Will someone please dig a little deeper? The truth may surprise us.
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Prompting my question is the recent headline “The French Defence Minister has welcomed the A$830 million settlement to be paid by the Australian Government to French submarine builder Naval Group over a contract cancelled under Scott Morrison”.
Prime Minister Albanese called the deal “fair and equitable”.
Who would know?
Who arrived at this figure and how was it calculated?
For a deeply indebted country, like Australia, $830 million – nearly $1 billion – is a lot of money to write-off without some supporting documentation.
Perhaps no one cares?
Let me put it another way. For our government to pay out $830 million (at the normal efficiency rating of governments) they will need to collect from taxpayers approx. $6.64 billion.
What is the full story?
Who told me?
Shortly after the submarine order was placed, a very senior French executive from one of Naval Group’s participants gloated to me, over copious rounds of drinks, that their “chief negotiator” had stitched up the Australian Government.
The French had fielded a top professional negotiator and had offered her an extraordinary success fee. So high, in fact, that she would never ever have to work again.
He assured me that this professional negotiator had been made to disappear, to the extent that she could never be located or ever interviewed.
Another interesting angle he explained, in detail to me, was that two parallel sets of drawings were being prepared. The French team knew full-well that at some stage it would be obvious to the Australian Government that they had erred in their insistence on diesel (non-nuclear) submarines.
Naval Group would then “come to our rescue” and agree to a nuclear substitution, but at an eye-watering “variation fee”.
I wonder if the Australian “negotiators” or Prime Minister Albanese have ever been made aware of this vital information?
I advised the then Attorney General of this story on the day they announced the cancellation of the contract but, have no idea if it was taken any further.
It would be a relatively simple task for a highly credentialled investigative journalist to check the validity of this story, as told to me.
If the story is true, it may be inferred that the “break fee” may be more in the order of $100,000 and not nearly $1 billion.
In my view, Australia’s leading investigative journalist is Robert Gottliebsen AM, of The Australian, so I will copy this to him.
He is Australia’s only journalist who got two major stories correct:-
- Why Australia no longer has a car industry.
- How the union-controlled superannuation funds have captured Australia’s investment industry and are managing to terrorise public company executives by belting them over the head with the bludgeon of “wokeness”.
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