Thursday, November 13, 2008

For Sale - Australian Defence Force Contracts

I recently stumbled across the website for a company called ASC Pty Ltd while searching for the Australian Sports Commission. At first glance I thought it was an off-shoot of the Aust Defence Force, but upon closer inspection I was troubled by what I found. Below is a transcript of an email I sent to the Minister for Defence.

Please provide your thoughts:

"Dear Minister,
I am writing to express my concerns regarding the company ASC Pty Ltd. and their role in supplying the Australian Defence Force with ships and submarines.

My concern is that the role of National Security must surely be of utmost importance. This said, I question why it appears that a private company is being left solely with the responsibility of maintaining our fleet of submarines.

The logic follows: a company must return as great a profit as possible - the objective is to make money. If there is an opportunity for a company to make further profit on a particular project, than they will do what is needed to maximise the profit while still delivering the required outcomes (a minimalistic approach will result).

I find it extremely hard to understand why the Australian Government would allow a $3.5 billion contract to be signed to hand over the control of any part of national security to a private company.

Below ae some of the corporate objectives as outlined in ASC's Statement of Corporate Intent

  • Create a long-term viable Australian business that is responsive to the needs of its customers, provides value for money, is attractive to investors and is an employer of choice;
  • Ensure these objectives are met in a manner that will facilitate the timely privatisation of the company; and
Additionally, the criteria of success are listed, one being:

  • Our investors – ASC is measured on acceptable and sustainable financial returns

This states clearly that part of their intent is to be making a financial return for it's members. Since when is it allowable for the safety of our country to be placed in the hands of a profiteering few. Please do not allow Australia take steps towards creating Haliburton, CACI, Titan or Bechtel.

National Defense is Australian Business and must remain in house and all aspects remain controlled by the Aust Government. The website for this company is listed below -

I look forward to hearing a justification and further clarification of the reasons behind such a decision being made (outsourcing defense).



  1. yo alan... they put in a companies hands just as the americans do with their Stealth bombers and FA-18s and such
    As well as the brisbane based company who made a gun that shoots 1 million rounds a second.. well a prototype anyway

  2. Stewart, you make a good point - good ideas can come from companies; and in America much of their Defence Force tasks are outsourced to companies.

    I would question whether this is appropriate - I don not think it is. It could be pointed out that other countries do not privatise their Defence force. This is no grounds for Australia to follow suit; we should be thinking about why it is we do what we do - not just copying other countries.

    Another thought - The Brisbane company that made the gun - won;t they sell it to the highest bidder - and if that is a country that we are going to war with, it would seem strange to allow an Australian company to export a product that is going to eventually be killing our fellow Australians.