Prime Minister Scott Morrison has sustained some friendly fire over the promise of South Australian submarine jobs.
Liberal premier Steven Marshall fired a warning shot across the bow on Thursday, after the French company in charge of building the new vessels appeared to water down its commitment to local jobs.
"The Naval Group and the federal government made a commitment that this would be a local build and we will be holding them to account for that commitment," Mr Marshall told reporters in Adelaide.
The Australian newspaper reported Naval Group was winding back its commitment to local firms getting 50 per cent of the work.
Chief executive John Davis said the company didn't initially have a good understanding of the Australian market.
"We recognise there is a lot more work to be done than we anticipated," he told The Australian.
Defence Industry Minister Melissa Price was later asked in parliamentary question time what percentage of Australian content was part of the contract.
"The actual proportion of Australian content on the submarines will be determined as the design of the submarines is completed," she said.
The Defence Department and Naval Group said in a joint statement "maximising Australian industry involvement" through all phases of the Attack Class submarine program were "contracted objectives".
"Defence remains focused on these objectives and Naval Group is committed to their achievement," the statement said.
"At this stage of the program, the preliminary design phase of the Attack Class progressing through the activities with Naval Group's design team in France and Adelaide and Lockheed Martin Australia's design team in Adelaide.
"Over 137 Australian companies and organisations have subcontracts at this point."
Defence and Naval Group were working on "understanding the capabilities in Australian industry for the manufacture of submarine equipment", which differed from that needed to sustain the current Collins submarine fleet.
The build of a "hull qualification section" in Adelaide will begin in 2023 to certify the Australian workers and construction yard equipment ahead of the construction of the first Attack Class submarine.
Labor's defence spokesman Richard Marles said the Morrison government should do more to guarantee Australian jobs on the new submarine fleet.
"This government promised to build 12 submarines in Australia," Mr Marles told Sky News.
"Less than half the content is going to be Australian ... now that's not building them in Australia."
Australia is building the submarines to update its ageing fleet at an estimated cost of $80 billion.
The first of the Attack Class submarines is scheduled for delivery in 2032.
Australian Associated Press