Christopher Pyne has announced that the contract to build Australia’s new submarine fleet has been signed. The news has been greeted with approval in almost every quarter. These will be the first submarines, anywhere in the world, to be driven by wind power.
The member for Beijing, Mr Sam Dastyari, has told the house that his political overlords approve of the arrangement. They have been concerned about Australia’s meddling in the South China Sea and see the likely delay in the construction of the submarines as a positive step in the Chinese Australian relationship.
Professor Ove Hoegh-Guldberg meanwhile has praised the far sighted choice of wind power as the locomotive force to drive the submarines. “South Australia has lead the way on energy having set a record for spot pricing and achieved zero emissions in recent months. The new clean submarines may not be fast but they will reduce the incidence of bleaching on the Great Barrier Reef and perhaps save the Arctic ice and the polar bear. It’s a remarkable thing that a state with only 1.7 million people can set new bench marks with such regularity, perhaps it has something to do with all those hyphenated surnames”, he said.
Mr Shorten promised Labor’s support for the project saying that it offered a great opportunity for the steel industry. “The Whyalla steel manufacturers currently have the largest castings of the inside of a furnace anywhere in the southern hemisphere”, he said, “With sufficient subsidies I am sure that they will play a constructive role in this enterprise … once they find a way to get the solid metal out of the furnaces.”
The premier of South Australia will be issuing a press release as soon as power is restored to the government buildings. It is expected to be supportive.
The only voice raised in opposition seems to be that of the Productivity Commission although some rumblings have been heard from the other mendicant state, Tasmania.
The first submarine is expected to roll off the line in August 2116.