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MORRISON EVADING ACCOUNTABILITY ON SUBMARINES

March 24, 2021

Senate Estimates has revealed Australians will not know for 15 years whether the local spend of the Future Submarines project will be delivered.
 
Despite the Government boasting that it has secured a 60 per cent local spend, today it was revealed that the Australian local spend won’t be assessed until around 2032, with the 60 per cent target unlikely to be reached until the end of the next decade.
 
The Government announced a 60 per cent Australian Industry Capability target for the Future Submarines this week, however this target cannot be scrutinised until the first submarine is delivered and the penalties for not reaching that target remain hidden. 
 
The claim of “commercial in confidence” around these targets and penalties is a complete charade given how the Government torpedoed the procurement of these submarines. There are no competitors for this process, how on earth can this be commercial in confidence?
 
Announced with much fanfare this week, it was astounding to learn that no member of the Morrison Cabinet had read the amendments to the Strategic Partnership Agreement – not the Prime Minister, not the Minister, not the acting Minister.
 
Yet another case of don’t ask, don’t tell from the Morrison Government.
 
Although this retrofitted contract was announced this week, it was also revealed the Government are also still looking at alternatives to the Attack Class.
 
They retrofitted the Strategic Partnership Agreement, are they now trying to retrofit the competitive tender process?
 
The Government was so quick to announce the Future Submarines project they were unprepared to deliver it.
 
This Government is only focused on announcements, not delivery.
 
Only Labor is on the side of Australian defence capability and industry.


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