web analytics
≡ Menu

Defence Ministers Pyne and Payne must step up

Defence Ministers Pyne and Payne must step up

For years Australia has a splendid record of buying crap when it comes to military equipment. Uniforms, rifles, certain ammunition, and vehicles. Small stuff but a waste all the same. However, government experts at procurement stepped up their incompetence from millions to billions with the Collins Class Submarines. At present, HMAS Canberra and HMAS Adelaide are in dry dock, only a couple of years old, for major repairs under a top secret coverup to save scrutiny. Cover thy arse rule!

An Australian-owned company specialising in security and military equipment has accused the Defence Department of dubious contract tendering processes and questioned whether local jobs are actually being prioritised.

Defence Department accused of dudding Australian businesses

Melbourne-based business Point Trading Group has been involved in lengthy legal action against Defence after its contract negotiations to supply grenade launchers to the Australian military were terminated in 2011.

Point Trading claims it has spent about $2 million to meet contract negotiation requests, but the Australian Defence Force made multiple changes to the tender without properly communicating them.

CEO Avner Klein said he had now taken the unusual step of going public with his frustrations because he believes his company is one of many Australian manufacturers that has tendered for Defence contracts in good faith, but has “paid the price” for placing trust in the system.

“I’ve heard that one company’s IP was effectively used by the Defence Department. In another case, the Defence Department changed the specifications of a tender mid-tender to suit a particular product and effectively ensure the success of one bid over the others,” Mr Klein said.

“The Defence Department published a tender but ultimately purchased a fraction of what it initially requested. In other words, Defence reduced the purchase amount so as to make the tender no longer profitable for the tenderer.

“The problem is that even though plenty of Australian companies have been effectively ripped off when tendering for a contract, no-one will speak up because they’re scared of being blacklisted by the Defence Department.

“And let’s face it, for some small manufacturers, and even some large manufacturers, the Defence Department is pretty much the only game in town.”

Government ‘committed to creating jobs’

Mr Klein said his company had run out of patience and was now taking the Commonwealth to court.

“Whilst the Government provides some incentives for the local defence industry, it does not appear to be translated into sales for the industry from the Defence Department, as they still prefer to buy offshore [in particular from the US],” he said.

A spokesman for Defence Industry Minister Christopher Pyne rejected the suggestion.

“The Turnbull Government is committed to maximising Australian industry content in Defence contracts and creating Australian jobs,” the spokesman said.

“Our naval shipbuilding program alone will create thousands of jobs around the country. We are already seeing a significant boost in the confidence in the local defence industry because of the Turnbull Government’s $200 billion commitment to defence capability.”

Point Trading Group’s criticisms of Defence follow concerns from leading defence companies about Australia’s recent decision to award a multi-billion-dollar missile contract without a full competitive evaluation process.

{ 16 comments… add one }
  • Aktosplatz 19/05/2017, 6:33 am

    The headline ” Defence Ministers Pyne and Payne must step up” is asking an impossibility.

    Neither of these two characters are remotely capable.

    • Joe Blogs 19/05/2017, 11:01 am

      One of them would need a pogo stick and the other a fork lift.

  • Bill 19/05/2017, 7:18 am

    It’s far worse in so many areas than many realise.

    How’s the Tiger attack helicopter going? How long have we had them and have they yet reached the stage where they can be used without restrictions?

    How’s the MH-90 troop transport helicopter going? Is it yet anything more than a (very expensive to operate) civilian helicopter with a coat of camouflage paint to make it at least look military? Can it yet mount a door gun that allows troops to enter and leave the helicopter by that door?

    Can either of these European helicopters be operated in the field without huge high tech civilian contractor support? Support that the Army is unable to provide and that the civilian contractors cannot supply outside a major base? And support that no civilian contractor is likely to provide should these helicopters ever be tasked to operate on the forward edge of the battle area?

    Because of the many restrictions still in place (or at least still were quite recently) on these helicopters, how many flight hours per month do their crews average? It is enough to provide and maintain the standard once demanded of helicopter crews?

    The currently dry-docked Canberra and Adelaide – if they can be made serviceable – because of their very large size, are near perfect platforms for disaster relief and civil support. But since when was disaster relief the primary function of the Navy’s most advanced supposedly battle assets? World the Navy ever put so many eggs in one basket in a situation where one hull loss would result in the loss of damn near all the Army’s capability fielded for any particular operation? Or would they send two ships half empty so as to spread the risk?

    The Air Warfare Destroyer. Has the Navy resolved the many problems of trying to fit US systems into a European hull? And have they resolved the problem as basic as the bunks for the crew? Bunks that could not be longer than 1.8metres without major modifications being made to the ship? (Thy are between structural bulkheads 1.8m apart.) The AWD was designed to be operated on afternoon cruises by Spanish conscript sailors, (or at the very most, a couple of days before returning to port).

    And SHORT Spanish conscript sailors at that. Expecting volunteer Australian sailors (of whom the 95 percentile is taller than 1.8m) to live three moths a a time in bunks four high (four high!!) and only 1.8m long… Has that ‘minor issue’ been addressed yet?

    The F35… let’s not even go there.

    • Albert 19/05/2017, 10:34 am

      Well done, Bill. I am sure that the average real Australian has no idea of the depth of dysfunction within the defence purchasing bureaucracy backed up by twerps such a Pyne who when it comes to matters military could, as my old granny used to say, tell his arse from his elbow.

      • Albert 19/05/2017, 10:37 am

        correction: couldn’t, as my old granny . . .

    • Joe Blogs 19/05/2017, 11:09 am

      Guns? Do they really need those?

      How about the bright idea of sending a container full of ice vests for troops in Iraq? The ice vests were proudly displayed to the troops by some shiny arse – until one of the diggers asked what happens to the green stuff inside the vest if a bullet goes through it and into the body. The vest went back into the container with the other 999.

    • Botswana O'Hooligan 19/05/2017, 12:58 pm

      Way back, a long way back when Jindivik was the “go” we hauled them by air to Nowra as required. The aeroplane crews had to be security checked of course, had to be vetted and given the whole nine yards. It so happened that a couple of us already had pretty impressive security clearances so we were delegated to haul the things to Nowra. They used to be delivered to the freighter all nicely wrapped and handed over to our loading crew who of course had anything but any kind of security clearance but their manuals, diagrams, etc. were in a plastic pouch on the side of the weapon’s wrapping and available to anyone who perhaps wanted a bit of a read or take a photo. That’s the military for you, exceptionally efficient.

  • Don 19/05/2017, 7:31 am

    Goodness me Bill – they will be coming after you – better to ask why, in our politically correct times, did they show a black horse

  • Lorraine 19/05/2017, 8:14 am

    when a child and it rained big, our paddock’s run off when down the gravel drive of the house block. My brother and I made matchbox boats with little sticks and old cloth as the sail. I did not know then we designed the Australian ships. Those little card board boats only lasted the day and no one had a bed

  • Margaret 19/05/2017, 8:41 am

    I have no confidence in Australian politicians or the government.

    • Biking Voter 19/05/2017, 10:23 am

      Correct Margaret, the only thing Australian politicians care about is …………
      ….. yes, you guessed it. Australian politicians.

      Perhaps it could even be argued that we don’t have any politicians, just a bunch of fraudulent shysters and bunglers.

  • Crankykoala 19/05/2017, 10:21 am

    “Pyne and Payne must step up”. Better they step down!!!! Along with the dopes in the Defence Department wasting taxpayer money. Why oh why can’t Australia buy proven products “off the shelf” rather than trying to “mix ‘n’ match” everything. And,of course, where possible Australian manufacturers should have “first bite of the cherry”.

  • Jarrah 19/05/2017, 10:21 am

    Shouldn’t the headline read Defence ministers Pyne and Payne must step down, it has a better more satisfying ring to it. They are both incompetent fools, residing in a grossly incompetent government, lead by a grossly incompetent backstabbing person of dubious character. There, I feel better now.

  • Joe Blogs 19/05/2017, 11:51 am

    Canberra and Adelaide in dry dock because they’re busted. That figures.

  • Bill 19/05/2017, 4:17 pm

    Yes Joe, there is a certain irony, perhaps lost to many, that the two ships, as near to capital ships as anything the RAN has, are named ‘Canberra’ and (perhaps even funnier) ‘Adelaide’.

    One could be forgiven for wondering if half the ‘Adelaide’s’ flight deck hasn’t been set aside for solar panels so the ship can meet its renewables target.

    • Joe Blogs 19/05/2017, 7:12 pm

      That’d be right, Bill. Until now they’ve depended on ‘Sydney’ to tow it around.

Leave a Comment