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AG's report highlights growing defence purchasing crisis -- Durack



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T H E S E N A T E

SENATOR PETER DURACK, Q C Deputy Leader of the Opposition in the Senate Shadow Minister for Defence

A G 'S REPORT HIGHLIGHTS GROWING DEFENCE PURCHASING CRISIS - DURACK

"The Labor government is refusing to externally review defence equipment purchasing policy despite a growing financial management crisis in the Defence Department."

These comments came from the Shadow Minister for Defence, Senator Peter Durack, responding to yet another report critical of Defence financial management skills.

"Last week we heard that a financial crisis is forcing the Navy to consider mothballing warships to save money.

"Today we have the Auditor General's report on defence equipment purchasing from America, showing that Defence has failed to properly manage US$6,412 billion worth of equipment orders.

"This is a damning document. It shows that Defence has no central authority to deal with these purchasing problems, and that we rely on US accounting procedures to keep track of Australian payments.

"I showed late last year that Cabinet refused a request from the Industry Commission to review Defence equipment purchasing policy.

"In the light of today's evidence showing further problems in equipment purchasing, how can Labor justify not reviewing the Defence equipment area now?

"Billions of dollars are at risk here, unless the Government is prepared to take a serious look at this issue.

"If Labor does not, then the Coalition certainly will instruct the Industry Commission to review Defence equipment purchasing.

(ends)

26 February 1992

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