I do remember some time last year, reading that a former Australian Minister of Defence, prior to leaving the portfolio, asked for an investigation to take place. That was for the leasing of a Virginia class submarine. I can't remember the reason why it was being sought (possibly due to Collins class problems?) however, on returning to the portfolio some time later, he discovered no investigation had taken place by the Defence Department! Yes, there would have been big costs in certifying a nuclear-trained engineering team and building a supporting infrastructure in Australia. However, the operating cost of a single Virginia class submarine for a year (at the time of some rough calculations put together) was $50m versus $100m.
And, on the matter of the Super Hornet being a stop gap replacement for the F-111 aircraft, there was no need to retire the latter prematurely. Sufficient spares were available to keep them operational for some time. Fatigue of the airframe was not as critical as made out by contractors who had their own vested interests at heart. And there were additional F-111G aircraft that could have been fitted out as either replacement aircraft, or as an additional squadron if required. Sure, a huge cost to bring them up to a serviceable state would be needed, but then again, is there any aircraft around now with a similar range and terrain following radar, let alone the capacity for a large weapons fitout? On top of that, the purchasing and spares cost of the Super Hornet versus making the stored F-111Gs available should have been considered. I am led to believe that the RAAF were very peeved when, down the track, a thorough process was gone through concerning the decisions made at the time.