Canberra Airport’s decision to display defence industry advertising has again been pounced on by a community group.
The group will lodge a new petition calling for the airport to remove the ads, despite the airport’s managing director Stephen Byron refusing to do so. The petition currently has 1560 signatures, and will be presented by members of the No Airport Arms Ads campaign.
But it’s not the first time the group has criticised the airport for its placement of arms manufacturing ads, who back in August launched a similar campaign.
The petition said the advertising “gives the feel that one is entering a military-industrial complex that is preparing for war” and that it normalised warfare and military spending.
But Byron said the airport wasn’t backing down.
“Denying legitimate businesses the right to advertise (here or anywhere else) will do absolutely nothing to prevent wars and armed conflict around the globe,” he said in a statement released by the airport.
“As the nation’s capital, Canberra is home to many of Australia’s national defence and security institutions, organisations and industries.
“It makes sense for the ACT Government to be trying to grow the local economy by attracting firms that work in defence or associated industries because it is good business for Canberra, and our city is an incubator for new ideas and businesses that will deliver export dollars to our region.
“Targeting only Canberra Airport, and not Fairfax, or Yaffa, or Qantas, or YouTube, to name a fraction of the outlets which carry defence industry advertising, is a curious tactic.
“Since we won’t be retreating from our position on accepting defence industry advertising (or any other advertising that is acceptable weighed against the benchmark of generally prevailing community standards), we suggest a better use of resources for those who campaign against war would be to put up their own advertising.”
“Defence industry has as much right to promote its services as anyone has to campaign against them.”