Christian Kerr writes:


The heat has gone out of the defence debate
in the last few days – but just what is Brendan Nelson’s defence review going
to do?

“One hopes the review is not just a
political face-saver – as has occurred previously,” Canberra Sunday Times
editor Des Ryan commented on Sunday .
“The new review needs to produce some significant structural, and cultural,
change in Defence, and there are plenty of SNAFUs to get started on.”

Fixing FUBARs and sorting SNAFUs will
indeed be a key task of the review, and Ryan talks about a range of procurement
problems that have plagued the ADF.

Which leads us onto another of Nelson’s
initiatives – the new defence industry consultative group,
announced last weekend. Who will the industry representative be?

Given all the goings on in Defence, surely
they should be a party in the defence reform movement. Other candidates may be
open to pressure against reforms in defence industry policy. The ideal
candidate would be a person who is prepared to put the industry case without
fear of retribution, and who is able to argue it persuasively.

Yes. That means letting a critic in. What
would be a better sign of commitment to change?

Peter Fray

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Editor-in-chief of Crikey

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