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PM PHOTO OP TWO YEARS LATE AND HALF A BILLION OVER BUDGET

April 28, 2021

Labor calls on the Morrison Government to be upfront about why it is using an NT Defence Base visit for a photo opp two years after the relevant project was announced, and why it is now half a billion dollars over budget.

AusTender documents reveal that the Prime Minister’s “announcement” today is for upgrades confirmed two years ago in a closed tender.

The funding disclosed today ($747 million) is up to $447 million above the tender estimates, continuing a trend of delays and blowouts on major procurements such as Future Submarines ($40 billion blowout) and Future Frigates ($10 billion blowout).

Today’s rehashed procurement predates recent comments by Government members and national security bureaucrats that use language that is neither sober nor cautious about our regional settings. The project also predates Defence’s 2020 Strategic Update.

Which begs the question: is the Government using another Defence announcement for purely political purposes, such as distracting from its botched vaccine rollout and the abandoning of thousands of Australians stuck overseas?

Labor fully supports our ADF having the capabilities they require.

Today’s photo opp only confirms that after six Defence Ministers in eight years, the Prime Minister remains focussed on announcements but no follow up.

Our troops need a Prime Minister who is focussed on delivering Defence capabilities on time and on budget.

WE'LL PUT PEOPLE FIRST