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Where is Collins Class Review Minister?



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Senator the Hon David Johnston Shadow Minister for Defence I Senator for Western Australia Media Release WHERE IS COLLINS CLASS REVIEW MINISTER? The Defence Minister’s appalling management record with the Collins Class submarines continues as a report into the sustainment problems which dog the submarines is now five months overdue. Part 2 of the Coles Review of the Sustainment of Australia’s Collins Class Submarines was expected to be handed to the Minister in April, but in spite of the Minister declaring Collins Class sustainment was at the top of the Government’s Project of Concern List, it is still nowhere to be seen. Shadow Defence Minister David Johnston said the first part of the Coles Review, released in December 2011, found serious problems with the submarines including crewing shortfalls, lack of cohesion and management, little or no accountability and an absence of leadership. “I can see why the Defence Minister isn’t exactly pushing down Mr Coles’ door as Part 1 of his report was a damning indictment on the Minister’s lack of leadership and ability when it comes to submarine management,” Senator Johnston said. Senator Johnston said this year alone taxpayers will spend close to $1 billion on maintenance and sustainment of the Collins Class with only one, sometimes two out of six submarines operationally ready at any one time. In the three most recent international exercise deployments, the first and second out of Singapore and most recently RIMPAC out of Hawaii, the boats had to withdraw from operations after experiencing problems. Senator Johnston said Part 2 of the Coles Review was going to outline recommendations on how to improve the sustainment of the Collins Class. “The Defence Minister is putting off a decision on the new submarine announced in the 2009 White Paper until after the next election, so perhaps he is hoping for a similar delay to

any tough decisions Coles recommends on sustainment issues with Collins,” Senator Johnston said.

Media Contact: Rebecca Horton 0427 449 120

28/8/2012

Rebecca Horton

Media Adviser I Senator the Hon David Johnston Shadow Minister for Defence I Senator for Western Australia

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