The cost of 26 of Australia’s biggest Defence projects has risen by $24.4 billion, taking the bill to $64.1 billion.
The auditor-general on Monday released a 434-page report analysing the budgets of half of the nation’s Defence projects, which had been expected to cost $39.7 billion at the time of “second-pass approval”.
The main cost change was in the Joint Strike Fighter project, which was up by $13.8 billion, mainly because 58 aircraft were added to the project at a cost of $10.5 billion. Other rises occurred within the Air Warfare Destroyer, P-8A Poseidon, MRH90 Helicopters, Growler and Overlander projects.
The report found of the 26 projects analysed, the MRH90 Helicopters, Repl Replenishment Ships and Battle Comm. Sys (Land) 2B projects needed contingency funds applied in 2018-19. The helicopter project was also the only one listed as a “project of concern” as of June 30, having initially been placed on the list in 2011 due to a “contractor performance” issue.