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June 11, 2021

With the Future Submarine program in shambles, and half the world's submarines expected to be in the Asia-Pacific region by 2035, the Morrison Government has been forced to finally make a decision extending the life of the Collins Class submarines.

The Government was advised in December 2013 that the Collins Class needed their life extended to avoid a capability gap, and a decision on this matter needed to be made by mid-2015. 

It’s taken six years and eight Defence Ministers for the Government to make a decision on the Life of Type Extension on the Collins Class submarines. 

We welcome this belated decision, but you don’t get to make a virtue of filling a capability gap you created.

Given the woeful track record of this Government, how can we possibly believe they will deliver any new plan?

Now it seems the cost has blown out by at least $4 billion.

The public estimate, revealed in Senate Estimates, was this would cost $3.5-$6 billion. 

The Government needs to confirm this cost blow out and explain why.

This is on top of the $40 billion blow out of the Future Submarines, which won’t be in the water until 2035.

You don’t get to boast about increased Defence spending when it’s due to cost blow outs and mismanagement. 

There are also 700 workers on the Collins Class submarines in South Australia who have been waiting for an answer on the location of Full Cycle Docking, an announcement that was promised by the end of 2019.

These workers need to know whether their jobs will be moved to Western Australian, and not left in limbo by this Government.

As Prime Minister and Treasurer, Scott Morrison is the common thread with the bungling of these contracts and blow outs of costs and timelines.

Australia can't afford another three years of a Morrison Government that delays important national security decisions.