20 October 2011
IT looks like no decision will be made on Thales’ bid for the lucrative LAND 121 Phase 4 defence contract before Christmas.
Under questioning from Bendigo-based Nationals Senrator Bridget McKenzie, Defence Materiel Organisation acting chief executive officer confirmed the decision, delayed a number of times, would be delayed again.
Senator McKenzie was taken aback at Mr King’s comments.
“DMO’s attitude brings cold comfort to workers at Bendigo-based defence contractor Thales, who have been hoping for an outcome after lengthy delays in the decision making process,” she said.
“Christmas is more than two months away – and yet Mr King tells us a decision is ‘very close’.
“What sort of a Christmas can Thales’s workers expect when faced with such uncertainty?
“News of these further delays will also be unwelcome to our soldiers currently in extreme conditions on deployment around the globe, anxious for word on new state of the art vehicles.
Senator McKenzie then questioned the Parliamentary Secretary for Defence, Senator David Feeney, on the impact of the Prime Minister’s recent announcement of additional requirements for Australian manufacturers to be considered in the awarding of government contracts.
“The Minister last night shied away from commenting on his own government’s policy announcement,” Senator McKenzie said.
“He claimed that the final LAND 121 Phase 4 decision will be influenced by the national interest.
“Surely it is in the national interest to provide certainty to our skilled manufacturing workers”.