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Notice given 12 November 2002

908  Senator Evans: To ask the Minister for Defence—

(1) When was the decision made to have a Life of Type Extension (LOTE) to the Landing Craft Heavy (LCH) fleet.

(2) Were any options apart from the LOTE considered, for example, was the option of replacement rather than refurbishment considered.

(3) Were any proposals to replace the LCHs received from Australian small- to medium-sized enterprises; if so, which organisations submitted proposals.

(4) (a) Why were these proposals rejected; and (b) was the decision made on the basis of cost; if not, what factors led to the decision to refit rather than replace the current fleet.

(5) Of the proposals submitted: (a) how many had existing units that could be directly evaluated by the Navy; and (b) what were the advantages and disadvantages of the proposed units.

(6) What was the original budget for the refit of the LCH fleet.

(7) What were the costs of any other options.

(8) (a) What has been the cost of the refit to the LCH fleet to date; and (b) what is the complete refit expected to cost.

(9) When will the refit be delivered.