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Tuesday, 14 June 2011
Page: 5973


Mr CLARE (BlaxlandMinister for Defence Materiel) (17:30): I thank the member for Tangney for his question. He points to capability. It is important to mention the view of ASPI in its recent analysis of this project, where it believes that capability is coming along in a satisfactory way. It is also important to note what Secretary Gates said in January of this year, where he considered that the variant we are purchasing is progressing in a satisfactory manner.

In terms of the work that Defence is doing, I should mention in the context of the work ASPI has also been doing here that Defence has had some discussions with the Australian Strategic Policy Institute and the ASPI generally agrees, on the basis of the available information, that Australia has adequate cost and schedule contingency but it is reducing and needs to be watched. That is exactly what the government and Defence are doing. While the institute has suggested some options to address contingency, it agrees that there is no need for an alternative approach to Defence's planning at this stage. Defence continues to assess options to deal with all realistic JSF cost and schedule risks.

The DEPUTY SPEAKER ( Mr S Georganas ): The debate on this portfolio is adjourned until a later hour in accordance with the agreed order of consideration of portfolios.

Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry Portfolio

Proposed expenditure, $508,053,000