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Labor's budget undermines defence combat capability-Durack



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THE SENATE

SENATOR PETER DURACK, Q C Deputy Leader of the Opposition in the Senate

Shadow Minister for Defence

LABOR'S BUDGET UNDERMINES DEFENCE ΠΠΜΒΑΤ CAPABILITY — DURACK

The 1991-92 defence budget weakens the combat capability of the Australian Defence Force.

"Far from adding to the sharp end of defence, the budget weakens our capability by cutting combat forces" said the Shadow Minister for Defence, Senator Peter Durack.

"This budget signals the death-knell of Labor's 1987 defence policy. It kills off any chance of making essential equipment buys like Airborne Early Warning aircraft and coastal

minehunters"

"These projects have been relegated to some undefined time at the end of the decade.

"Labor has lost its resolve on defence. There is almost nothing in this budget or forward budget projections to show the positive results of commercialisation.

"This shows that Labor is not pushing the reform process fast enough.

"Unless rapid changes are effected in the structure of Defence, there is no prospect that sufficient savings will be made with which to purchase needed equipment.

"All told, this budget shows that Labor is not genuinely

interested in reforming Defence or in developing a genuinely self-reliant defence policy."

(ends)

20 August 1991 (34)

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