OK, so we’ve all read about those missing rocket launchers and their supposed targets – but just how much other military hardware is missing?

Just after Christmas, The Age reported Auditor-General Ian McPhee found it cannot adequately account for inventory and “repairable items” worth $3.9 billion.

The annual investigation of government agencies by the Australian National Audit Office concludes that Defence has breached federal financial management controls.

The Auditor-General has also criticised the Defence Materiel Organisation, the body responsible for managing defence equipment, for opening and operating foreign bank accounts without official approval. In addition, the Auditor-General has reported that the DMO artificially fixed the exchange rate when buying equipment for Australian troops overseas, causing the value of projects to be “misstated”.

But back to those rocket launchers. In November last year Alfredo Reinado, a self-styled East Timorese rebel soldier who has been accused of murder by UN investigators, was pictured with a M72 rocket launcher – the missing model.

Perhaps the Australian military is going to get their hardware back.

Peter Fray

Get your first 12 weeks of Crikey for $12.

Without subscribers, Crikey can’t do what it does. Fortunately, our support base is growing.

Every day, Crikey aims to bring new and challenging insights into politics, business, national affairs, media and society. We lift up the rocks that other news media largely ignore. Without your support, more of those rocks – and the secrets beneath them — will remain lodged in the dirt.

Join today and get your first 12 weeks of Crikey for just $12.

 

Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey

JOIN NOW