Former Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison has stated that the country’s efforts to acquire nuclear submarines are aimed at preventing war in the Pacific.
Morrison explained that the acquisition of nuclear-powered submarines under the AUKUS agreement with the US and UK would deter any adversary preparing to attack Australia.
He added that AUKUS and the Quad, which includes the US, Japan, and India, would be integral in counterbalancing Chinese aggression.
Morrison, who orchestrated the AUKUS agreement, said that he knew it would have a significant impact on Australia’s capability for generations, and all of the alliances and agreements were designed to ensure that no one thought going to the next level was a good idea.
As speculation mounts over what submarine option the Albanese Government will choose, Morrison clarified that the original plan was to have the three nations put more nuclear submarines in the water, not just one of these countries building boats for Australia.
Defence Minister Richard Marles echoed the language used by his US and UK counterparts, saying that the new submarines would be “a genuine collaboration between all three countries.”
Some reports suggest that a British Astute class submarine with an American weapons system could be used, which Morrison said would increase interoperability and benefit all three countries.
Morrison signed up to the AUKUS pact, which included tearing up a contract with France to build conventional submarines, costing Australian taxpayers $584 million.
A decision on the submarine project, the largest Australian defence purchase in history, is expected this month.
Meanwhile, speculation has arisen that Morrison will soon quit politics for the private sector, with rumours circulating that he may land a lucrative overseas consulting job.
Morrison, who was censured by the House of Representatives on November 30 over the “minister for everything” scandal, left the chamber early during Question Time.
While he receives $217,060 a year as a backbencher in parliament, Sky News reported that “informed sources” believed he would quit politics by the end of the year.
However, Morrison said that he had not made any decisions regarding his political future and that he was “dutifully doing his job as a local MP and had returned home to The [Sutherland] Shire seeking to live quietly with his family.”