AUKUS has high risk of failure: Turnbull

Former prime minister Malcolm Turnbull says Australia’s plan to acquire nuclear-powered submarines comes with a “very high risk” of failure and faces huge challenges of recruiting and training enough skilled workers.

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A “very high risk” of failing to deliver because the British submarines were yet to be designed: former prime minister Malcolm Turnbull

AAP by Maeve Bannister and Tess Ikonomou •

It follows Labor’s most revered living leader Paul Keating launching a scathing attack on the landmark military deal, which he described as Australia’s worst international decision since the conscription policy during World War I.

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese announced details of Australia’s submarine pact with the US and UK – part of the AUKUS security alliance – on Tuesday.

As part of the arrangement, Australia will command a fleet of eight nuclear-powered submarines within the next three decades.

Mr Turnbull said Australia would need to train thousands of skilled workers, who then faced a challenge of finding work in a relevant field after the project finished.

“The human resources challenges of this are really considerable, because we don’t have a nuclear industry in Australia,” he told ABC RN.

The former Liberal leader said the deal came with a “very high risk” of failing to deliver because the British submarines were yet to be designed.

Mr Turnbull also questioned whether Britain was going to be “financially strong enough” to be Australia’s partner in delivering the boats, with the country’s economy forecast to be the worst-performing large advanced economy this year.

He said unlike the UK, France – which Australia tore up a $90 billion submarine deal with for AUKUS – was already in the Indo-Pacific and had millions of citizens located there.

Mr Turnbull said all of these issues should have been publicly debated.

“We’ve been caught up in this hoopla where anyone that expresses any concerns about it is accused of being or implied that they’re lacking in patriotism,” he said.

Mr Keating condemned the $368 billion price tag and questioned Australia’s sovereignty within the arrangement.

[$368 billion would allow Australia between 40 to 50 Collins-class submarines, with 15 operational all the time; instead of just three of the eight Virginia-class]

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“For the day of the Lord is near upon all the nations. As you have done, it shall be done to you; your dealings will return upon your own head” Obadiah 1:15

“In all your dwelling places the cities shall be laid waste, and the high places shall be desolate, that your altars may be laid waste and made desolate, and your idols may be broken and cease, and your images may be cut down, and your works may be abolished,” Ezekiel 6:6

~ by Joel Huan on March 20, 2023.

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