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Proper planning not recklessness required for Air Warfare Destroyer Project.

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Proper Planning Not Recklessness Required For Air Warfare Destroyer Project Media Statement - 8th November 2007

Federal Labor remains strongly committed to the Navy’s Air Warfare Destroyer project which involves the construction of three ships. It is of critical importance to Australia’s national

security, the South Australian and broader economy.

A Rudd Labor Government will also pursue the option of a fourth AWD for which construction would be expected to begin in or around 2018.

Under John Howard, the AWD project has blown out from $6 billion to $8 billion before construction of the first of three ships has even begun.

Consequently, committing to a fourth ship through a hasty campaign announcement is not the right way to go, appropriate strategic justification must be established and the cost of the total project better known.

The project is too important to be caught up in the politics of an election campaign. We do not want a Super Hornet-type election campaign process applied to what is undoubtedly one of Australia’s biggest and most important defence contracts.

The announcement for the first three ships with an option for a fourth was made in July 2007. Nothing has changed since then in strategic terms and the final cost of the project remains unknown.

Joel Fitzgibbon

Authorised by Tim Gartrell, 161 London Circuit, Canberra City, ACT 2600