Saturday, December 25, 2021

Warship Construction Hits Major Delay as Faulty Aluminum Imported from China Found

“It was made in China” is a phrase that is often used to explain why something is shoddily made, or cheap.

The Royal Australian Navy is now experiencing this firsthand after getting poor-quality aluminum from China, which is now prohibiting the launch of new patrol boats.

In March, shipbuilders announced a delay due to the botched materials, which are believed to have been sourced from Wuhan, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation reported.

Austal, the shipbuilder company awarded a contract to supply the navy with six vessels, said that “the aluminium had been independently certified by a globally accredited certification company prior to arriving at Austal,” according to the ABC.

But upon checking the aluminum, a company spokesperson it was problematic.

“A random spot check subsequently conducted by Austal indicated that it did not meet Austal’s quality requirements,” the Austal spokesperson said.

This will cost the Australian navy tens of millions of dollars since it will now have to keep its older fleet working. The ABC estimated that it will cost an extra $44 million to keep the old fleet afloat.

China’s faulty materials are now costing everyone in Australia.

“As always, taxpayers are forced to foot the bill for their stuff-ups, and our Defence personnel are left without the capabilities they need, when they need it,” Shadow Assistant Defence Minister Pat Conroy said, according to the ABC.

It should come as no surprise that China’s materials are lacking in quality. This year, China has been struggling with its aluminum production and has scaled it back in many ways.

As China has supposedly tried to scale back on energy consumption and emissions, the aluminum industry was one of the first to suffer, the South China Morning Post reported.

This spiked prices to a 13-year high. It also, apparently, made quality plummet.

Australia should have taken the crises in China into account before ordering supplies for their navy from the communist nation


Queensland records 765 new COVID-19 cases, no-one in intensive care

Queensland has recorded 765 new cases overnight — another daily case record — with 151 of those cases confirmed as the Omicron strain, Health Minister Yvette D'Ath says.

Health authorities are currently looking at how rapid antigen testing kits can be used, Ms D'Ath says. There were 33,971 tests recorded and there was now 2,147 active cases in the state.

There are only five people being treated in hospital due to mild and moderate symptoms from the virus. Ms D'Ath said a person who was being treated in an intensive care unit has now been moved out.

There has been 90.36 per cent of eligible Queenslanders aged 16 and over who have received one COVID-19 vaccine dose and 85.88 per cent are double vaccinated.

Ms D'Ath said the number of people in quarantine had decreased and she understood the challenges of spending Christmas in isolation.

"We thank those … people who are in quarantine, who are probably missing time with family and friends today," she said.

"We know it's difficult but we are so grateful for what you're doing, and I just want to reinforce [that to] all those people interstate who have done the right thing and got their PCR tests."


Federal government’s Christmas Eve veto of research projects labelled ‘McCarthyism’

The Morrison government has been accused of using the cover of Christmas to politicise research funding, after a federal minister vetoed grants for six recommended projects.

Proposed research relating to climate activism and China were among the projects recommended through Australian Research Council processes but blocked by the acting education minister, Stuart Robert.

Robert has argued the projects he rejected “do not demonstrate value for taxpayers’ money nor contribute to the national interest” – but the decision, announced on Christmas Eve, has drawn criticism from education figures and the federal opposition.

The vice-chancellor of the Australian National University, Prof Brian Schmidt, said that in a liberal democracy it was “completely inappropriate for grants to be removed by politicians, unless the grant rules were not followed”.

The Victorian Labor senator Kim Carr said the government was using Christmas Eve to “sweep under the carpet” its “further politicisation of the ARC and research” in Australia.

Carr, a former minister for research under the Rudd and Gillard governments, tweeted: “Their McCarthyism subverts research which was recommended by the ARC.”

The winning Discovery Projects for next year were finally revealed on Friday, with a report published on the ARC website saying it had received 3,096 applications for funding commencing in 2022.

The report said 587 of those projects had been approved for funding, totalling $259m over five years.

“Of the unsuccessful applications in 2022, 51 were found not to meet eligibility requirements and six were recommended to, but not funded by the minister,” the report said.

A spokesperson for Robert said the minister had approved “98.98%” of the 593 Discovery Projects the ARC recommended, but had not accepted the following six:

Robert’s spokesperson said the minister “believes those rejected do not demonstrate value for taxpayers’ money nor contribute to the national interest”.

“After going through a peer review process, it is clear to the minister the application of the national interest test is not working in every case,” the spokesperson said.

“This test should ensure taxpayer-funded Australian government research funding is directed to areas of national importance and delivers public value. It’s why in his letter of expectation the minister asked the ARC to strengthen the test.”




No comments: