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Independent report blows holes in Government's defence credentials.



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MEDIA RELEASE AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY

Joel Fitzgibbon MP January 23, 2007

Shadow Defence Minister Member for Hunter

INDEPENDENT REPORT BLOWS HOLES IN GOVERNMENT'S DEFENCE CREDENTIALS

Australia's pre-eminent defence think tank has blown holes in the Howard Government's defence and national security credentials.

The Australian Strategic Policy Institute's (ASPI) Special Report confirms that the Government's mismanagement of the Defence portfolio is undermining the safety and security of Australia and its people.

The report highlights a lack of planning, a failure to match capability ambition with commensurate funding, and a collapse in financial accountability.

Labor and ASPI have been calling for a new Defence White Paper for some time and we recognise ASPI's call for a Force Structure and Sustainability Review as a fall-back position in the face of the Government's unwillingness to respond to the challenges facing Defence and our national security with a

new White Paper.

The ASPI paper also questions the sustainability of current capability plans in the event of the inevitable decline of the resources boom. We have already seen the consequences of poor Government economic planning in the form of higher inflation and interest rates. The Government now threatens our national security and the safety of our troops with poor Defence planning as highlighted in the ASPI paper.

Joel Fitzgibbon MP 0418 293 372

John McNamara: 0418 308599; john.mcnamara@aph.gov.au

www.joelfitzgibbon.com