Labor, Greens & Defence Experts call for AUKUS Parliamentary Inquiry

A range of high-profile politicians, former military leaders and academic experts have signed an open letter calling for a Parliamentary Inquiry into the AUKUS nuclear-powered submarine deal, appearing in full-page ads today in the Australian Financial Review.

The letter is signed by Senior Former Defence personnel, a former Labor Premier, two former Labor frontbenchers, and other politicians and high-profile individuals.

Experts warn that significant questions about AUKUS deal remain unanswered and require parliamentary scrutiny in the national interest.

Key Points:

  • Signatories include Former Labor WA Premier the Hon. Carmen Lawrence AO, former Labor Minister the Hon. Peter Garrett AM, Former Shadow Minister Doug Cameron and Former Labor Minister the Hon. Melissa Parke
  • Senior Defence signatories include Former Chief of the Air Force Air Marshall Ray Funnell AC, and Former Dep. Commander of the UN Peacekeeping Operation in East Timor Major General Michael Smith AO.
  • Greens signatories include Senator Penny Allman-Payne, Senator David Shoebridge and Senator Jordan Steele-John
  • Signatories include former MPs Tony Windsor AM and Dr. Rob Oakeshott
  • Military, political, and academic experts and leaders have called for a parliamentary inquiry into AUKUS, citing a range of concerns including:
    • The $268-$368 billion cost to the budget
    • The proposed approximate four-decade timeframe for delivery
    • The lack of workforce and skills to operate nuclear powered hardware.
    • Sovereignty and strategic policy concerns for Australia
    • Australia’s nuclear waste and NPT obligations

“For a policy of this magnitude and strategic significance, the AUKUS deal for nuclear-powered submarines has been politically rushed. It requires appropriate scrutiny in the national interest,” said Allan Behm, Director of the Australia Institute’s International & Security Affairs Program.

“At $268-368b this is one of the most expensive spending commitments ever made in Defence, with huge implications for our sovereignty that rightly require appropriate Parliamentary oversight.

“Experts and leaders across military, political and academic spheres hold substantial concerns which remain unanswered. Questions about our sovereignty, Australia’s obligations under the NPT, our ability to manage nuclear waste and our workforce gaps in operating nuclear-powered submarines are all outstanding.

“It’s only appropriate that the Australian people and the Parliament are given the opportunity to have their questions answered.”

Related documents

Open Letter: AUKUS Parliamentary Inquiry