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Defence procurement report raises the alarm

A Senate committee report into defence procurement initiated by the Australian Greens has made essential and unanimous recommendations to simplify the system.

In the wake of a series of costly blowouts and project cancellations that has degraded Australia's defence capability, the Greens have called for the recommendations to be applied and new thinking brought to bear.

"We need to radically streamline the procurement process, but we also need to get clear about where the buck stops: with this Parliament, and with the development of defence white papers," said Greens spokesperson assisting on Defence Senator for Western Australia Scott Ludlam.

On Tuesday the Senate will vote on Senator Ludlam's motion calling on the Government to outline how the Australian public can participate - if at all - in the development of defence policy.

"Previous defence white papers involved extensive public consultation. This time there is none planned whatsoever. This parliament approves the defence budget - the spending of the public's money to the tune of $66.2 million per day - and the public have a right to be heard.

"Parliament bears responsibility for waste, shortfalls and systemic failures when we get it wrong - the Super Seasprite, for example, which cost $1.4 billion and delivered nothing, or the 68-month delay of the Wedgetail project that costs us $1.5 million per month, or submarines that can't be put to sea.

"The last defence white paper ignored the warnings of major think tanks - the Lowy Institute and ASPI - on the climate security threat. It wrongly concluded that the security impacts of climate change will not be felt before 2030. The US centre for Naval Analysis, the European Union, and the UN Security Council disagree - acknowledging the reality that resource wars, food security, loss of territory, mass population movements, and heavy dependence on oil for military transport are major factors impacting on defence planning.

"If we continue to ignore this issue in the drafting of the 2013 white paper, we set up our procurement agencies, and ultimately the ADF, for guaranteed failure."

 

Senator Ludlam's motion: http://scott-ludlam.greensmps.org.au/content/motions/motion-calling-comm...

Senator Ludlam's speech: http://scott-ludlam.greensmps.org.au/content/speeches-parliament/getting...

 

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