"Details of the AUKUS nuclear submarine agreement announced today highlight the critical role the submarines will play in protecting and defending Australia, as well as the profound flow-on impacts the AUKUS trilateral security partnership can deliver for Australian industry and supply chains," Innes Willox, Chief Executive of the national employer association Ai Group said today.
"The program will contribute to skills development in Australia on a massive scale. Tens of thousands of jobs will eventually be created requiring upskilling as well as skill sharing among our AUKUS partners.
"Delivering maximum benefit for Australia from this historic agreement will require the highest level of cooperation between governments, defence and industry.
"The AUKUS partnership is much more than submarines. Australia is making a massive technological commitment as part of the agreement. There will be extensive spill-over benefits in technological advancement and technology sharing including around artificial intelligence and quantum technology with its promise of major developments in weapons, communications, sensing and computing technology.
"Now the deal has been inked, the next major priority for the AUKUS governments will be to work to reduce the trade, regulatory, and bureaucratic barriers that could hinder the historic partnership, to create a cohesive industrial base and build the required workforce. These are among the important issues that must be addressed to underpin AUKUS success.
"It is vital that strong benefits are captured for domestic industry from the AUKUS collaboration and we will be looking closely at the details around the local build and domestic supply chain aspects of the overall program to ensure that these benefits are realised.
"The confirmation that South Australia will build up to eight of the AUKUS submarines is most welcome. As well, the capacity and capability of Australian supply chains will benefit from the agreement including through the Collins Life of Type Extension project.
"It is important to note that a significant percentage of the program spend will come from sustainment and the majority of this will be delivered locally.
"As Ai Group and our partner AUKUS industry associations have agreed – (Ai Group with the U.S. Aerospace Industries Association [AIA] and ADS, the U.K. trade association for aerospace, defence, security and space organisations) – looking ahead, the priorities should be: 1) Enhancing trade and technology transfers; 2) Eliminating bureaucratic and regulatory barriers impeding the timely delivery of capabilities; 3) Building shared, robust, and resilient trade and contracting systems; and 4) Sharing workforce talent and expertise and strengthening international collaboration," Mr Willox said.
Previous AUKUS statements:
Tony Melville – 0419 190 347