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Tuesday, 14 June 2011
Page: 5962

Mr ROBERT (Fadden) (16:39): I thank the Minister for Defence Materiel for his agreement that we can be civilised about our affairs in the House. If I could refer the minister to page 6 of The cost of Defence: ASPI Defence budget brief 2011-2012, it states: 'Implementation of Force 2030 is on track but under pressure.' No such claim appears anywhere in this year's budget paraphernalia. Nor, however, is there any concession to the contrary. Indeed, Defence distributed a brief on budget night that said that the majority of adjustments to funding for Force 2030 projects in the budget involve projects commencing before the 2009 Defence white paper. Unless anyone be confused, they reiterate the same point four times on the one page, as if only the handful of projects commenced after the 2009 white paper count towards Force 2030.

They can change the goalposts all they want, but the fact remains that the implementation of Force 2030 has fallen steadily behind schedule. First pass approvals, the lead indicators of future activity, are most telling. Over the past 24 months a mere 10 projects have been given the nod, whereas more than three times that number were planned. And it is set to get worse. According to the latest revision of the public DCP, around 58 first pass approvals are going to be required over the next 25 months to meet the current schedule, as updated in this year's budget. The question, Minister, is: in the 2011-12 financial year, how many first pass approvals do you actually believe the government will see passed within the apparatus of government?