Shadow Defence Minister David Johnston is reported in both yesterday’s and today’s Australian as committing the Coalition to tear up the Defence White Paper.
In an article entitled “Coalition to tear up defence blueprint” Senator Johnston is reported as saying:
“Defence spokesman David Johnston said he would quickly commission a new White Paper…”
The Australian – 20 September
In an article entitled “Abbott overrules Senator’s Defence” Senator Johnston is quoted:
“We would be looking to very urgently redo the White Paper…”
The Australian – 21 September
In contrast to this, Opposition Leader Tony Abbott told the RSL’s National Congress in Melbourne yesterday morning that:
“I note the recent Defence White Paper and its commitment to 12 submarines, 20 frigates and 100 Joint Strike Fighters. These are very significant purchases of equipment...’
Address to the RSL National Congress – 20 September
Mr Abbott then told Chris Uhlmann on last night’s 7.30 Report that:
“No-one has said that we would tear up the Defence White Paper…”
7:30 Report – 20 September
Mr Abbott’s repudiation of Senator Johnston underlines the fact that consideration of capabilities central to our national security can’t be made on the run.