Australia — Reforms to Disposal of Military Equipment

Min­is­ter for Defence Materiel Jason Clare today announced reforms to the dis­pos­al of mil­i­tary equip­ment.
The Aus­tralian Defence Force is about to under­take the biggest dis­pos­al of mil­i­tary equip­ment since World War II.
Over the next 15 years the Aus­tralian Defence Force will replace or upgrade up to 85 per cent of its equip­ment.

As part of that, over the next ten years Defence will dis­pose of:
• up to 24 ships;
• up to 70 com­bat air­craft;
• up to 110 oth­er air­craft;
• up to 120 heli­copters;
• up to 600 armoured vehi­cles;
• up to 12,000 oth­er vehi­cles; and
• a range of com­mu­ni­ca­tions sys­tems, weapons and explo­sive ord­nance.
This rep­re­sents 10 per cent of the cur­rent val­ue of the entire Aus­tralian Government’s non-finan­cial assets. 

The dis­pos­al of mil­i­tary equip­ment pro­vides an oppor­tu­ni­ty for Defence to gen­er­ate rev­enue to be re-invest­ed in new mil­i­tary equip­ment for Force 2030. 

The British Gov­ern­ment has gen­er­at­ed ₤650 mil­lion (about $1 bil­lion AUD) from their mil­i­tary equip­ment dis­pos­als since 1997. 

Over the same peri­od and with a sim­i­lar num­ber and type of assets, the dis­pos­al of Aus­tralian mil­i­tary equip­ment has cost around $20 million. 

“That’s why I am reform­ing Australia’s sys­tem of mil­i­tary dis­pos­als – to reduce costs, gen­er­ate poten­tial rev­enue and pro­vide oppor­tu­ni­ties for Defence indus­try involve­ment,” Mr Clare said. 

Mr Clare said the first oppor­tu­ni­ty for the Aus­tralian Defence indus­try was the release of a Request for Pro­pos­al for the dis­pos­al of up to 24 Navy ships across the com­ing decade. 

That includes HMAS Manoo­ra, Ade­laide Class frigates and Mine Hunters. 

The Request for Pro­pos­al will be done in two parts:
HMAS Manoo­ra – sub­mis­sions will close on 15 Sep­tem­ber 2011; and
• All oth­er ships – sub­mis­sions will close on 14 Octo­ber 2011.
The lat­ter will pro­vide the flex­i­bil­i­ty for com­pa­nies to bid for all ships, a class of ships or a sin­gle ship. 

Ideas could include, but are not lim­it­ed to, dis­man­tling the ships and recy­cling the parts and sale with­in Aus­tralia or overseas. 

A plan to dis­pose of up to12,000 Army vehi­cles has also been approved. This includes Land Rovers, Uni­mog trucks and Mack trucks. 

This will like­ly see the sale of vehi­cles to com­pa­nies who will repair and upgrade the vehi­cle and then on-sell them. 

The Request for Pro­pos­al for the vehi­cle dis­pos­als will be released in July. 

“By dis­pos­ing of this equip­ment in bulk, it will increase the amount of rev­enue Defence can raise and rein­vest in new equip­ment,” Mr Clare said. 

“It also pro­vides the scale which gives real oppor­tu­ni­ties for business. 

“The mon­ey raised from the sale of these vehi­cles will be invest­ed in Force 2030, with one option being into sim­u­la­tors used for train­ing that will reduce the wear and tear on Army vehicles.” 

His­tor­i­cal­ly sig­nif­i­cant pieces of mil­i­tary equip­ment will still be made avail­able to the Aus­tralian War Memo­r­i­al, RSLs and oth­er his­tor­i­cal organ­i­sa­tions for preservation. 

For exam­ple, Mr Clare has direct­ed that a num­ber of these Army vehi­cles be offered exclu­sive­ly to com­mu­ni­ty or her­itage organisations. 

“One of the main goals of the dis­pos­als sys­tem is the preser­va­tion of our mil­i­tary his­to­ry,” Mr Clare said. 

“Flex­i­bil­i­ty will be main­tained in the sys­tem to make sure that happens.” 

Press release
Min­is­te­r­i­al Sup­port and Pub­lic Affairs,
Depart­ment of Defence,
Can­ber­ra, Australia 

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