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.

To listen to the podcast, click here.


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Kym Bergmann
Kym Bergmann is the editor for Asia Pacific Defence Reporter (APDR) and Defence Review Asia (DRA). He has more than 25 years of experience in journalism and the defence industry. After graduating with honours from the Australian National University, he joined Capital 7 television, holding several positions including foreign news editor and chief political correspondent. During that time he also wrote for Business Review Weekly, undertaking analysis of various defence matters.After two years on the staff of a federal minister, he moved to the defence industry and held senior positions in several companies, including Blohm+Voss, Thales, Celsius and Saab. In 1997 he was one of two Australians selected for the Thomson CSF 'Preparation for Senior Management' MBA course. He has also worked as a consultant for a number of companies including Raytheon, Tenix and others. He has served on the boards of Thomson Sintra Pacific and Saab Pacific.


  1. Hawke may have initiated the ALP’s ambition to turn Australia’s outback into an international nuclear waste dump, but Albo & Marles (courtesy of Morrison & Dutton’s treasonous duplicity) have made Hawke look amateurish by using AUKUS to force Australian taxpayers to pay the US & UK’s military industrial complex $368bn (at the very least), for the privilege. No doubt AUKUS will see Australia absorb a number of the UK’s conga line of rusting decommissioned SSNs awaiting disposal as well.

  2. Just once I’d like to get a Politician Elected that has the best interests of Australia at heart.


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