Joint media release:

  • The Hon Andrew Hastie MP, Shadow Minister for Defence

16 September 2023


Two years ago, the Coalition government struck the AUKUS deal alongside our close partners, the United States and the United Kingdom.

It was an historic moment for Australia, forging the pathway to acquiring nuclear-powered submarines for the Royal Australian Navy, and the advanced capabilities for our future defence like artificial intelligence, quantum computing and hypersonics.

The signing of AUKUS, under the Coalition government, was the most significant national security policy decision since the signing of the ANZUS Treaty in 1951.

It is a truly multigenerational task that will require political leadership across government, and involve industry, the private sector and the education sector.

The first test that stands before us is the establishment of Submarine Rotational Force-West (SRF-West) and the requirement to be ‘nuclear ready’ by the 2030s.

Critically this should include ensuring the infrastructure and workforce across Osborne, Henderson and HMAS Stirling are developed to successfully operate, sustain and ultimately build the nuclear-powered submarine fleet.

The Coalition reaffirms its bipartisan support for AUKUS and is committed to working with the government in the best interest of Australia’s defence and national security.