March 23, 2005

Halliburton In Australia

Scary stuff from Margo Kingston's Webdiary today. Richard Tonkin is an ordinary Aussie bloke just like me. He should be singing folk songs at his family's music venue in Adelaide. Instead he is documenting the insidious rise of Halliburton projects across South Australia:
"Maybe I'm a bit slow, but the day I realised that a company of such
international military importance was involved in Australian infrastructure construction was .

The next eye-catching website was KBR's Infrastructure Division Global Headquarters, located in a suburb of Adelaide ten minutes drive from my house. The people who served the food to U.S. occupying forces and were paying themselves from Iraqi national funds to rebuild oilfields and gas pipes were planning the whole thing from my home city? Impossible! (Media spokesperson was unavailable for comment).

KBR has a strong but largely anonymous presence in Adelaide. You don't see their logo pasted around the Clipsal 500 racetrack they created, or on any of the major civic refurbishments they consult for and co-ordinate at both State and Local government levels.

You don't encounter their Environmental Impact Assessment of our new Naval Precinct (with concerns over heavy metal concentrations in dolphins and waterway riverbed lime silt contamination from dredging) unless you're looking hard or have it thrust in front of you.

It's far easier to find reports on KBR bribery scandals in Nigeria and the investigation of possible weapons patent falsifications in Britain and U.S Vice President Cheney's denials of company involvement while still on the payroll than to track the 'advice' it is giving to the public leaders of South Australia.

When you see a United Water van driving in a backstreet it doesn't bear KBR signage, so you're not made aware that the company that was led by Cheney controls Adelaide's water supply.

Cruising on the Port River Expressway from the City Centre to Port Adelaide you don't see billboards of "construction supervision by Halliburton".

It soon becomes surprising that the S.A. Government has a portfolio of Minister for Infrastructure. Global specialists of undoubtedly signifigantly greater expertise in the subject than any Government Department call South Australia "Home" - except for the ones who fly back and forth from Houston...

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