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Minister Announces Retirement From Parliament

The Hon. John Moore, MP Minister for Defence

Tuesday, 19 December 2000

The Minister for Defence, John Moore, today informed the Prime Minister of his intention to resign from Cabinet and retire from Parliament in the New Year.

“With the announcement of the Defence White Paper, it is now opportune to make way for a new Minister to take up the challenge of its implementation,” Mr Moore said.

“After twenty-five years in Parliament, including five years as a Cabinet Minister, the time has come to stand aside.

“For me, personally, it has been a great pleasure to work with John Howard and our Coalition colleagues over the years. It has been an honour to serve in Cabinet and to serve the people of Australia.

“In particular, my time in the Industry and Defence portfolios has been a source of great satisfaction. The many achievements we have succeeded in implementing have given me a strong sense of accomplishment,” said Mr Moore.

“As a Federal Minister, I have been prepared to oversee fundamental and wide ranging reform in each of these two major portfolios.”

Mr. Moore said it had been his longstanding conviction that committing adequate resources to the defence of Australia was the highest priority of Government.

“Upon coming to the Defence portfolio, I had two primary objectives: to ensure the Defence Organisation was able to deliver the Defence capability Australian taxpayers were entitled to, and ensuring that tax dollars were spent with maximum efficiency and effectiveness.

“Among the achievements associated with my time in Defence, I rate the successful INTERFET deployment of Australian troops to East Timor as first and foremost,” Mr Moore said. “Next, is the development of the Defence White Paper, the most comprehensive, frank and rigorous statement of strategic policy to date.”

The Minister also pointed to his time as Industry Minister in the first Howard Government as one of the most significant for industry policy in two decades.

“Central to these achievements was the development of a comprehensive overall industry policy framework, Investing for Growth. This policy formed the centrepiece of the Government’s strategy to promote the development of stronger, more profitable and world competitive industries. In particular, policies announced for the automotive and Textile, Clothing and Footwear industries were major turning points in the development of these areas.”

The Minister said that he believed he would be leaving Defence better positioned to respond to Government, and on-track to attaining higher levels of responsibility in management and financial accountability.

“The management reforms that have been instituted in Defence while I have been Minister have produced very significant dividends. Specifically, the success of the ‘get-well-program’ for the Collins Class submarines and the negotiation of the acquisition of AEW&C (for which the contract will be signed tomorrow), will, undoubtedly, prove to be significant outcomes for Australia’s long-term security.”

Mr Moore said he wanted to emphasise the contribution made by the men and women of the ADF and the Defence Department.

“The funding commitment in the White Paper is concrete recognition of their efforts. The professionalism, dedication and skill displayed by ADF personnel in East Timor, Bougainville, the Solomon Islands and other peacekeeping operations, and during Operation GOLD in support of the Olympics, are of the highest standard.

“Just as importantly, the manner in which the civilians in the Defence Organisation have supported the ADF and responded to the Government’s priorities have helped ensure a dramatic turnaround in the way Defence is viewed by the Government and Australian community.”

The Minister also made special mention of the contribution that the intelligence and scientific staff had made during his tenure.

“These are people who rarely get the recognition they deserve for the excellent work they do.”

The Minister said Defence as an organisation still has very significant challenges to face.

“Not least of these will be to continue the organisational reforms essential for meeting Government’s expectations with respect of the White Paper outcomes. My successor will need to focus particularly on the people side of Defence, business systems redevelopment, financial management, and the reform of Defence acquisition.”

Mr. Moore thanked his family for their unswerving support during his years in the Parliament and the large number of officials and staff members who, over the years, had provide loyal and dedicated service.

“I have enjoyed my time in Parliament, very much. I am now looking forward to re-entering the Australian business community and the new challenges ahead.

“In closing, I would like to wish you all a merry Christmas and a very happy New Year”.

DEFENCE ACHIEVEMENTS

General

Introduced policies that have produced a more effective Australian Defence Force (ADF) – more combat focussed, better equipped, more mobile and more operationally ready.

Realigned the Defence Organisation to ensure it is responsive to the priorities of Government and accountable to Australian taxpayers.

Reformed and managed the Department of Defence during a period of considerable regional instability, including the largest deployment of ADF troops overseas since the Vietnam War in response to the East Timor crisis.

Strategic

Developed and released the Government’s Defence White Paper, Defence 2000: Our Future Defence Force, the blueprint for the future security of Australia and a stronger, more capable Defence Force.

Providing long-term direction and support to the Australian Defence Force (ADF), as well as unprecedented funding commitment to the future security of Australia.

After an unprecedented process of community consultation in the White Paper’s development.

The White Paper has been described as “a major victory for Mr Moore” (Michelle Grattan), “a clear win for the reform processes driven by Defence Minister John Moore” (The Courier Mail), “the best white paper on defence in the past 25 years...a good outcome for Defence and the country as a whole” (Alan Dupont), “arguably the best Defence White Paper Australia has produced” (Paul Dibb), “realistic and sophisticated” (The Advertiser), “an impressive document” (The Sydney Morning Herald), a “positive path to future security” (Australian Financial Review), and “a level-headed response to Australia’s defence needs” (The Australian).

Funding

Increased funding to Defence in the 2000-01 Budget by $304 million, compared to estimated actual expenditure in 1999-00. This included $128 million to upgrade two Collins Class submarines and $20 million to improve the capabilities of our Reserves.

Increased Defence funding an average 3 percent per annum in real terms over the coming decade, with an immediate increase of $500 million in 2001-02, and $1,000 million in the following year. In all, Defence spending over the decade is expected to increase by a total of $23.5 billion in real terms.

This is the biggest funding increase for Defence in 20 years.

Reform of Management and Administration

Established a new leadership team for Defence and the ADF that provides a unique balance of experience, service command and contemporary military organisational and business thinking. This new team will play a significant role in achieving further improvements in the operation of the ADF and Defence Department.

As a result of the McIntosh/Prescott Review, restructured the management of the Defence Acquisition Organisation through the establishment of a new position of Under Secretary, Defence Acquisition, in the Department of Defence.

Developed the most comprehensive overhaul of Defence acquisition and logistics support in 20 years through the Defence Acquisition Reform Program. The reforms provide for full Government involvement in Defence capability planning, giving Government a real opportunity to shape the future Australian Defence Force.

This includes merging the Acquisition Organisation and Support Command to improve management and accountability in a whole-of-life approach to capability acquisition.

The reforms will provide clear accountability, reduce acquisition time, encourage continuous improvement and facilitate greater industry participation, resulting in more successful future acquisition projects. The merger and associated reforms will produce savings in excess of $450m per annum, most of which has already been programmed by Defence.

Australian industry was consulted and the acquisition reforms are broadly supported.

Created the position of Chief Finance Officer in Defence at the three-star equivalent level. This person has overall responsibility for the total financial management of Defence. This is a major step in improving financial accountability and management in Defence particularly with respect to financial investment.

It also forms part of a wider Financial Management Reform program that includes moving away from global budgeting, implementation of a Defence Financial Management Plan, the introduction of ‘purchaser-provide models’, ‘balance scorecards’ and ‘other measures’.

Created a Defence Improvement Committee, comprising the Minister, Secretary, CDF and two external members, as the major vehicle for making continual improvements at all levels of Defence in management and accountability. The DIC is overseeing a number of reviews instituted by the Minister. These include:

A review of the Defence property sale process by Mr B White and Mr V P Heffernan. This panel will review the appropriateness and effectiveness of the total Defence Estate sales process and strategy and make recommendations on how Defence might improve its returns from property sales.

A review of military post-graduate education and ADFA by Prof Ian Zimmer. This review is aimed at ensuring Defence’s educational programs are being properly managed and targeted and that Defence is receiving value for money from its considerable outlays in these important areas.

A review of business systems redevelopment by Geoff Davis. Emphasis is on substantial and quick improvements in reforming Defence’s business systems to improve financial reporting and the audit process and enable Defence to understand and manage its own costs, thereby allowing Defence to be able to make good business decisions. $40 million was made available in the 2000-01 Budget to be directed to business systems reform.

A review of Defence IT systems to reform the overriding management structures that control how IT systems are developed, managed, and run within Defence.

Introduced wide-ranging reforms into Defence that have resulted in:

Responsiveness to Government concerns and priorities and the ability to present Government with a wider range of options.

Improving long-term planning, capability development, command and management structures, with specific regard to effective, integrated decision-making, thereby taking a whole-of-life approach to capability.

Achieving a more commercial approach to Defence procurement and logistics, and nurturing more innovative and long term relationships with the private sector;

A focus on performance, and the placement of responsibility and accountability at the most appropriate level. Submarine Review

Appointed Dr Malcolm McIntosh and Mr John Prescott, in February 1999, to conduct a full and independent review of the submarine project.

As a result of the report, the Minister appointed RADM Briggs as Head Submarine Capability Management to lead a small team charged with developing and implementing solutions to fix the submarines.

As a result of this management, two Collins Class submarines, HMAS Dechaineux and HMAS Sheean, have been upgraded to increased operational capability and later this year, the Government will consider proposals to bring all six Collins Class submarines to satisfactory completion, the commitment to which was confirmed by the White Paper.

Initiated the process of reforming the Australian Submarine Corporation through Government acquisition of 100% of the company to prepare for an onward sale to the private sector.

Increased Readiness

Brought to 28 day’s notice, ready to move by 30 June 1999, a second Army brigade-sized group, and supporting naval and air assets, in order to ensure that the Government has options to respond at short notice to the range of demands and developments that could arise. This proved a landmark decision in preparing the ADF for the East Timor operation.

This included the lease of the high-speed catamaran, HMAS Jervis Bay, to enhance Navy’s amphibious capabilities.

These increased preparedness levels enabled Australia to lead the multinational force INTERFET in a peacekeeping role in East Timor, and to contribute over 5,500 personnel to that operation.

Increased the number of fully operational infantry battalions from four to six, by bringing to combat readiness, an additional two full-time Army battalion groups. This decision was later made permanent in the Defence White Paper.

Instituted changes that will extend the operational availability of the Australian Defence Force (ADF) Reserves. Amendments to the Defence Act and other measures will enable call-out of Reserve forces for continuous, full-time service, in roles that include combat, peace enforcement and keeping, humanitarian, civil aid and disaster relief. At the same time, the legislation will provide adequate protection and compensation measures for both Reservists and their employers.

Intelligence and Security

Introduced new arrangements for the senior level management of defence intelligence functions. A Defence Intelligence Board (DIB) has been created to oversee the provision of better intelligence to support Defence and Government decision making.

Introduced new management reforms to Defence Intelligence Organisation including placing a civilian in charge of the organisation.

Created the Australian Imagery Organisation (AIO) which is responsible for the collection, interpretation, and use of imagery to support Australia's strategic and national intelligence needs.

Instituted new security measures to improve the security of classified information in Defence and its intelligence agencies.

Operational Deployments Managing Australia’s key role in organising and then leading the INTERFET operation in East Timor which was mandated by the United Nations. At the height of the deployment, 5,500 Australian personnel were serving with INTERFET, by far the highest contribution by any single nation.

Clarified the Commonwealth’s provisions for the call out of the ADF through the introduction and passing of the Defence Legislation Amendment (Aid to the Civilian Authorities) Bill 2000.

Managed the Defence contribution to the Sydney Olympic Games leading to the safety of the best Games ever. By the close of the Paralympic Games, over 4,000 ADF personnel participated in supporting of the Sydney Olympics.

Directed the deployment of ADF assets to the Solomon Islands to evacuate Australian and other nationals and assist in the furthering of the peace process.

International Relations

Developed and signed a new Technology Access Agreement with the United States which will facilitate the interoperability of Australian and US forces and substantially enhance ADF capability.

US technical assistance was critical in overcoming the capability deficiencies of the Collins submarines and will be vital in developing the AEW&C project.

Became the first Australian Defence Minister to visit China and South Korea, further cementing bilateral defence relations with those countries, amongst others.

Developed the assistance package for the PNG Government aimed at helping their reform measures for the PNGDF.

developing a substantial commitment to the development of an East Timor Defence Force.

Defence Industry

established the Defence and Industry Advisory Council (DIAC) as the Government's peak Defence-Industry consultative group. The DIAC is quickly proving itself to be a key body in the exchange of information and ideas between Defence and industry, and is playing a major role in the Government's intention that Defence adopt the best available commercial management.

INDUSTRY ACHIEVEMENTS 1996-1998

General

overseen the most significant years for industry policy in 20 years.

reviewed every major area of industry policy and acted upon.

developed a comprehensive overall framework for industry policy while addressing the needs of specific industry sectors.

Investing for Growth

developed Investing for Growth, the centrepiece of the Government’s strategy to promote the development of stronger, more profitable and world competitive Australian industries. Central themes include:

increased support for business R&D and innovation through a $1 billion plan.

extra funding to support greater availability of venture capital for emerging new technology based companies

making investment in Australia more attractive through the establishment of a new body invest Australia with annual funding of $11 million.

helping Australian business develop new export markets.

promoting the development of Australia as a financial centre.

Investing for Growth resulted from a Review of Business Programs by David Mortimer to ensure that industry has available a targeted and effective suite of programs which best meets its needs. The review resulted in the Going for Growth – Business Programs for Investment, Innovation and Export report.

Automotive Industry

developed new policy measures to secure the future of Australia’s car industry.

the policy achieved the two key objectives the Government has for the automotive industry, continuing the process of tariff reform and responsibly manages the transition to lower tariffs in such a way as to best place Australia to achieve further investment in the automotive industry.

the Government’s decision was made with the full support of the industry and directly led to a commitment at the time from the major manufacturers to increased investment and job creation.

Textile, Clothing and Footwear Industries

developed a sensible and practical new industry package for the TCF industries that will help to develop sustainable, internationally competitive textiles, clothing, leather and footwear industries in Australia. Key features of the package include:

maintaining TCF tariffs at the same level from 1 July 2000 until 1 January 2005 and introducing legislation to implement a reduction in TCF tariffs on 1 January 2005.

A five year $700 million TCF Strategic Investment Programme aimed at encouraging additional investment in the wool, cotton, leather and fashion industries.

Information Technology

commissioned The Information Industries Taskforce headed by Professor Ashley Goldsworthy. The taskforce completed a report entitled The Global information Economy: The Way Ahead resulting in a more coordinated Information Technology Strategy.

removed tariffs on most inputs to the manufacture of information technology equipment. This measure saves the Australia IT industry $80 million between July 1998 and January 2000 making the IT industry more competitive and reducing costs for consumers.

implementing an active campaign, through Invest Australia, to encourage international information technology companies to invest in Australia.

Other Major Initiatives

developed the Pharmaceutical Industry Investment Program (PIIP), a five year, $300 million program which encourages significant investment in the pharmaceutical industry

approved more than $1 billion of export insurance administered by EFIC for exports to countries suffering from the Asian financial crisis, particularly Indonesia and Korea.

initiated a $10 million package of assistance to the Newcastle region to assist in overcoming the effect of the planned closure of BHP’s steelmaking facilities.

established the National Building and Construction Committee to act as a high level consultative group to the Government on building and construction issues.

established a number of Action Agendas to promote the development of Australian industries In addition to the Automotive, TCF, IT and Building and Construction Agendas, Action Agendas had been established for the Chemicals, Renewable Energy and Agrifood industries.

restored $20 million per year to CSIRO’s triennial funding base and increased funding for research infrastructure in universities by $90 million.


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