Alleged theft at defence contractor Forgacs

Defence contractor Forgacs has stood down three employees as
it investigates allegations that they stole equipment worth $120,000.

The Newcastle Herald has been told that the employees
allegedly stole the equipment, including welders and plasma metal cutters, with
the idea of using it to start their own business.

A Forgacs spokesperson said in a statement, ‘‘Forgacs takes
any allegations of misconduct very seriously.

‘‘An isolated matter is currently being investigated but it
would be inappropriate to comment further.’’

According to the Herald, police are not involved in the investigation.

Meanwhile, the Australian reports that the Australian naval shipbuilding
industry is facing the possibility of 2,000 job losses from companies such as
Forgacs.

A draft copy of a report into the Air Warfare Destroyer (AWD)
project by former US Navy secretary Don Winter and former Australian
shipbuilder John White found that the job losses would be felt in Victoria, NSW
and South Australia.

Despite the fact that the government commissioned the report,
it has not released it.

The report looks into the so-called ‘Valley Of Death’ – gaps
between major defence projects in which there is no work for ship builders to
do.

“Time is of the
essence if this situation is to be alleviated, not only in the interest of the
various industry participants, but also to avoid the need for another costly
start-up program and a serious near-term reduction in an ­important strategic
capability,” the report says.

It recommends slowing down the AWD project and speeding up
plans to build a new fleet of frigates to replace the Anzac ships as a way to
avoid the Valley of Death.

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