The F-35s are a fluke.. It would be like downgrading back to f-100s or an F-4f..
What Australia needs are F-15(e)s and F-22s..
Not sure what can/will happen with the current administration, trying to kill any defense we allies have.. :/
(BTW, my bird was F-16)..
To be somewhat fair though, it was Congress 10 or more years ago that nixed the sale of F-22 to Australia and Japan (the two countries rich enough, trusted enough, and interested enough to buy them).