House of Assembly: Thursday, March 09, 2023


AUKUS Submarines

The Hon. D.J. SPEIRS (Black—Leader of the Opposition) (14:09): My supplementary is to the Premier. When will construction start at Osborne? Is it the Premier's understanding that we will still have eight submarines built in South Australia?

The Hon. P.B. MALINAUSKAS (Croydon—Premier) (14:09): I thank the Leader of the Opposition for his question. Yes, we would want to see construction start at Osborne ASAP. We will await the details that are important out of the AUKUS announcement that we understand the Prime Minister will make in the not-too-distant future, and we will keenly observe the details of that announcement, particularly around construction time lines.

In respect of the number of submarines that the Leader of the Opposition refers to in the question that he asks, I think the point here is consistent with what I said in my earlier answer: what matters here is that this production line starts, because once it starts, there is no evidence of them ever stopping.

My view—my hope and expectation—is that we get nuclear submarines produced here in Adelaide as quickly as possible. Certainly, we would like to see construction of the yard down at Osborne to build those submarines commence sooner rather than later, and that will be a key detail that I am awaiting to hear from the Prime Minister.

But in terms of the number of submarines that get produced, what matters is the first one, because once the first one is delivered, we will know that the commonwealth is on track to do that forever more, because, like I said, there is not a single example anywhere in the world of a nuclear submarine production line starting and ever stopping. Let's make sure that happens and then we can have confidence there will be work for literally thousands of South Australians for decades to come.