Australia defence minister rebukes chiefs | Connect Asia

Australia defence minister rebukes chiefs

Australia defence minister rebukes chiefs

Updated 18 January 2012, 16:45 AEDT

Australia's defence minister has publicly rebuked defence chiefs and the industry over a "make do" culture that he says has led to major new failures in the navy.

The result is that an entire level of Australian naval capability has almost collapsed.

Three key ships are either decommissioned or facing long repairs, so there's virtually no ability to put personnel and equipment to sea.

The lone supply ship that's sea-worthy is also reportedly prone to breaking down.

The navy's woes follow years of hiccups with Australia's submarines, and the recent cancellation of a $40 million landing craft project.

Defence Minister Stephen Smith has appointed an independent team to overhaul the management and repair of ships and he says the trouble is not confined to the navy.

Reporter: Linda Mottram, Canberra correspondent

Stephen Smith, Australian defence minister; Greg Ferguson, editor-at-large, Australian Defence Magazine; John Key, New Zealand prime minister

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