PRIME MINISTER:

Thank you very much and what a treat to be here in the Great Hall. This is such an amazing hall. Most of us who have been to Sydney University have done exams here; for those who did well in their exams, got their degrees here.

I’ve got one experience that may well be unique. I can’t see any other members of the cast here tonight but nearly 50 years ago I appeared in a production of King Lear which was held in this hall.

Australia and France today finalised the Inter-Governmental Agreement (IGA) to build Australia’s future submarine fleet.

The agreement, signed by the Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull, and the French Minister for Defence, Jean-Yves Le Drian, will underpin the largest capital project in Australia’s history.

Our agreement will further strengthen the long and proud Australia-France defence relationship, which was forged more than a century ago on the battlefields of World War I.

The DCNS Australian headquarters, dedicated to the $50 billion Future Submarine Program, has been officially unveiled in Adelaide today, marking a significant milestone.

The Prime Minister the Hon. Malcolm Turnbull MP, and Minister for Defence Industry, the Hon Christopher Pyne MP, congratulated Chief Executive Officer DCNS, Mr Herve Guillou, and Chief Executive Officer DCNS Australia, Mr Sean Costello, at the Future Submarine facility.

Well thank you Sean and thank you Herve for your very inspiring address and your commitment to sail once again in the Sydney to Hobart. Of course depending on how strong the winds are and how rough the seas are, you may, if you do that, wish you were in one of your submarines.

[Laughter]

PRIME MINISTER:

Well ladies and gentlemen, I'm delighted to be here today with the French Minister for Defence, Monsieur Le Drian, the Australian Minister for Defence Industry, Christopher Pyne, to sign the inter-governmental agreement between the Commonwealth of Australia and the Republic of France for the design and construction of 12 submarines, regionally superior submarines.

We have your local Minister for Defence Industry, Christopher Pyne, and the French Defence Minister - you know we’ve just signed here the inter-governmental agreement between the Commonwealth of Australia and the French Republic for the design and the build of the 12 submarines.

This is the largest single investment in our whole defence industry plan. It is critically important for the security of Australia and for our future growth as a first world, advanced, innovative economy at the cutting edge of technology.

TONY PILKINGTON:

Prime Minister, good morning and welcome to FIVEaa.

PRIME MINISTER:

Thank you very much it’s great to be with you.

TONY PILKINGTON:

You’re probably thinking ‘Oh I was going to be talking to Leon, who the hell is this?’ Prime Minister I can remember you as a youngster, the young bloke who defended - gee whiz - Peter Wright all those years ago, the Spycatcher case.

PRIME MINISTER:

Welcome to 2017.

When I look back at the last year, and all of its surprises and challenges, we can be very proud of how much we have achieved.

In 2017, we will continue to work hard to ensure that all Australians are able to weather the economic challenges the world presents and seize the opportunities that technology and the rapid growth in our region offer.

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