Forced by steadily sinking popularity into an early (July 2, 2016) Election, Turnbull may be desperate enough to announce a submarine Winner (or 2 Finalists) early.
The run-up to the Australia Election on July 2, 2016 is a highly fluid, complex time regarding any submarine Winner decision. The CEP process is much more fluid, open to political priorities, than a formal Tender process.
The usually reliable source The Australian today April 19, 2016 http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/defence/japanese-send-submarine-in-a-first-proof-of-good-design/news-story/4945bac8f675548605133dd92f2de102 states:
"The [Australian Government's] National Security Committee will today consider the navy’s recommendations on which of the contending [submarine] designers from Japan, France and Germany to choose."
The advice may be for one Winner or a shortlist of Two Finalists. If two there may be a more formal selection process until 2017 to decide the final Winner.
As the Winner or Two Finalists of the submarine contest is a high cost matter and important policy decision Australian electoral conventions would mean any announcement on the Winner would be before May 4, 2016 (or alternatively beforethe traditional Sunday election calling day (making it May 8). These are the likely dates the Election will be called (marking the beginning of the Caretaker Period). If not before the Caretaker Period any submarine Winner announcement would be after the Election Date of July 2, 2016.
The Turnbull Government (which may lose the Election) appears desperate enough to take the political gamble of announcing the submarine Winner or Two so early.
Once a final Winner is declared the Winner would be on firmer ground to negotiate contracts with Australian companies for joint ventures in what parts of Australia, contractors and sub-contractor/suppliers.