Staff, Sky News
29 April 2016
The government has defended the decision to build Australia's 12 new submarines here declaring the local build will grow jobs in Australian industries.
DCNS, the French company which won the $50 billion to build the submarines, wanted to complete some of the construction in France to speed up the process by two years.
But there are reports the defence department recommended all of the vessels be built in Australia.
Defence Minister Marise Payne refused to comment on the reports, despite comments from Industry Minister
Christopher Pyne that the department asked the National Security Committee of cabinet to ensure the submarines were built locally.
'I'm not going to talk about the finer nature of the recommendations to the National Security Committee of Cabinet,' she told Sky News. Former prime minister Tony Abbott has called for the process to be sped up.
'We need to get the next generation of submarines into the water and operational as quickly as is humanly possible,' Mr Abbott told Sky News.
Former defence minister David Johnston has told Sky News there's no doubt an Australian build is best for national security.
South Australian Premier Jay Weatherill, who is meeting with DCNS executives in France, says the company wants to start work immediately.
Mr Weatherill also said the current estimate of 2,900 South Australian jobs is a conservative figure, based on the initial number of eight submarines to be built.
'Obviously they have not yet been able to calibrate what that means for 12 submarines,' Mr Weatherill said.