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DEFENCE—JOINT STRIKE FIGHTERS

Senator Ludlam, pursuant to notice of motion not objected to as a formal motion, moved general business notice of motion no. 1144—That the Senate—

 (a) notes that:

  (i) the then Prime Minister, Mr Howard, signed an agreement on 11 June 2002 with Lockheed Martin with no public consultation or competitive tendering process for the purchase of up to 100 Joint Strike Fighters (JSFs),

  (ii) the then Minister for Defence, Senator Faulkner, announced approval for the purchase of the first 14 JSFs on 25 November 2009 at a cost of around $3.2 billion, contractually committing to two,

  (iii) the Australian Auditor-General confirmed in its September 2012 report that the cost for each aircraft is US$131.4 million, more than treble the initial price,

  (iv) the aircraft cannot yet fly at supersonic speeds or within 25 miles of storms due to potential ignition of oxygen in the fuel tank,

  (v) Senator John McCain of the United States of America Senate describes the JSF program as a scandal and a tragedy, and

  (vi) the United Kingdom, the biggest investor in the JSF program, in May 2012 reduced and delayed its acquisition, and the Dutch Parliament in July 2012 voted to cancel its involvement altogether; and

 (b) calls on the Government to:

  (i) cancel the technically and financially infeasible JSF program,

  (ii) urgently examine alternatives given the very long lead times for project development, acquisition and entry into service, and

  (iii) focus Australia's defence procurement priorities on the equipment and training required to address the defence and humanitarian challenges arising from climate change, water stress and resource depletion.

Statement by leave: Senator Ludlam, by leave, made a statement relating to the motion.

Question put.


The Senate divided—

AYES,9


Senators—
Di NataleMilneSiewert (Teller)Whish-Wilson
Hanson-YoungRhiannonWatersWright
Ludlam

NOES, 39


Senators—
BirminghamEvansMadiganRuston
BishopFawcettMarshallSingh
BrownFierravanti-WellsMcEwenSmith
BushbyFifieldMcKenzieStephens
CameronFurnerMcLucasSterle
CashGallacherMooreThistlethwaite
ColbeckHoggParryThorp
CollinsKroger (Teller)PayneUrquhart
CrossinLudwigPolleyWilliams
EdwardsLundyPratt

Question negatived.