‘Champagne corks popping’ after Australia’s $830 million French submarine compensation payment

French company Naval Group says its $830 million compensation deal for the scrapped future submarine program is “fair and equitable”, as debate continues over whether Australia has paid too much.

On Saturday, Prime Minister Anthony Albanese announced the large financial settlement, nine months after his predecessor Scott Morrison dumped the $90 billion project in favour of the AUKUS nuclear powered partnership. 

“It brings the total cost of the former government’s failed policy to $3.4 billion,” Mr Albanese told reporters, referencing the approximately $2.5 billion already spent on the dumped program.

The Prime Minister described the $830 million settlement figure as “fair and equitable” and thanked President Emmanual Macron for “discussions and the cordial way in which we are re-establishing a better relationship between Australia and France”.

In a statement, Naval Group, which is majority owned by the French government, echoed Mr Albanese’s remarks and thanked those who had worked on the now abandoned project.

“Naval Group pays tribute to all individuals, teams, and its partners who have worked and delivered on this program for more than five years,” the company added.

Three years ago, the ABC revealed the secret “break payments” contained in the confidential “Strategic Partnering Agreement” (SPA) agreed between Australia and France in the event the lucrative submarine program was ever scrapped. 

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