Peta Credlin has rubbished the Defence Department’s justification for not providing Ukraine with Hawkei protected mobility vehicles.
The Hawkei is an Australian-built, lightweight four-wheel-drive protected mobility vehicle, which Ukraine hopes will aid in its campaign to expel the Russian armed forces from the country.
Despite only seeking an initial batch of 30 to 60 vehicles, the Australian Defence Department has ruled out sending any of Australia’s 1,100 Hawkeis.
According to a report in The Australian, this is due to a fault with the anti-lock braking system that undermines the vehicles’ stopping power at high speeds, with the ADF believing the army’s entire fleet of Hawkeis will need to be recalled to fix the problem.
Discussing the issue on her Sky News show, Credlin described the excuse as “extraordinary”.
“So our worry, that the car might skid on highways, means Ukraine can’t get it? I mean, come on,” Credlin said.
“There’s only one way to describe this: BS.”
Credlin, who was chief of staff to former Australian prime minister Tony Abbott, said Ukraine didn’t care about the problem, and nor should we.
“They want the Hawkeye to help launch their counter-offensive, not to drive fast on highways, and the sooner they get it, the better,” she said.
Credlin also called on the government to increase the number of Bushmaster vehicles Australia is providing to the war-torn country.
Australia has committed to providing 90 Bushmasters, although as of mid-march, Ukraine had only taken possession of around 30 of the vehicles.
“Ukraine needs hundreds more, and we still have nearly 1,000 of these in stock, mostly sitting in a depot near Brisbane airport, doing nothing,” Credlin said.
“What’s the point of having them rust away here, when they could be defending democracy over there?”
Ukrainian officials have described the Bushmasters as “spectacular”, with Ukrainian defence adviser Yuri Sak saying they had been “instrumental in liberating places such as Kharkiv, the second largest city in Ukraine.
The country’s push to acquire Hawkeis led Ukraine’s defence department to post a video on social video declaring that Ukrainian soldiers “absolutely love” Bushmasters but that the Hawkei was their “new crush”.
When Mr Sak visited the facilities in Bendigo where Bushmasters and Hawkeis are manufactured, he said that when Russians see Hawkeis on the battlefield in Ukraine, they would understand the phrase “we are not here to f*** spiders.”
News Source: www.skynews.com.au