We finally had the chance to ask Defence Minister Richard Marles some questions about the proposed purchase of second-hand Virginia class submarines. The answers are not very encouraging – details are still being worked through and apparently, everyone is enthusiastic. Meanwhile, we learn much more from open sources in the US, such as the importance to them of the costly and risky disposal of those submarines in Australia, by Australians. There is no logic to this and no rationale has been supplied – we are just told it is part and parcel of the deal. Why? The US hasn’t transferred nuclear-powered submarines before – but Russia has, and they took them back for disposal. Basically, the US is imposing on Australia a far worse deal than the one Russia has given to India. Finally some words on how good Defence has become at blame-shifting to industry. To conclude on the most important topic: we found no evidence of Defence personnel conducting orgies at the Indo-Pacific conference, but the investigation will continue.