Prime Minister Tony Abbott has reassured nervous South Australian MPs there will be more jobs in Adelaide whichever submarine Australia chooses, following backbench warnings selecting a Japanese boat could trigger an electoral wipeout in the state.
Speaking after a number of un-named MPs broke ranks to warn that if a Japanese submarine is chosen to replace the Collins fleet, South Australian seats would be lost, Mr Abbott said he could give “an absolute guarantee there would be more jobs in South Australia”.
“There is a process in place, a competitive evaluation process. It involves working with the French, the Germans and the Japanese to get the best possible submarines for our country at a fair and reasonable price, and maximising the local element in the build,” Mr Abbott said on Tuesday in Sydney.
“There will be more sub jobs in SA and I think that’s what South Australians understandably want. They want a good deal for our country, they want a good deal for their state. They want the best possible submarines and that’s what we are determined to deliver,” he said.