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Joint Strike Fighter Inquiry establishment a victory for democracy over special interests

Media Release
Peter Whish-Wilson 2 Dec 2015

Greens spokesperson for Defence, Senator Peter Whish-Wilson, welcomes the support of the Senate to establish an Inquiry into Australia’s procurement of the $24 billion F-35 Joint Strike Fighter.

Senator Whish-Wilson said, “Despite heavy lobbying of the cross-bench by the world’s largest arms manufacturer, Lockheed Martin, the Senate today voted to establish an Inquiry into Australia’s $24 billion procurement of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter.

“I am pleased that the Senate has done the people's work, and stood up to any lobbying effort to prevent scrutiny around this largest defence acquisition.

“It is the Australian public who are footing the bill for these seemingly-troubled aircraft. The public has a right to know the details of what they are getting for their money and to examine if we really need them at all.

“It was a Tony Abbott “captain’s pick” to double-down on the beleaguered Lockheed Martin aircraft by placing another 58 on order. It’s time for the public to have their say on that decision,” he concluded.

---ENDS---

Media contact: Tim Beshara 0409163603

Terms of Reference:

That the following matter be referred to the Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade References Committee for inquiry and report by 1 May 2016:

The planned acquisition of the F-35 Lightning II (Joint Strike Fighter), with particular reference to:
(a) the future air defence needs that the aircraft is intended to fulfil;
(b) the cost and benefits of the program to Australia, including industrial costs and benefits received and forecast;
(c) changes in the acquisition timeline;
(d) the performance of the aircraft in testing;
(e) potential alternatives to the Joint Strike Fighter; and

(f) any other related matters

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