No Accountability For Government Botch-Up
Acting Defence Spokesperson
31 January 2013
No Accountability For Government
Despite a damning
Auditor-General’s report no one is being held accountable
for the botched changes which have badly damaged the Defence
Force, Labour’s acting Defence spokesperson, Phil Goff,
“Defence Minister Jonathan Coleman refuses to take
responsibility for changes which left the Defence Force with
the lowest morale and the highest rates of attrition in the
history of the Force.
“When he boasts about attrition
falling to 17.7 per cent, more than double the rate in 2009
and four times that of the Police Force, it shows you just
how out of touch he is.
“The fact is that by demanding
the $400 million in annual savings, the Government forced
the Defence Force to take ill-thought out actions which have
caused unnecessary damage.
“The Chief of the Defence
Force himself admitted that an attrition rate of 22.6 per
cent in the Navy was ‘unsustainable’.
“It is not
‘old news’ or ‘history’ as Jonathan Coleman
pretends. The damage is continuing and will take years to
recover from. Many of those who have left were highly
skilled and experienced, and cannot be immediately
“Brand new patrol vessels are being left tied
up at the wharf because there is a shortage of skilled crews
to take them to sea.
“Mr Coleman has his head in the
clouds if he believes morale in the force is fine. Last year
40 per cent indicated an intention to leave, according to
the documents supplied to the Defence Select
“With no pay rise for four-and-a-half years,
arbitrary dismissal notices, rents which have been massively
increased and a lack of respect and reciprocal loyalty shown
to Defence Force people, it’s no wonder they have been
leaving in droves,” Phil Goff said.
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