The Australian Ministry of Defence has published draft legislation that seeks to make it easier for Australia and its AUKUS allies the United States and the United Kingdom exchange information on advanced technologies.
The bill’s summary reveals Australia’s agenda of establishing an export license-free system to support industry, higher education and research advancements among the three nations, according to Breaking Defense.
The proposal pushes for reforms to enable cooperation, collaboration and innovation within the AUKUS arrangement.
The Australian Defence Ministry said removing the barrier to technology sharing among the three countries will lead to the creation of a “seamless industrial base between AUKUS partners.”
Experts, however, are not sold on the security arrangement. Chennupati Jagadish, president of the Australian Academy of Science, expressed his reservations about the proposed law’s impact on partnerships with other countries.
At a dinner event hosted by the academy on Monday, the Indian-Australian physicist and academic conceded that the measure supports beneficial collaboration with the U.S. and the U.K.
He clarified, however, that the legislation requires government clearance for collaborative efforts with other foreign nationals. Without state approval, partnerships outside of AUKUS could land someone in jail, Jagadish warned.
“It expands Australia’s backyard to include the U.S. and the U.K., but it raises the fence,” he pointed out.
Commenting on the proposal, Bill Greenwalt, a former undersecretary for the U.S. Department of Defense, said the arrangement would push back Australia by 50 years.
“It looks like Australia just gave up its sovereignty and got nothing for it,” Greenwalt told Breaking Defense.