The Australian National Audit Office report on the replacement icebreaker vessel for the Australian Antarctic Division makes it abundantly clear that the project is flawed, and that taxpayers have been dudded.
Almost two years ago I warned the Government that the project needed to be reset because the competitive tender process had collapsed, and that the outcome was likely to be a substandard vessel, an inflated price, or both. My concerns were dismissed by the Federal Government, which now has egg on its face because the Audit Office confirms that the project has gone way over budget and taken much longer than should have been the case.
The icebreaker project is enormously important. It beggars belief that the Government ever thought they’d get the best outcome by abandoning proper process and talking to just one manufacturer.