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Friday, 22 March 1985
Page: 799

(Question No. 85)

Mr Spender asked the Minister for Defence, upon notice, on 25 February 1985:

(1) Did the then Minister for Defence Support announce in Press Release 50/83, dated 16 December 1983, that award of contracts for project definition studies on the new submarine project would be made in August 1984.

(2) Did the Minister announce recently that this deadline had not been met; if so, what are the specific reasons for the failure to meet the announced deadline.

(3) What is the current planned date of the entry into service of each of the planned submarines.

(4) What was the planned date for each submarine as at 16 December 1983.

Mr Beazley —The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

(1) Yes.

(2) In a media release dated 9 January 1985, I said that more time was required before the Government would be in a position to announce the successful Project Definition Study Contractors. The tenderers provided very extensive and detailed information, requiring complex analysis. This analysis, and the subsequent consideration of the findings of the evaluators, has required a much longer time than was anticipated when the earlier announcement was made by the then Minister for Defence Support. In a project as large and important as this, it is proper for the Government to ensure that the money to be spent, will be well spent.

(3) It is too early in the development of the project to formulate precise planning dates for the entry into service of the new submarines. Current tentative plans are that the first of the new vessels will enter service in 1991 or 1992, about the time the oldest boat of the existing Oberon Class is paid off.

(4) the above tentative planning has not changed since December 1983.