Captain's picks create chaos for Defence White Paper

Labor is deeply concerned by the revelations in The Australian about the chaos and uncertainty created by Tony Abbott’s bungled management of Defence.

There is no higher priority for a government than the safety and security of Australia and its people.  There is no room for politics in national security.

Yet this wretched Government’s highest priority appears to be shoring up Liberal Party seats.

Australians already knew Tony Abbott invented a sham submarine process to save his own job at the height of Liberal leadership tensions earlier this year.

Today, The Australian has made the serious assertion that Tony Abbott acted against the advice of Australia’s defence experts by announcing a shipbuilding plan designed to shore up Liberal Party seats in South Australia.

Tony Abbott’s decision is reported as having caused havoc and turmoil in our Defence Department and among our military planners.
Having invented a sham submarine process to save his own job, Tony Abbott now appears poised to break the Coalition's promise of building 12 submarines, instead opting for eight.

Australian shipbuilding experts have testified that a reduction in the size of the future submarine fleet to eight boats will rule out a local continuous build.
This is another blow to Australian shipyards and workers.
On Tony Abbott's watch, over 1000 highly skilled Australian shipbuilders have lost their jobs.  Thousands more are at risk.

It is time for Tony Abbott to stop the uncertainty and chaos he has wreaked on Australia’s Defence Force and defence industry.

Tony Abbott must stop playing politics and do the right thing by Australia and our Defence Forces, not just his Liberal Party mates facing re-election.

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