A recent report by auditor general has found that the rate of 26 projects has risen by $24bn associated with what was originally announced. Furthermore, it reports Australia’s biggest defence projects have suffered another $1.2bn budget blowout in 2018-19, with the cost of the 26 projects rising by a total of $24bn compared with what was originally announced, alleged the auditor general.
Into the nation’s major defence projects on Monday afternoon, having found the cost of the initiatives, including the joint strike fighters, had increased to $64.1bn. The F35 project recorded the largest increase, at nearly $14bn, after another 58 aircraft were added.
However, another 26 projects needed contingency top-ups in the last budget, although only the MRH90 helicopter project was considered “of concern.” It had first been signposted in 2011 for a “contractor issue.”
The Labor shadow minister assisting for defence, Pat Conroy, said the report pointed to continued “mismanagement” of defence projects. “Thanks to the Morrison government’s mismanagement, these projects are now cumulatively delayed by over 57 years,” he said. “Billions upon billions of dollars are being wasted as the defense takes on unnecessarily risky acquisitions,” he said.
The total schedule slippage was placed at 691 months, or 57 years, when compared with the original schedule. The average slippage was put at 2.7 years. Crossways the life of the projects, the initial budget has increased by $24.4bn.