Do we really need to blow $50 billion on submarines?

The decision by our Prime Minister to build 12 brand new submarines at a cost of $50 billion – let me write that with all of the zeros so it looks more impressive: $50,000,000,000 – has been met with mixed reviews.

Some are calling the announcement to have the new suite of subs built in South Australia (by a French company, mind) a cheap shot at trying to buy some election votes.

Others have congratulated the government on ensuring that at least Australian workers will get paid to build our submarines. Turnbull claims the project will “directly sustain around 1,100 Australian jobs and a further 1,700 Australian jobs through the supply chain”.


Our current Collins Class submarines are due to be sent to the big scrap yard in the sky in 2025, and the first of these new subs won’t be rolling off the conveyer belt until 2030 – with the last one due for completion in about 2060!

So it has to be asked: in a time where our national debt is well above $400,000,000,000 and drone warfare is becoming the new norm, doesn’t it make more sense to look at the future of our national protection, rather than the past?

Wouldn’t the funds be best directed to other areas?

I hate to trot out a tired cliché, but hospitals and schools come to mind.

And isn’t it about time our government offered a tax rebate to encourage people to go green? Solar rebates are declining, electric cars are too expensive to roll out to the mainstream and grey water is out of the reach for most.

Our PM could have his own Oprah moment: “You get a green car! You get a green car! And you get a green car, too!”

Now that would win some votes.

Of course, I know that we need national protection; I’m not denying that. However, I can’t help but think of all the good that could be achieved with all of that money – and all the problems it could solve.

But when all is said and done, what I really want to know is this. When cars get old, you throw in a new engine, repaint the body and add a nice set of rims, then call it a “classic” when you list it on Gumtree.

I wonder how much a “classic” Collin’s Class sub might fetch?

The Meddler

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