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Greens MLA slams airport arms ads

By Charlotte Harper - 28 October 2015 34


As Greens MLA rather than with his ACT Government Ministerial cap on, Shane Rattenbury has today called on the Canberra Airport to remove arms industry advertising from its premises.

Mr Rattenbury is seeking support from the ACT Legislative Assembly for a motion on the issue after the No Airport Arms Ads presented a petition with 1500+ signatures to airport management.

However, as a privately operated business, the airport would not be obliged to change its advertising policy and forsake revenue from defence clients even if Mr Rattenbury’s motion were successful.

Advertisements for arms manusfacturers such as Raytheon, BAE, Lockheed Martin and ThyssenKrupps vie for the attention of passengers and other visitors to the airport, no doubt particularly targeting Federal MPs and senior public servants who make procurement decisions for the armed forces.

Mr Rattenbury said images of border patrol ships and other military images were confronting and unwelcoming.

“The Canberra Airport is a major gateway into our city, it is the first place people see when they land in the Nation’s Capital and it should be a place to celebrate and promote the range of beautiful assets Canberra has to offer,” he said.

He said the advertising did not represent the Canberra community nor reflect the image Canberrans want visitors to the city to see.

“These advertisements help to normalise warfare, present a sanitised image of what weapons do and are likely to be offensive and confronting to the many refugees Canberra welcomes every year from war-torn countries,” he said.

“Given that this year Canberra was officially declared a refugee welcome zone, it is simply not appropriate that those seeking refuge from war should be greeted upon arrival in Canberra with advertising that promotes warfare and armed violence.”

His motion calls on the Canberra Airport to recognise community concern about the ads and put something more welcoming and representative of Canberra in their place.

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34 Responses to
Greens MLA slams airport arms ads
dungfungus 7:27 am 29 Oct 15

MERC600 said :

Why stop with advertising. Have airport users wearing military uniform segregated from other passengers in case they upset Mr Rattenbury.

The situation in most other countries is that soldiers with machine guns patrol the airports and waste bins consist of bin frames only with clear plastic bags and surveillance cameras everywhere (including toilets).
It is bound to happen here too, soon.
I prefer the offending advertisements instead.

shellcase 8:59 pm 28 Oct 15

I can’t afford to fly so I don’t care what’s advertised at the airport. Methinks Rattenbury is letting his “success” with light rail go to his head. Tail wagging the dog and now he has to ramp up his performance to show next year’s contenders he’s a tough guy. D’uh!

gooterz 8:11 pm 28 Oct 15

Have to wonder if this was the point all along.
Get the airport to show a few passengers some weapons etc, wait for it to explode online with 1500+ volunteers to promote it and then cash in as all the punters book flights while thinking about the controversy.
Win win for the companies and airport.

If so fairly brilliant.

miz 8:06 pm 28 Oct 15

If this is bothering Mr Rattenbury he has too much time on his hands. I personally object to the weird ‘go veg’ ad at the airport (if it’s still there) and don’t think that weirdo view ‘represents the Canberra community or reflect the image Canberrans what visitors to see.’ But it was a free country last time I looked.

gooterz 8:01 pm 28 Oct 15

Where’s our fast light rail to Sydney?

Kim F 7:47 pm 28 Oct 15

I find it amazing that the companies think they get a return from this form of advertising. Can be found at a number of bus stops as well.

Blen_Carmichael 6:04 pm 28 Oct 15

I’m sure some of those transited through Canberra Airport found this promotion offensive (their problem). Please refer to them to Mr Rattenbury’s office.–20150808-giutzl.html

Grimm 5:48 pm 28 Oct 15

Ah, Ratface and watermelon party supporters showing how irrelevant they are yet again. What a surprise. I guess it is something other than chanting “climate change” constantly. There are bigger fish to fry, and you and the rest of your comrades are a waste of space. The results of the last ACT election show that you, your party and your silly ideals were rejected by the majority.

Aerospace companies advertising at an airport. How dare they.

dungfungus 5:44 pm 28 Oct 15

Instead of focusing on warplanes the mayor should get active on pollution from airliners:
Hey, what was he doing at an airport anyhow? Not using one of those emission belchers, surely!

bd84 5:35 pm 28 Oct 15

1500 people who have too much time on their hands and need to go find themselves a new hobby rather than wandering the streets looking for the most insignificant things to whinge about.

Rattenbury is just wasting taxpayers money requesting the Assembly concern themselves about a picture of a boat or submarine in an airport. The most appropriate place to file the petition is in the bin.

MelonHead 4:49 pm 28 Oct 15

Ratts got straight on to this crime against humanity. I can only remember this advertising being around for about twenty years.

It seems that if you are a refugee from a “war-torn country”, advertising at Canberra Airport will likely be the least of your problems when you find yourself on Mannus Island, or similar.

Shane, give us a break. What do you think all those people on Russel Hill, Duntroon, ADFA, and Campbell Park do all day? Not to mention the offices of the organisations advertised in theses glossy “sanitised images”. Certainly not sit around and contemplate the image of Canberra.

If this is the best you can come up with, please hand in your Assembly pass.

wildturkeycanoe 4:37 pm 28 Oct 15

What would these 1500 odd protesters like to see instead, half naked bikini clad women modelling soft drink? How about silly pictures of random stuff that is supposed to mean something that promotes one of the four big banks and their “generous” interest rates?
There are advertising standards to govern what can and can’t be shown, so if the signs are approved by this governing body I don’t see a problem.
I find the political advertising come election time to be a lot more offensive than some glossy pics of our proud military assets. Perhaps the people entering our airport will have an appreciation of the might our defense forces wield and it may even deter future terrorists and enemies of Australia.

MERC600 3:48 pm 28 Oct 15

Why stop with advertising. Have airport users wearing military uniform segregated from other passengers in case they upset Mr Rattenbury.

John Moulis 3:26 pm 28 Oct 15

As soon as I saw these ads I realised they were directed towards politicians, and bureaucrats in Defence and Finance. This impression was reinforced by the fact that they were above the Qantas baggage carousel – Qantas being the airline used by bureaucrats – and that the ads at the Virgin carousel are non-arms ads. It seems strange to be spending so much on ads *not* directed at the general buying public. Surely the arms companies have lobbyists in Canberra which would make these ads unnecessary and a waste of money.

house_husband 2:39 pm 28 Oct 15

If Rattenbury feels so strongly about it then why doesn’t he and the 1500+ people chip in some of their own money and pay for “appropriate” advertising?

Also when my family came to Australia from post WW1 Europe fleeing fascism I know they had no problems with the Australian military being equipped well enough to help stop the Axis powers.

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