Letter from Margaret Beavis, 28 July, 2016

You would hope that Australia makes its weapons purchases based on sound research and independent strategic evaluation.

But the continued presence of armament advertisements at Canberra Airport suggests there is money to be made persuading decision makers. We would not allow guns to be advertised there, given the deaths that follow.

So why do we still have these huge advertisements for items that will cause even more death and destruction? Making Christopher Pyne minister for defence industry reflects a shift to weaponry supporting our manufacturing policy. The defence budget is "decoupled" from austerity in other areas-heaven forbid it sparks a regional arms race. Major weapons purchases need careful thought, not advertising and undue influence.

Dr Margaret Beavis, president, Medical Association for Prevention of War