Wednesday, 12 May 2021
Questions without Notice
My question is to the Minister representing the Minister for Defence. After a two-year FOI battle with the defence department, the Information Commissioner granted public access to the total build and sustainment costs for the future submarines as offered by Naval Group in its tender response. The defence department has appealed that decision in the AAT, and Naval Group have requested to be, and have been, joined to the proceedings. There are now seven lawyers involved, fighting one Rex Patrick. We now find out that the taxpayer is paying the legal costs of Naval Group, a $5.1 billion foreign company. Who approved this? Why was it approved? And are there any caps on the legal fees that we pay for foreign entities?