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Melbourne locals and immigrants say they’d refuse to defend Australia if war broke out tomorrow

A media personality asked people on the streets of Melbourne if they would fight for Australia if war broke out, and discovered that most would rather leave the country than defend it.

Former ADH TV host Fred Pawle conducted the interviews after asking the same questions last month in Sydney, and posted footage of the results on X.

“War clouds are gathering. Conscription is being proposed (in Britain at least). Would you fight to defend Australia? I asked blokes on the streets of Melbourne. Their answers may surprise you,” he wrote in the post caption.

The first man Pawle asked, who appeared to be of Maori or Pacific Islander descent, first said “no” and then gave a sarcastic yes as he winked at the camera, while the next two men he questioned instantly said they would take up arms to defend their country.

Pawle then spoke to a young White Australian who replied: “I guess it depends on what the context of the war is, whether I feel like it was worth it to stand up and defend it.”

The next interviewee, also a White Australian, immediately said he would not fight. When Pawle asked him why not, he replied that he was “not much of a fighter”.

“But is Australia worth defending, do you think?” Pawle asked.

“Not in its current state, no,” the man replied, adding that if conscription was brought in he’d look at moving abroad.

A third White Australian said that although he has considered a career in the ADF, and is part of the Army Reserve, whether he would fight or not would “depend on the cause”.

Pawle then spoke to a man of Indian or subcontinental appearance who said he was born in Westmead, Sydney.

“A war against who?” he first replied, before saying: “I guess not, no I wouldn’t”.

When Pawle asked him why not, he said he was “not a believer in war”, and said he’d “deport myself” and “leave the country” if conscripted.

A young Asian immigrant living in Melbourne also said he would not fight, but could not explain why not.

“If war broke out tomorrow, would you fight to defend Australia?” Pawle asked an immigrant of Indian appearance, who first claimed to be a tourist before admitting he was “working here as well” because his family was in Melbourne.

“Not really,” the man replied.

“But your family’s here, you wouldn’t defend the country where your family lives?” Pawle asked.

“I’d defend it, but um…” the man replied.

The next immigrant Pawle spoke to, who appeared to be from Europe, gave an emphatic no. When Pawle said “but you live here”, the man responded “yeah but they gave me nothing”.

“I didn’t grow up with the culture here … I do like Australia, the lifestyle, but I’m not fighting for it, I’ll go back home,” he said.

The last person the journalist spoke to, a man who appeared to be from South America, said he had been living in Australia for two months.

He said he would not fight, and if the government told him he had to fight he would “hide myself”.

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