"Less than half the content is going to be Australian ... now that's not building them in Australia."

Submarine work plan 'troubling': Labor

THE Morrison government should do more to guarantee Australian jobs on the new submarine fleet, Labor's defence spokesman Richard Marles says.

The French company building the fleet, Naval Group, has told The Australian that local firms may not get 50 per cent of the work, amid growing concerns about the depth of industry capability.

"This government promised to build 12 submarines in Australia," Mr Marles told Sky News on Thursday.

"Less than half the content is going to be Australian ... now that's not building them in Australia."

 

Labor Victorian MP Richard Marles.
Labor Victorian MP Richard Marles. Herald Sun

 

He said Defence Minister Linda Reynolds needed to explain what was going on, with Australia facing its most difficult strategic challenges since World War II because of tensions in the South China Sea.

Senator Reynolds released a statement saying the agreement with Naval Group was "fit for purpose", but Defence had been advised, "should its objectives for negotiation of the strategic partnership agreement not be met".

"This was not the case and the government did achieve its objectives," Senator Reynolds said.

Naval Group Australia chief executive John Davis told the newspaper the company didn't initially have a good understanding of the Australian market.

"We recognise there is a lot more work to be done than we anticipated."

Australia is building the submarines to update its ageing fleet at an estimated cost of $80 billion.

The first of the Attack class submarines is scheduled for delivery in 2032.



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