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Navy retention figures make for grim reading

Wayne Mapp MP
National Party Defence Spokesman

11 December 2007

Navy retention figures make for grim reading

Labour’s promise to fix personnel problems in the Navy are proving empty, says National’s Defence spokesman, Wayne Mapp.

Dr Mapp is commenting on fresh reports that the Navy faces the likelihood that one of its two frigates will not be put to sea next year due to a staffing crisis.

“During the recent financial review the Chief of Defence admitted it was highly likely that one of the two Anzac frigates would spend most of next year tied up at dock rather than on patrol or active service due to personnel shortages.

“And now it is clear the problem is worse than it first appeared.

“Personnel shortages are so critical that the Navy is offering a carrot in the form of a $45,000 bonus for marine technicians who agree to stay for three years.

“The Labour Government has purchased a large number of new ships without securing the personnel needed to actually operate them. Next year we could see half the naval combat force tied up at dock, not to mention the number of Project Protector ships that the Navy will take delivery of but not be able to put to sea.

“This crisis goes straight to the heart of the problem the Defence Force has experienced under Labour: gross mismanagement.

“The Chief of Navy Rear Admiral David Ledson is absolutely correct in noting ‘if our ships have to stay alongside the naval base, then this will have a negative effect on just about everyone in the navy – and on our reputation’.

“Labour needs to remember that, first and foremost, the armed services are all about people.”


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