Statement on New Security Partnership and Nuclear-Powered Submarines

16 Sep 2021

The announcements of Australia’s new security partnership with the United States and United Kingdom, and that we will be working with them to build nuclear-powered (not nuclear armed) submarines in Australia, is the most important defence initiative of our time.

We know that the security outlook in our region is changing quickly. We owe it to our children and grandchildren to ensure that the decisions taken today provide them with the highest possible safety and security.

History has taught us that the best way to meet threats is to be prepared.

When World War Two broke out, in almost every respect Britain and Australia were not ready.

However, there was one technical innovation that was to prove critical. When hostilities commenced Britain had developed the world’s best fighter plane in the Spitfire, and it was to prove decisive in the Battle of Britain and in preventing a German invasion.

The French submarine deal has now been scrapped. We shouldn’t mourn its loss.

By the time those submarines came into service, they would have been technologically obsolete.

Future generations would not have thanked us for passing them down to them.

With so much coastline to defend, and so much uncertainty in the Indo-Pacific, Australia can’t afford to gamble with something as crucial as our national security.

Nuclear-powered submarines are the best technology available.

This is the right decision for Australia, our national security, and for future generations