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Wednesday, 8 February 2017
Page: 334

Senator McGRATH (QueenslandAssistant Minister to the Prime Minister) (16:06): I seek leave to make a short statement.

The PRESIDENT: Leave is granted for one minute.

Senator McGRATH: The ability to establish a sovereign submarine capability within Australia has been a prime focus of the Future Submarines Program. Appropriate arrangements for the ownership of and rights to use intellectual property have been implemented with the government of France and DCNS, drawing on the extensive experience of the Collins submarine program. The details of intellectual property arrangements with DCNS are of significant commercial value and highly sensitive to DCNS. It would be inappropriate to disclose such clauses which could disadvantage DCNS and advantage its competitors in business operations. Further, given the role of DCNS in delivering French national submarine programs, such disclosure could reasonably be expected to also damage international relations with France. In accordance with the relevant commercial and public interest immunity considerations, the government will not release the clauses and opposes this motion.