Antinuclear

Australian news, and some related international items

Brisbane, Newcastle and Port Kembla shortlisted for nuclear submarine base on Australia’s east coast


Brisbane, Newcastle and Port Kembla shortlisted for nuclear submarine base on Australia’s east coast, ABC By defence correspondent Andrew Greene  7 Mar 22,
  A new submarine base will be built on Australia’s east coast to support the future nuclear-powered fleet being acquired under the AUKUS partnership, with Defence identifying Brisbane, Newcastle and Port Kembla as the most suitable locations.

Key points:

  • The Prime Minister will announce a new “future submarine base” for Australia’s east coast to accommodate a nuclear fleet
  • Defence believes Port Kembla in NSW is the best option, but the Commonwealth will also consider Brisbane and Newcastle
  • The government is playing down the Defence Minister’s suggestion of a submarine design announcement ahead of this year’s election

Prime Minister Scott Morrison will unveil the plan in a national security speech today, when he will warn the strategic, political, economic and social implications of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine will “inevitably stretch to the Indo-Pacific”.

Australia’s fleet of six Collins-class submarines are currently based at Perth’s HMAS Stirling (Fleet Base West), while the ageing boats also regularly operate out of Sydney’s Garden Island Naval base (Fleet Base East).

During an address to the Lowy Institute, Mr Morrison will confirm the government has decided to establish “a future submarine base on the east coast of Australia to support basing and disposition of the future nuclear-powered submarines“. ……..

Australia’s fleet of six Collins-class submarines are currently based at Perth’s HMAS Stirling (Fleet Base West), while the ageing boats also regularly operate out of Sydney’s Garden Island Naval base (Fleet Base East).

During an address to the Lowy Institute, Mr Morrison will confirm the government has decided to establish “a future submarine base on the east coast of Australia to support basing and disposition of the future nuclear-powered submarines“. 

The new facility would be the first new major defence base built in Australia since the Robertson Barracks in Darwin in the 1990s, with initial works expected to be completed by next year ahead of a final decision on the location.

Early estimates from Defence suggest more than $10 billion will be needed for facilities and infrastructure requirements to transition from Collins submarines to the future nuclear-powered fleet.

With the Coalition continuing to push national security as a major election issue against the backdrop of growing worldwide military tensions, Mr Morrison will declare Australia faces its most difficult and dangerous security environment in 80 years.

In his Monday speech, he will accuse Russia and China of aligning to try and reshape the international order to create a “transactional world, devoid of principle, accountability and transparency”.

A new arc of autocracy is instinctively aligning to challenge and reset the world order in their own image,” Mr Morrison will say, invoking President George W Bush’s 2002 declaration that Iran, North Korea, and Iraq formed an “axis of evil”.

Decision on sub design in ‘next couple of months’

On Sunday, Defence Minister Peter Dutton told the ABC’s Insiders program the government would decide “within the next couple of months” what submarines it would acquire under the AUKUS partnership

He said the nuclear-powered boats would be in Australia “much sooner” than 2040 and there would be a plan to provide capability in the interim, although the government later played down suggestions a design would be announced before the election. 

Mr Dutton’s initial suggestion of a pre-election decision on Australia’s choice of nuclear-powered submarines caused shock among officials from AUKUS partners the United Kingdom and the United States.

“A lot of effort has gone into taking partisan politics out of the whole process – hopefully, this doesn’t derail it,” one diplomatic official told the ABC, speaking on the condition of anonymity.  https://www.abc.net.au/news/2022-03-07/nuclear-submarine-base-shortlist-brisbane-newcastle-port-kembla/100887204

March 7, 2022 - Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, politics, weapons and war

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