Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
Opposition wrong on Joint Light Tactical Vehicle.



Download PDFDownload PDF

THE HON. JOEL FITZGIBBON MP Minister for Defence

www.defence.gov.au

Wednesday, 18 March 2009 037/2009

OPPOSITION WRONG ON JOINT LIGHT TACTICAL VEHICLE

The Minister for Defence the Hon. Joel Fitzgibbon has again had to correct the Opposition on its repeated claims relating to Australia’s involvement in the US Joint Light Tactical Vehicle program.

“The Opposition is deliberately misleading, and aiming to capitalise on broader community apprehension about the global financial crisis,” Mr Fitzgibbon said.

The Government announced last October that it would participate in the US Joint Light Tactical Vehicle Program with the objective of it being part of the capability options available to deliver protected mobility vehicles for the Army under project LAND 121 Phase 4.

The announcement on 29 October 2008 specifically stated:

“A final decision on whether Australia will acquire the JLTV will be made once the vehicles have passed key development and testing milestones, likely to be met in 2010. In order to support this decision, the project will also engage with industry to explore other options to provide protected light mobility vehicles.”

“The Opposition is either not doing their homework, is intentionally playing on community fears at a time of economic uncertainty, or both,” Mr Fitzgibbon said.

The Government has previously directed Defence to engage with Australian industry on this project, and the Defence Materiel Organisation (DMO) intends to release a Request For Proposal next month.

Local industry will have the opportunity to respond to this proposal by mid-2009, and after evaluation by the DMO options will be presented to Government later this year. This approach is consistent with Kinnaird Review recommendations, and will ensure that taxpayers receive value for money, and most importantly the Army receives the capability that it needs.

“The success of the Bushmaster allows me to be confident Australian Industry will be competitive.

“The Opposition should brush up on their homework, and stop trying to score cheap political points,” Mr Fitzgibbon said.

Media contacts: Christian Taubenschlag (Joel Fitzgibbon): 02 6277 7800 or 0438 595 567