2008-03-09 - Australia cancels SeaspriteAustralia to cancel Seasprite programme
Seasprite-Marinehubschrauber wird gestrichen<br /> In late 2007 the Rudd Labor Government initiated a review of the Seasprite helicopter project, in line with the promises made prior to the election.
After careful consideration of all the issues involved, the Government has decided that it intends to cancel the project. Discussions will be commenced immediately with the contractor in relation to the legal and financial arrangements to facilitate this. The Government will announce the details of arrangements with the contractor once mutual agreement on these matters has been reached, subject to any confidentiality issues.
Minister for Defence Joel Fitzgibbon said the decision was not one taken easily, but the Government was left with little option. "Today's announcement demonstrates our determination to make tough decisions whenever required for the security of the nation and the safety and capability of our Defence Force," Mr Fitzgibbon said.
"The decision taken by the Rudd Labor Government is one that should have been taken by the Leader of the Opposition, Brendan Nelson, when he had the opportunity last year, but his Government decided to put its own political interests ahead of the national interest. Consequently, the responsibility of cleaning up the mess they created falls to us," Mr Fitzgibbon said. To ensure the Navy maintains an effective naval aviation capability, the Government has decided on two measures. First, our interim approach will focus on improving the operational availability of the current Seahawk fleet. Second, the Government will investigate the planned replacement of the Seahawk during its White Paper deliberations.