STATEMENT ON HAWKEI ARMOURED VEHICLES
Monday 17 April 2023
Reports in The Australian today that the entire fleet of Hawkei armoured vehicles will need to be recalled due to a braking system fault are deeply concerning.
Upon receiving these reports, I immediately requested a briefing on this matter.
Concerns around the braking system of the 1,100 strong fleet were identified back in November - over five months ago.
The Albanese Government must explain why there has been a significant delay in resolving this mechanical and safety issue and provide a timeframe around when the Hawkeis will be operationally ready.
Last year, the Defence Minister stood up and accepted full responsibility for his department. The buck stops with him.
What we’re seeing once again is the Minister refusing to show the responsibility that he promised to accept.
It is imperative that the Government appropriately funds and supports the Australian Defence Force to ensure our service men and women have access to the best capability available.
Labor must also uphold the former Coalition government’s legacy in providing assistance to Ukraine.
In government, we responded quickly and strongly to Ukraine’s request for assistance including $285 million in military and humanitarian aid – including the gifting of 14 M113 Armoured Personnel Carriers (APCs), and 40 Bushmaster vehicles, 70,000 tonnes of coal to power Ukraine’s resistance, food, shelter, and medical supplies with a focus on protecting women, children and the elderly.
It is disappointing to hear reports that the Prime Minister will not attend the upcoming NATO Summit. As the Shadow Minister for Foreign Affairs has said, now is not the time for a no-show.
The Opposition is calling on the Prime Minister Anthony Albanese to not only attend the NATO Summit, but to provide a new assistance package for Ukraine.
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