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Collins Class crucial.

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Collins Class Crucial Stephen Martin - Shadow Minister for Defence

Media Statement - 14 September 2000

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The Shadow Minister for Defence, Stephen Martin, said today that he was deeply concerned by reports that two of the proposed six Collins Class submarines may be scrapped.

"Submarines are a crucial capability for the Navy and decisions regarding their future should not be made by bean counters," Dr Martin said.

"Any decision at this stage to scrap any part of the Collins Class project makes no sense in relation to the investment already made by Government and industry.

"Crucial capability decisions need to be considered from a long-term perspective and not subject to short-term financial whims.

"Any credible defence analyst or adviser will tell you that these submarines are a crucial and essential part of Australia's defence needs for the future.

"It is essential that the Minister show strength and leadership in the face of efforts to undermine the Collins Class submarines and attempts by bean counters to downgrade their funding.

"The Minister, John Moore, is developing a worrying tendency to reverse decisions on project commitments citing either the way overdue White Paper, or financial imperatives as the underlying reasons. These problems are indicative of a Minister and Government operating in a strategic advice vacuum.

"This is not good enough for those industries involved in these projects and many are losing confidence in this Government to properly manage defence acquisition projects," Dr Martin said.

Authorised by Geoff Walsh, 19 National Circuit, Barton ACT 2600.