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Dumping of replacement for RAAF trainer aircraft an insult to Australian industry



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MEDIA. RELEASE. BY THE. ACTING. OPPOSITION. LEADER,. IAN. SINCLAIR

The dumping of the proposed Australian replacement for the

RAAF trainer aircraft was an insult to Australian industry,

Acting Opposition Leader Ian Sinclair said today.

Mr Sinclair - who is also Shadow Defence Minister - said the

decision followed the abandonment of the Waler project for

an Australian replacement for Army armoured personnel carriers

and the choice of foreign designs for new infantry w e a p o n s .

"Australian designers just aren't good enough for the Hawke

Government," Mr Sinclair said.

"This is the third time in almost as many months that

Australian industry has missed out on a major defence contract

it was able and willing to fulfil.

"The Government is ready to pay out over $1.4 million in a

public relations exercise to promote the Prime Minister and

his youth policy.

"But its decision on the RAAF trainer replacement means young

Australians will not have a chance to learn the complex and

important skills of aircraft design." -

Mr Sinclair said that many of the problems faced by the

Australian trainer contender - the A10B - stemmed from changes

to requirements that were the responsibility of the Defence

Department and the RAAF.

Those problems could and should have been overcome if the

Government had stressed its commitment to developing the

nation's defence industry and design skills.

"Now industry has lost a vital design task and the RAAF is

faced with complex and difficult problems in reorganising

its flying training program," Mr Sinclair said.

CANBERRA

16 December, 1985