Scott Morrison hinted Australia could be playing host to foreign nuclear-powered submarines before our navy gets its own.
The prime minister announced on Tuesday the federal government will hold a study to decide what infrastructure needs to be built on WA's coast to support nuclear submarines from the US and UK as part of the AUKUS pact.
AUKUS was a pact made between Australia, the United States, and the United Kingdom on September 15, 2021, that will see the US and UK help Australia build eight nuclear-powered submarines by 2040.
A report from the Australian Strategic Policy Institute said the creation of these submarines could cost as much as $171billion.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced the federal government will look to build nuclear submarine infrastructure on Australia's west coast
Mr. Morrison said the study would be conducted by the department of defence to determine what extra services would be needed to support the nuclear vessels.
'We expect the results of that work to come back later this year, and to get moving as quickly as possible,' he said.
'The ability of US and UK nuclear-powered submarines to be here on the west coast … is all part of what our plan is as we continue to push forward our AUKUS partnership.'
Mr. Morrison told reporters on Tuesday that the infrastructure on the east and west coast is 'incredibly important for how we defend our nation'
On Tuesday Mr. Morrison visited ASC in Henderson, Perth, which is responsible for building Australian submarines.
The government has already committed to building a new nuclear-submarine base on Australia's east coast, with a final location set to be announced after the election.
It comes as the coalition announced it would commit $4.3 billion for a new dry dock facility in Perth's south, ahead of the upcoming federal budget. It's expected the project would support 2,000 direct jobs when it's built, and 500 during the peak of construction.
The planned submarine infrastructure is part of the AUKUS agreement which will see the US and UK help Australia to build eight nuclear marines
It will be the country's second dry dock used to build and maintain large ships.
The prime minister said construction was expected to start in 2023.
'This work will ensure we can maintain our sovereignty, our flexibility, and offer long-term value for money outcomes for the Australian public,' he said.
'The integration between what happens on our west coast and our east coast is incredibly important for how we defend our nation.'
On Tuesday Mr. Morrison visited ASC in Henderson, Perth, which is responsible for building Australian submarines
On his visit to ASC, Mr. Morrison remained tight-lipped on whether a cut in the fuel excise was being considered for the federal budget
Mr. Morrison remained tight-lipped on whether a cut in the fuel excise was being considered for the federal budget, as petrol prices soar above $2 a litre at the bowser.
He said the government was conscious of the fact rising petrol prices were impacting on the cost of living.
'All Australians understand that is being caused by the terrible war we are seeing in Europe and the invasion of Russia into Ukraine,' he said.
He also declined to state whether a cut in the excise on beer was also being considered as a budget measure.
Labor frontbencher Jason Clare said the cost of living pressures were present before Russia invaded Ukraine.
'Childcare has jumped by $800 a year … rent has jumped by $2000 a year,' he said.
'Suddenly you've got the government working out that people are struggling, 50 days before people start to vote.'