It might have been serendipity, but there was something uncanny about the timing Scott Morrison chose to partake in a bit of self-promotion about his involvement in the AUKUS security pact on Wednesday.
The former prime minister posted on LinkedIn on Wednesday about an episode of a new podcast highlighting his involvement in striking the historic deal with the United States and the UK.
Mr Morrison waited until about 45 minutes before Anthony Albanese began his National Press Club address – which was expected to focus heavily on national security – to make the post.
This was despite the episode in question having aired nearly three weeks earlier.
In an episode of the Meridian100 podcast, hosted by former News Corp journalist Paul Maley, Mr Morrison discusses the sweeping security agreement his government signed with the US and UK in 2021.
“A few weeks ago I sat down with Paul Maley to kick off the Meridian 100 Podcast and discuss how AUKUS was established during my time as PM and broader strategic issues within our region,” Mr Morrison wrote on LinkedIn on Wednesday.
“I am pleased that AUKUS is now being implemented and look forward to seeing it deliver on what we intended.”
Mr Morrison accompanied the post with a picture of himself, US President Joe Biden and ex-British prime minister Boris Johnson at the G7 summit in Cornwall in 2021.
A short time later, his successor took to the stage in Canberra and endorsed the AUKUS pact as Australia’s “single biggest leap in Defence capability in history”.
“AUKUS is about much more than nuclear submarines, or even technological interoperability. AUKUS is about the future,” Mr Albanese said.
“It further formalises the common values and the shared interests that our three nations have in preserving peace and upholding the rules and institutions that secure our region and our world.”
Australia is expected to announce its submarine plans as early as next month after signing up to the security agreement with the US and UK to pursue the acquisition of nuclear-powered vessels.
Mr Albanese hosed down concerns about Australia wouldn’t retain complete control over the submarine program.
“Australia will maintain our sovereignty. That’s a decision for Australia as a sovereign nation,” he said.
“Just as the United States will maintain its sovereignty and the United kingdom will maintain its.”