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Tuesday, 14 June 2011
Page: 5969

Mr CLARE (BlaxlandMinister for Defence Materiel) (17:12): I thank the member for Fadden for his question. He talks about whether Thales might win that contract. I cannot talk to that as it is a tender that is still to be determined by government. He talks about delays. It is true that there have been delays. This project was originally tendered by the former government back in 2005. At that time the tender was won by BAE.

When we came to government this project had to be retendered because of mistakes that were made in the original tender. The resubmission of tenders was due to increased technical cost and schedule risk as well as concerns about BAE's capability to deliver against the tendered offer. If this project had not been retendered at that time then the workers at Bendigo who make the Bushmasters would not even be in the race for this work now. The member for Fadden talks about delays and about work at the Bendigo factory—they would not even be in the race for this work, they would not even have the opportunity to win this tender, if we had not retendered it, because the former government gave the work to someone else.