Navy chief in the fir­ing line

Townsville Bulletin - - Inside Today -

DE­FENCE Min­is­ter Stephen Smith has re­jected a call to sack the chief of navy over a ‘‘ cul­pa­bil­ity gap’’ in Aus­tralia’s naval forces. Heavy trans­port ship HMAS Kan­im­bla will be out of ac­tion un­til April 2012 for main­te­nance work, while HMAS Manoora will be de­com­mis­sioned. HMAS To­bruk is now the only one avail­able. Op­po­si­tion de­fence spokesman David John­stone said the min­is­ter should be seek­ing ‘‘ some accountability’’ with Chief of Navy Russ Crane. The gov­ern­ment is look­ing for an in­terim plan.

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