We are a group of Australian citizens concerned about the Australian government’s current programme for the replacement of the Collins class submarines.
We believe the current plan for the design and construction of 12 Attack class submarines by the French government-owned company Naval Group is fundamentally flawed.
It has a similar or higher level of risk than the failed Super Seasprite Program but with vastly more public money being at stake. As the largest ever defence procurement contract and indeed the largest infrastructure project in our country’s history, and a critical capability in Australia’s future defence force structure we cannot stand by and not seek to make our concerns heard.
Specifically, as we have analysed this program over the last three years our major concerns about the following features of the program have grown:
While there has been some recognition of the ‘extreme risks’ that this program entails by the leaders of the ADF there is no evidence of the substantial re-evaluation and mitigation efforts that are required. This site is designed to inform interested parties of the issues that have been and continue to be raised to change this situation.
Submarines for Australia was founded by Gary Johnston, the owner of Jaycar Electronics as well as a number of other companies. All members of the group are independent of any organisations involved in any way in the SEA 1000 future submarine acquisition. Gary continues to provide generous financial support for a substantial programme of research on the future submarine acquisition led by Insight Economics.
Gary first became concerned at the capacity for the Defence department to waste vast sums of public funds – money that could be spent on health, education, infrastructure, etc – with the fiasco that was the planned acquisition of Super Seasprite helicopters for the Navy. After outlaying $1,400 million, Australia did not receive a single helicopter – not one – while the ANZAC frigates were left for over a decade with no effective anti-submarine warfare (ASW) capability.
This is not to say we oppose the increase in the Defence budget to 2 per cent of GDP or more – we do not, but the money must be spent efficiently and effectively. With Australia’s strategic environment becoming more uncertain and with heightened tensions in the South China Sea, our acquisition of new military equipment for the ADF must also be undertaken in a timely manner. Unlike in the past when the level of threat was much lower, we cannot afford any gaps or deficits in Australia’s essential military capabilities.