Aussie businessmen raise concerns over SA submarine project

Some of Australia’s most well-known businessmen have launched an ad campaign against Canberra’s decision to award Australia’s contract for a new fleet of diesel submarines to France.

The group, which includes Dick Smith and John Singleton, have taken out a full page ad in the Australian newspaper, expressing their concerns over the submarine proposal.

In a bold statement, the five businessmen said it was concerning that the Government had failed to provide any further details since the project announcement was made in April.


“On April 26 this year, the Turnbull Government announced that the French shipbuilding consortium, DCNS were awarded the rights to design and build our next diesel (piston) submarine in Adelaide. It appears that they have not actually drawn up a design or signed a contract yet, just made an announcement.”

In the advertisement, the “concerned” businessmen state that the idea to convert nuclear submarines to diesel should be questioned.

“As far as we can tell no–one ever in the history of submarine construction has tried to convert a nuclear submarine to a diesel one,” the advertisement reads.

“Putting a diesel piston submarine against a nuclear one is like putting a piston/propeller fighter up against a modern jet. We will be condemning our sailors to their graves.”

However South Australian Premier Jay Weatherill hit back at the ad yesterday, calling the businessmen “sad old men”.

“It (the ad) looked like it was scribbled on the back of a serviette after a long lunch, #sadoldmen” Mr Weatherill tweeted on Tuesday.

In the initial submarine project announcement, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said the submarines would be the the most sophisticated naval vessels being built in the world.

“They will be built here in Australia, with Australian jobs, using Australian steel,” Mr Turnbull said.


French shipbuilding consortium, DCNS released a short clip earlier this year, explaining the Shortfin Barracuda’s design.