Your browser is not Javascript enable or you have turn it off. We recommend you to activate for better security reason


AUKUS: Jobs diversion scheme

Written by: Nick G. on 22 March 2024


Above: For the broader implications of AUKUS, see our  AUKUS video.  


The $368 billion (and counting) cost of the AUKUS nuclear-powered subs folly was promised by Labor to create a 20,000 jobs bonanza. Looked a rationally, however, it is a massive jobs diversion scheme and a huge wasted opportunity for working Australians.

Having already committed to transferring $4.6 billion to pump prime the struggling US shipyards, Labor announced today an equivalent $4.6 billion transfer to the struggling British shipyards.(1)

That’s 9,200 million dollars that we will not see in Australian jobs creation, jobs that could substantially ease the ramping crisis in our hospitals, improve rural roads, assist in lifting public schools to the same funding level as the privates, or reduce the gap in Indigenous disparities.

And that’s only 1/40th of the total spend on AUKUS subs.

The $368 billion is said to be the largest transfer of wealth outside of Australia.

And we are promised 20,000 jobs spread over 30 years for that! And only 8,700 of those jobs will actually be on submarine construction itself.

Economist John Quiggin at the University of Queensland pointed out in May last year that the cost of the AUKUS jobs “bonanza” worked out at $18 million per job.

How many teachers, paramedics, road workers or engineers cost $18 million a piece to train and employ?

In 2015, the Committee for Economic Development of Australia (CEDA) reported that automation could replace an estimated 40 percent of Australia’s workforce within the next 20 years. That’s approximately five million jobs that could be replaced by robots.

The World Economic Forum in its Future of Jobs Report estimated that as many jobs will be created through AI - notably machine learning engineers, robotics engineers and data scientists – as will be destroyed. Even if this is true – and not a case of putting lipstick on a pig- there will be a huge mismatch between the skill sets of those who lose their jobs through automation and those required in the new areas of employment. There will be no large-scale employment transfer opportunity. 

While each of the jobs to be created though AUKUS will be welcomed by those who can access them, there are so few spread over such a long time that the promised jobs “bonanza” is in reality a massive jobs inadequacy.

The cost of AUKUS is a diversion of much-needed government funding away from real widespread employment creation.

Imperialism dictates that the public bear the cost of US preparations for dragging Australia into another of its wars.

AUKUS must be stopped.

The movement for an independent and peaceful Australia must be strengthened.

Only a socialist Australia will make it possible to use government funds for socially useful purposes and real jobs creation.

(1)  It has now been revealed by UK Defence Secretary Grant Shapps that the Australian gift to the Rolls Royce plant at Derby where nuclear reactors for submarines are built. Shapp was over the moon, saying it would double the size of the Derby site, allowing it to create 1,170 skilled jobs. That's at a cost to Australia of $4 million per UK job.


Print Version - new window Email article


Go back