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Unions say it’s “Crazy” to outsource Australia’s military science capability

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Unions believe the Abbott government would be “crazy” to outsource Australia’s sensitive military science capability as recommended in its Commission of Audit, unions say, as reported in the Sydney Morning Herald.

Technicians’ union Professionals Australia believes the commission’s proposals for the Defence Department in Canberra puts 4000 jobs on the line, with another 2000 workers in Melbourne and Adelaide at risk, too.

Tony Shepherd’s Commission of Audit report recommends, according to the Sydney Morning Herald, cutting the numbers at the Defence precinct in and around Canberra’s Russell Offices back to 1998 levels and re-absorbing the Defence Materiel Organisation back into parent Department.

There are about 9000 Defence workers in the capital, up from about 5000 16 years ago and Mr Shepherd’s audit recommended taking an axe to the numbers and targeting senior public servants and high-ranking military officers working at Russell.

DSTO is responsible for landmark Australian scientific developments, including the black box flight recorder and high-tech military hardware like the Jindalee Over-the-Horizon Radar

The commission also recommends that the Defence Science and Technology Organisation (DSTO) should be considered for outsourcing, putting the future of about 2000 science, technical and support jobs in Fisherman’s Bend in Melbourne and Edinburgh, north of Adelaide in doubt.

But Professionals Australia ACT director Dave Smith slammed the proposals. “The potential outsourcing of DSTO is crazy – you don’t outsource your national security research brains,” the unionist said.

DSTO is responsible for landmark Australian scientific developments, including the black box flight recorder and high-tech military hardware like the Jindalee Over-the-Horizon Radar, the Nulka anti-ship missile decoy and the Australian minesweeping system.

Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/national/public-service/defence-cuts-outsourcing-crazy-union-20140502-zr325.html#ixzz30vUfJwl1
May 7, 2014
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