The Australian Business Defence Industry (ABDI) believes reports suggesting the Government will abandon plans to build Australia's new submarines in South Australia shows a clear lack of strategic thinking and will have far reaching impacts on the industry.

“The Government has a responsibility to provide for the defence of the nation but this is a
more complex process than just focusing on the cost/capability tradeoff of the submarine
as a platform,” said Graeme Dunk, Manager of the Australian Business Defence Industry.

“The government should consider the strategic impact of this pending decision - how it
might affect regional security, how it mitigates strategic risk, and how it ensures defence
self-reliance.

“Even in the circumstance where it is decided to build these submarines in Japan, to
ensure that Australia maintains the strategic advantage of being able to maintain defence
assets onshore we must have access to all aspects of the submarine design, and stipulate
that all maintenance and through-life upgrades will be done in Australia, using local
contractors.

“Imagine having to send the submarine back to Japan every time it needs an oil change,
especially during times of conflict.

“The encouragement of, and preference for, locally-developed technologies is also
required.

“Defence may not be, in the words of some of our senior politicians a „job creation
program‟, but if we are to make economic comparisons, a good starting point would be to
have robust figures, not guess work.

“This decision requires an assessment of Australia‟s strategic risks and mitigation
measures that the Defence White paper should spell out. 

Media Contact:

Graeme Dunk Executive Manager, Australian Business Defence Industry T: 02 6230 1137M: 0419 226 811