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Tuesday, 3 February 2009
Page: 174


Senator Johnston asked the Minister representing the Minister for Defence, upon notice, on 13 November 2008:

In the period 1 April to 30 September 2008: (a) which frigates were fully operational with full crewing commitments; (b) of those frigates that were not operational, what were the reasons for their non-operational status; (c) what were the operational strengths of the engineering officers and sailors in the frigates; and (d) what were the operational strengths of non-engineering officers and sailors on the frigates.


Senator Faulkner (Special Minister of State and Cabinet Secretary) —The Minister for Defence has provided the following answer to the honourable senator’s question:

(a)   HMA Ships Anzac, Arunta, Stuart and Parramatta.

(b)   HMAS Sydney spent most of the period conducting scheduled maintenance at Fleet Base East. HMA Ships Perth, Warramunga, Toowoomba and Ballarat were assigned a lower level of operational readiness due to scheduled maintenance, post maintenance trials and assessments. These ships also undertook at-sea activities. HMA Ships Darwin and Melbourne were at a lower level of operational readiness, spending much of their time at sea undertaking an extensive trials program proving their new combat systems following the Adelaide Class (FFG) upgrade program. HMAS Melbourne also participated in the multi-lateral exercise Kakadu in Darwin. HMAS Newcastle was in dock for the production work phase of its upgrade.

(c)   Anzac Class Frigates were on average 89 per cent crewed with engineering officers and 92 per cent engineering sailors. Adelaide Class Frigates were on average 99 per cent crewed with engineering officers and 89 per cent engineering sailors.

(d)   Anzac Class Frigates were on average 77 per cent crewed with non-engineering officers and 92 per cent sailors and Adelaide Class Frigates were on average 83 per cent crewed with non-engineering officers and 89 per cent non-engineering sailors.