The cost of sustaining Australian Defence Force ships, planes and weapons has blown out by half a billion dollars in the past year.
According to the Department of Defence 2018-19 annual report, sustainment costs were 10 per cent higher than budgeted for in May 2018 and totalled $6.588 billion.
The Collins class submarines drove a $59 million increase, with annual sustainment cost coming in at $654 million.
And the newer air-to-air refuelling tanker is costing 37 per cent more a year to run than budgeted for.
This cost blowout is clearly linked to the Morrison Government’s inability to acquire capabilities on time and to sustain them on budget.
For example there are 14 major Defence capability acquisition projects worth $15 billion are now running a cumulative 311 months late – more than 25 years.
This is forcing the ADF to run its ageing equipment for longer and harder than planned, leading to a 10 per cent blow out in the sustainment budget.
The Morrison Government’s mismanagement of Defence is leading to taxpayer funds being wasted and our soldiers, sailors and aircrews not getting the equipment they need when they need it.
This blowout once again shows the Morrison Government can’t be trusted to manage Defence.
The Morrison Government must explain the more than half a billion dollar blowout in its budget.