Australian Senator Jordon Steele-John has slammed the government’s nuclear submarine agreement.
Earlier in March, under the so-called AUKUS trilateral security partnership, Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, U.S. President Joe Biden and British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak jointly announced Australia’s acquisition of nuclear submarines.
Local media estimated that the deal will cost 268 billion to 368 billion Australian dollars (178 billion to 245 billion U.S. dollars) by mid-2050. Eight AUKUS-class submarines will be built in Adelaide, the capital of South Australia, with the first to be completed by 2042.
In a recent speech to the Parliament, Steele-John, a member of the Australian Greens, criticized the agreement, declaring “it is one of the most catastrophic foreign policy decisions an Australian government has ever entered into.”
He said for the 368 billion AUD on the purchase of eight nuclear-powered submarines, the Australians will “get the privilege of becoming a nuclear waste dump” and see their public money subsidize British and U.S. defense manufacturers, adding that the deal “forever shackles us to the United States of America.”
Steele-John’s comments echoed the sentiment of former Australian Prime Minister Paul Keating, who slammed the AUKUS pact one day after it was announced as “the worst international decision by an Australian Labor government since the former Labor leader, Billy Hughes, sought to introduce conscription to augment Australian forces in World War I.”