A $3.7 billion “typo” in an appendix to the Defence annual report is further evidence of the Morrison Government’s bungling of the $50 billion Future Submarine Project.
A table published online shows the Government approved $4.9 billion for the project during the 2018-19 financial year, but Defence later told media that $3.7 billion of that was “described inaccurately”.
The submarine project is already running 10 years late and is cloaked in secrecy.
The fact that Defence can’t even manage to accurately report a $3.7 billion increase in the project’s budget is of real concern.
And to find out about a quadrupling of the project budget through an appendix to an annual report demonstrates that this project lacks any kind of transparency.
Even with the clarification, the submarine program is facing cost blowouts.
Defence has now approved nearly $6 billion in funding for the future submarine program before construction even begins, with reports that the project has incurred another 18-month delay additional to the 10-year delay.
Further, experts suggest Defence has badly underestimated the cost of the project.
It is no wonder that there is little public confidence in the Morrison Government’s handling of what is the largest and most complex project ever run in Australia.