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Defence and industry relationships vital for capability.

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THE HON. JOEL FITZGIBBON MP Minister for Defence

Monday, 9 March 2009 033/2009


The Minister for Defence, the Hon. Joel Fitzgibbon MP addressed the Chief of Air Force Symposium in Melbourne today, attended by overseas Chiefs of Air Force and senior military personnel. The Symposium explored industry support to Air Operations.

Mr Fitzgibbon spoke about the need to make Defence organisation more efficient and to prevent cost blow-outs and scheduling delays in capability projects.

“Of course, our industry partners will play a vital role in making this happen. Nothing eats more into the Defence Budget than problematic capability projects. Inevitably, when projects slip, budgets blow out and scope creeps, there will be fault on both sides. It is the nature of a very complex business,” Mr Fitzgibbon said.

“So we must work together to minimise such events and outcomes. The Government is doing its bit. The Mortimer reforms in particular will address many of the problems and inefficiencies which have bedeviled the procurement processes on our side of the fence.

“And I look forward to continuing our work with industry to identify and correct those things our partners don’t always do so well.

“Improve we must. We have a number of multi-billion dollar projects in the pipeline. Even a five percent blow-out on a project of such value imposes on the taxpayer unplanned costs in the order of hundreds of millions of dollars.”

Following the Symposium, Mr Fitzgibbon met with leaders of Defence industry.

“The Chief of Air Force Symposium and key Defence and industry meetings associated with the Australian International Air Show at Avalon this week, provide fantastic opportunities to explore how Air Force operations around the world could be enhanced through tailored and focussed industry support.”

Media Contacts Jack Smith (Mr Fitzgibbon) 0408 116 423

Defence Public Affairs (02) 6265 3343 or 0408 498 664