but what was Magic Mike really thinking of while he "seeing for himself" Israel's
Of Elbit Systems, perhaps?:
"Analysis of a key set of Department of Foreign Affairs & Trade financial records... show that over the past 10 years the Australian government has spent more than $1.5 billion on contracts with Israeli arms companies, primarily the company Elbit Systems. Elbit supplies surveillance equipment for the highly controversial wall Israel has built throughout the occupied Palestinian West Bank, a wall that is integral to Israel's occupation and settlement activities. The wall, like the occupation, is illegal under international law. Last month, it was revealed that Mary Easson, one of 5 members of the NSW branch of the pro-Israel lobby group the Australia Israel Labor Dialogue, is also a lobbyist for the Australian subsidiary of Elbit Systems. The AILD was highly active in lobbying ALP members to reject motions at the NSW Labor conference critical of Israel or its supporters, including those calling for a boycott of the settlements." (Australia guilty of double standards in supporting Israeli settlements, Paul Dufill, Sydney Morning Herald, 7/4/16)
At any rate:
"NSW Premier Mike Baird has signed an agreement in Israel securing an Israeli-built flight simulator for the Royal Flying Doctor base in Dubbo. The flight simulator is part of a new $18 million facility, which will also allow the RFDS SE to accommodate an integrated aeromedical simulation and training facility, as well as a Flying Doctor tourism and visiting centre. The Premier announced the joint initiative between the RFDS SE and Elbit Systems, an Israeli technology company, during the Premier's trade mission to Israel at a signing at Elbit's facility in Netanya... The NSW Government funding, alongside funding from RFDS SE, Dubbo City Council, the Dubbo Support Group and Elbit Australia, will bring a multipurpose aeromedical, aviation and tourism facility to the Dubbo Base." (Israeli simulator for Flying Doctor Service in Dubbo, 8/4/16, jwire.com.au)
Jwire is unfortunately mum on the funding breakup. Happily, this has been supplied by the Sydney Morning Herald as follows:
"Following three years of negotiations, the RFDS has received $18 million in new funding, including about $12 million from the Australian subsidiary of Israel's Elbit Systems... In addition to Elbit's funding, RFDS also received $2.5 million from the state government and $1.1 million from its Dubbo Support Group... The flight-training simulator will be installed and operated by Elbit Systems of Australia... " (Royal Flying Doctor Service gets an $18 million boost, Julie Power, 8/4/16)
So let's get this straight:
The RFDS has received $18 million, the bulk of which - $12m - comes from the Australian subsidiary of Israel's death-dealing Elbit Systems, Elbit Systems of Australia, to buy an Elbit Systems flight simulator, which will be installed and operated by Elbit Systems of Australia.
This hardly sounds like your average business transaction. The question arises: is it really anything more than an Israeli PR stunt, with $2.5m NSW taxpayer dollars kicked in by Magic Mike?
And where does Labor's Mary Easson, a self-confessed spruiker for Elbit Systems of Australia, fit in, given that the 'purchase' is the culmination of 3 years of negotiations? (See my 18/3/16 posts Spotlight on the 'Australia Israel Labor Dialogue' 1 & 2)
[* What a bizarre way of saying 'NSW'.]