The Australian government will pay French shipbuilder Naval Group $ 835 million in compensation, following last year’s decision to break a $ 90 billion contract to build 12 submarines.
- Prime Minister Anthony Albanese says total amount invested in submarine program is now $ 3.4 billion
- The cancellation of the French submarine contract was the result of Australia’s entry into the AUKUS security alliance
- The alliance gives Australia access to nuclear submarine technology
Prime Minister Anthony Albanese made the announcement this morning, saying the total amount of money spent by Australian taxpayers on the program is now $ 3.4 billion.
“This is a $ 5.5 billion savings that the Senate was told would result from this program,” Albanese said.
“But it still represents an extraordinary waste on the part of a government that was always big in the announcement but not good in delivery, and a government that will be remembered as the most wasteful government in the history of Australia since the federation “.
The termination of the French submarine contract last September was the result of Australia’s entry into the AUKUS security alliance with the United States and the United Kingdom and access to nuclear submarine technology.
The incident caused a deep rift in Australian-French diplomatic relations with French President Emmanuel Macron, who went so far as to accuse then-Prime Minister Scott Morrison of lying to him about the future of the contract.
“I look forward to accepting the invitation that President Macron made to me to visit Paris at the earliest opportunity and we will make more announcements soon about the dates when this will happen,” Albanese said.
“I see a personal meeting between me and President Macron in France as absolutely vital to re-establishing this relationship, which is important to Australia’s national interests.”
The Prime Minister took advantage of the announcement of compensation between the Australian government and Naval Group to target former Defense Minister Peter Dutton, after during the week he angered the diplomatic and military communities by divulging details of sensitive negotiations on the AUKUS agreement.
Dutton used the Australian newspaper’s opinion pages to encourage the possibility of Australia buying two US nuclear submarines this decade to fill a gap in the Royal Australian Navy’s forecasting capacity, which he said he believed would be a possibility.
“He insinuated, but he didn’t say anything when he was Minister of Defense, did he?” Mr Albanese replied.
“Peter Dutton must recognize that he has a responsibility to put the national interest first, not to be always committed to short-term political interests.”
More to come.
Posted 52 minutes ago 52 minutes ago Saturday, June 11, 2022 at 0:34 AM, updated 27 minutes ago, 27 minutes ago, Sat, June 11, 2022 at 12:58 PM