Prime minister Tony Abbott has said that whatever the government’s decision on procuring the next generation of submarines, there would be more South Australian jobs as a result.
The Australian Financial Review reports that Abbott would not comment on the timing of an announcement, but the work on the submarines and their sustainment would be done in Adelaide.
“Whichever way it ends up, this is good for jobs in South Australia,’’ Abbott told Adelaide’s 5AA yesterday.
“We need the best possible submarines and we obviously need them at a competitive price and these are the questions the government will continue to weigh in the weeks and months ahead.’’
Earlier this week, the Mainichi Shimbun newspaper in Japan – the country regularly mentioned as the leading contender for work on the subs – reported that Japan’s government was considering a joint project between the defence ministry and Australia.
The Japanese would develop steel and materials with Australia under such a deal, with assembly taking place in Japan and propulsion and other systems installed in Australia.
Last month the federal government ruled out an open tender for the submarines to replace the current Collins class fleet, with treasurer Joe Hockey citing a lack of time. This was criticised by the SA government, the federal opposition and the Australian Industry Group.