Veteran Labor senator calls for Senate inquiry into AUKUS submarine pact
But Senator Carr said blank checks should “never be accepted” and that there were many unanswered questions about the deal.
“What will the local content be for new subscribers, given that in the US it’s a contract with one company?” ” he said. “There are also questions about the preservation of Australian sovereignty itself because for many decades to come AUKUS will rigidly lock Australia into US global strategic priorities. It will do so regardless of who occupies the White House or our own national interest. “
Senator Carr said that if the goal of achieving sovereign capability in shipbuilding had been quietly sidelined, it meant the government had abandoned its supposedly strong commitments to Adelaide workers and their unions regarding creating jobs and expanding Australia’s skills base.
“The government has not explained what type of nuclear ships will be built, or how much they will cost, or the reason for the abandonment of Naval Group contracts,” he said.
“These are all questions the government needs to answer, and not the usual way. The Estimates of the Senate and other committees will be busy searching for answers. And an investigation by a select committee may well be warranted, given the seriousness of these concerns. “
The diplomatic fallout intensified on Monday as France canceled a meeting between Armed Forces Minister Florence Parly and her British counterpart. Reuters reported that Ms Parly had personally made the decision to drop the bilateral meeting with UK Defense Secretary Ben Wallace.
The French Ministry of Defense could not be reached immediately. The UK Ministry of Defense declined to comment. The sources confirmed an earlier report in the Guardian that the meeting had been canceled.
Mr Morrison told reporters in Sydney ahead of his departure on Monday that his trip was aimed at keeping Australia safe in an “increasingly uncertain world”.
“It is always about ensuring that Australia’s sovereign interests come first to ensure that Australians here can live in peace with the many others in our region, because that is what we aspire to as as a peaceful and free nation, “he said.