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Hon Richard Marles MP

Deputy Leader of the Opposition & Shadow Minister for Defence
Why the Coalition's ongoing mishandling of the future submarine program should be of concern to every Australian

Tuesday, 4 August 2020

National Press Club of Australia

The Morrison Government has bungled the Future Submarine Program to the enormous detriment of Australia's national security and there are two key reasons why this story should be on the radar of every Australian. First the Future Submarines are the single most expensive item that the Commonwealth of Australia has ever purchased in any context since Federation. And second, Australia’s national security desperately requires the evolution of its long-range submarine capability. Yet in relation to each of the three key indicators – time, cost, and Australian industry content – the Future Submarine Program is going in the wrong direction and fast. The consequences of this government's failure to manage the Future Submarine Program properly are profound, particularly as we navigate through the COVID-19 crisis.

Richard was elected to Federal Parliament as the Member for Corio in November 2007. He was raised in Geelong, and educated at Geelong Grammar School. He has a LLB (Hons) and BSc from Melbourne University.

He began his career with legal firm Slater and Gordon, before going on to become the Federal Assistant Secretary of the Transport Workers’ Union. In 2000, he became Assistant Secretary of the ACTU and ran the Working Hours Case, which gave workers the right, for the first time, to refuse unreasonable amounts of overtime. He was a member of the National Occupational Health and Safety Commission and led the ACTU’s work on OHS. He also led a program of co-operation between the Australian and Papua New Guinea union movements. This work sparked a strong interest in Australia’s region, in particular with PNG and countries of the Pacific.

Richard has previously served as Parliamentary Secretary for Innovation and Industry, Parliamentary Secretary for Pacific Island Affairs and Parliamentary Secretary for Foreign Affairs, Minister for Trade, Shadow Minister for Immigration and Border Protection and is currently the Deputy Leader of the Opposition and Shadow Minister for Defence.

He lives in Geelong with his wife Rachel and has four children, Sam, Isabella, Harvey and Georgia and two dogs Ablett and Alfie. He is a passionate Cats supporter.

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