/ 22 March 2024

A drop in the ocean


Aussie taxpayers will foot a $4.7 billion bill to help the UK Government expand production lines for Australia’s first nuclear-powered fleet of submarines under the AUKUS deal. The plan will be announced by Defence Minister Richard Marles and Foreign Minister Penny Wong today along with visiting British ministers David Cameron and Grant Shapps. Adelaide shipbuilder ASC will work with British firm BAE Systems to design and build the subs in a joint venture set to create 20,000 jobs, but production won’t begin until 2040. Marles says the deal shows AUKUS is steaming ahead and that the partnership between the US, UK and Australia is “intended to last forever.” The funding is in addition to the $3 billion Australia has already pledged to the US. The British are in Australia for annual AUKMIN talks, where reports say they’ll also discuss strengthening our defence relationship to “NATO level” with a new “Status of Forces” agreement.

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