The political problems of the of the Turnbull Government may result in an early Election with the likelihood of haste and some confusion in the submarine decision.
In the political environment of the Australian Election Campaign Prime Minister Turnbull is attempting to gain political capital by flagging the likelihood of an early Future Submarine decision. This decision may be on:
- which of the three contenders has won, and
- may indicate how many submarines (if any) are built overseas and how many in Australia. The proportion of work in Australia and $Billions to be spent is the most politically high profile issue.
Turnbull may not specify which Australian States will get most of the submarine work, rather he is more likely to say all will do work.
It is Industry Minister, Christopher Pyne who, coming from South Australia, who will say (or imply) that most submarine work will be in the key State of South Australia. It is in South Australia that Turnbull's Coalition Government may lose many House and Senate seats to Labor, the Greens and to the submarine fixated Xenophon Team.
There are many influential variables. But I am guessing Turnbull might announce submarine decisions on Friday, 15 April 2016 (this of course is assuming Japan wins) because:
- that day is the beginning of a visit by Soryu submarine JS Hakuryu, to Sydney on 15 April.
- there is also no distraction of Parliament sitting on 15 April.
- Friday is a traditional day to make major announcements, as detail can be supplied to the weekend newspapers published the next day.
- the "achievement" of making the submarine decision that "helps workers" would occur as a "good news story" just before Federal Parliament sits, on Monday 18 April, to effectively decide if the 2 July (double dissolution) Election should be held
- if Japan doesn't win things are more complicated. Then Turnbull needs to be courteous to prevent loss of face (to him and Japan), making the announcement at least a week before 15 April - hence on 8 April or after the Japanese submarine leaves Sydney 26 April) hence 29 April or later.
As the submarines is a major policy decision Turnbull would tend to follow the conventional of not making the decision during the caretaker period after Parliament is dissolved just prior to the Election (about 5 weeks before any Election) with possible election dates 2 July onwards through to as late as October 2016.
It must be realised that Turnbull has been making policy decisions in an erratic way - as he goes along. So the above predictions are only Guesstimates.