$368 billion nuclear submarine deal will be a “millstone” for Albanese: Bandt


17 March 2023 

As the Prime Minister doubles down on the subs deal with the purchase of an additional 220 nuclear-capable missiles, Greens Leader Adam Bandt MP has backed former Prime Minister Paul Keating's criticism and said that the decision will be a millstone around the government’s neck through to the next election.

Mr Bandt has also commended the bravery of an increasing chorus of people within the labour movement and Labor grassroots who are speaking out about the deal, telling them to maintain the rage. 

Lines attributable to Adam Bandt MP, Leader of the Australian Greens:

“Instead of listening to the fury from voters, unions, and defence experts over the terrible $368 billion subs deal, Labor has doubled down and bought another 220 nuclear-capable missiles.

“The Prime Minister needs to listen to the growing outrage from the Australian people and within the Labor party itself. This will be a political millstone around Labor’s neck for years to come.”

“I don’t agree with Paul Keating about many things, but on this he is right. This is a terrible decision that makes us less safe, sells out our sovereignty and takes billions of dollars away from schools and hospitals.”

“In a cost of living crisis, Labor can find $368b for nuclear submarines and $254b for Stage 3 tax cuts for the wealthy, but can’t lift people out of poverty or get dental into Medicare.”

“Already, discussions are being had about paying for these nuclear subs by tearing back the NDIS. The price tag for these submarines will be paid for by pensioners, jobseekers, disabled people, and everyone struggling to pay the bills or their rent.

“It’s good to see so many good people within the Labor grassroots and union movement speak out about this terrible deal. 

“Labor’s three big policy measures - submarines, Stage 3 tax cuts and the Safeguard - were all the Liberals’ ideas. 

“Previous Labor governments have had Medicare and the NDIS, but if this purchase limits the government’s vision, their legacy will be a few submarines.”

Lines attributable to David Shoebridge, Greens Defence spokesperson:

“We should be building a safe, peaceful future for Australia and our region, instead Labor is handcuffing us to the US military’s aggressive war fighting plans.

“The Albanese Labor government has now officially adopted a hand-me-down Coalition war plan and jettisoned any pretence of a foreign policy based on peace and diplomacy.

“Unless this deal is reversed, Albanese will go down in history as the PM who drove us towards a war we never chose and that no Australian wanted.

“It’s a lie to claim these nuclear submarines are about defending Australia, they are all about projecting lethal force into the South China Sea which will only inflame regional tensions and further drive a regional arms race.

“War is not inevitable and the Greens join a growing chorus of former Prime Ministers, defence experts and ordinary people from across the political spectrum who are pointing out the sheer recklessness of this deal.

“This deal marks the demotion of Australian diplomacy and the bypassing of Penny Wong and Foreign Affairs for an international posture driven by defence hawks and the US and UK arms industries.

“Australia needs an independent defence force designed to protect Australia, not a $368 billion spending splurge that enmeshes us in the warmaking ambitions of the US and the UK,” Senator Shoebridge said.