Australia must cancel French sub contract which requires ‘very tough defence minister’

The Australian’s Business Columnist Robert Gottliebsen has told Sky News that Defence Minister Linda Reynolds needs to be replaced with a “very tough minister” to then cancel the current French submarine contract.

Australia currently has a multi-billion contract with a French manufacturer to convert 12 nuclear submarines to normal diesel engine submarines which are not expected to be ready until around 2035.

The Morrison government has appointed two former senior naval officers to review the program which is running over-budget and set to run over-schedule, according to the Australian Financial Review.

Mr Gottliebsen has argued Australia “got conned” by the French and is in desperate need to review the project and cancel it.

In the interim the Morrison government should “upgrade the Collins class submarine,” but it should then pursue purchasing a fleet of subs which can be deployed as soon as possible.

He told Sky News cancelling and negotiating with the French government and then organising new submarines will “require a very, very tough minister indeed”.

“A different sort of minister is now required, I think probably Peter Dutton would be the best choice.”

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