(Image: Tom Red/Private Media)

The prime minister enjoys, when needs must, cracking the whip. He did it with errant backbencher Craig Kelly and not long after the member for Hughes was sitting on the crossbench. Now his whip-cracking has extended to the troubled Attack class submarine fleet, with reports suggesting Scott Morrison has moved to smarten up the French-owned contractor, the Naval Group.

Amid claims of cost and schedule overruns and disputes over the amount of local content in supply lines, it emerged yesterday that Morrison will bring the naval building project under the control of a cabinet subcommittee, reportedly out of concern that the mega-project -- last forecast to cost $90 billion to supply 12 submarines -- might run off the rails.

Or, in government-ese: "The committee will ensure the naval shipbuilding enterprise and each component of it is on track to deliver against Commonwealth-agreed outcomes, and emergent or forecast risks are identified that may impact or prevent achieving delivery of milestones."