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AUKUS to support thousands of Australian jobs

Australian workers will be the winners of the AUKUS security pact, with the pathway to acquiring nuclear-powered submarines supporting 20,000 jobs.

March 13, 2023
By Tess Ikonomou
13 March 2023

Australia’s plan to acquire nuclear-powered submarines will create and support about 20,000 jobs over the next three decades. 

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, US President Joe Biden, and British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak will unveil the “optimal pathway” for the submarines under the AUKUS partnership in San Diego, California on Monday local time.

The government is expected to announce this plan will boost thousands of jobs across the nation’s industry, defence force, and public service.

At its height, up to 8500 Australian jobs will be supported to build and maintain the boats, and will include highly-skilled scientists, engineers, project managers, and other trades workers.

Thousands of skilled workers will be needed to support growing supply chains, shipyards and technical bases in all three countries.

Speaking from India on Saturday, Mr Albanese said Adelaide and Western Australia were set to benefit from the creation of jobs and manufacturing opportunities.

US Congressman Joe Courtney, who co-chairs Washington’s “AUKUS caucus” described the security pact as “transformational” for Australian workers.

Mr Courtney said sovereignty fears over joint-crewing were “over-hyped”, and the boats would be under “Australian control” once handed over.

He provided assurances any second-hand submarines bought by Australia would be of the “highest quality”.

“No one’s gonna be foisting off clunkers to good friends and allies,” he said.

Australia is expected to buy up to five US Virginia class nuclear-powered submarines to prevent a capability gap in the next decade before acquiring a new vessel based on UK designs and US technology.

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