Given that there is currently no domestic nuclear industry, there has been decades long examples of political indecision that have resulted in a non sustainable local defense industry, poor procurement choices and wasted time (Japan's Soryu and now the modified French Barracuda), of historical defense projects suffering painfully long delays and excessive cost over run, of ongoing changes in political party leadership and changed priorities that regularly sees cuts to the defense budget (currently just over a poultry 2% of GDP) to accomodate other important priorities such as future pandemic relief, future climate change mitigation, maintaining dignity for an aging population, scaling up affordable housing and other social programs like aid to Pacific nations, not to mention the legislated reductions to the the income tax base.. Can't see the N Subs ever getting assembled let alone manned by nuclear proficient crews and maintenance.
The way the Attack class program was just cancelled - not cool professional business conduct. I understand from the credible media sources that have been able to get around the veil of secrecy of the Attack class, that even this project was already delayed, and over budget, even though no construction has yet started on the new Subs. The poor Aus taxpayers now face massive cancellation fees to Naval Group of France. I'm wondering as well if capital investment in Australia in the future might surely be viewed as a riskier prospect, as well as the reputational damage caused by the cancellation of the Attack class by the Federal Government.
However.. if being the 7th country to operate nuclear subs is really that important, maybe they could negotiate the lease of 2 - 3 existing Subs, from the US or UK instead?
Yesterday the Australian PM even advised that the existing Collins class will still be around for decades ahead. Not really a glowing endorsement for the future N Subs by this nation's Leader.