To protect Australia’s future security and interests we are undertaking the biggest rebuild of the Australian Defence Force since the Second World War.
In 2020, we restored Defence investment to 2% of GDP.
Defence spending will rise above 2% of GDP in the coming financial year and we are delivering a stable funding path into the future.
This reverses the decline under Labor. Under Labor, Defence funding was gutted by $18 billion and fell to 1.56% of GDP – the lowest level since 1938.
Over the next decade, the Government is investing more than $270 billion in Australia’s Defence capability – guided by the 2020 Defence Strategic Update and 2020 Force Structure Plan.
This will safeguard Australia and provide unprecedented opportunities for Australian industry.
AUKUS – A NEW SECURITY PARTNERSHIP
To meet our future security challenges, particularly in the Indo Pacific, Australia has entered into an enhanced security partnership with the United Kingdom and the United States – AUKUS.
AUKUS will initially focus on cyber capabilities, artificial intelligence, quantum technologies and additional undersea capabilities.
The first major initiative under AUKUS is to support Australia’s acquisition of at least eight nuclear-powered submarines for the Royal Australian Navy.
This capability – which the Government intends to build in South Australia – will significantly enhance Australia’s ability to deter threats and uphold stability and security in the Indo-Pacific.
A STRONGER NAVY
The Government Naval Shipbuilding Plan will mean over 70 vessels being built here in Australia.
This will support more than 15,000 jobs and create an industry that will be sustained for decades to come.
Our Government has already delivered eight naval vessels and has another nine under construction in Perth and Adelaide.
The Government’s plan includes acquisition of nuclear-powered submarines for operation by the Royal Australian Navy.
This will significantly enhance Australia’s ability to deter threats, maintain our capability edge and uphold stability and security in the Indo-Pacific.
The Naval Shipbuilding College has been established, to support our naval shipbuilding and ensure we grow a strong workforce.
The Government has also announced further funding for Operation RESOLUTE. This supports the whole-of-government effort in protecting Australia’s borders through surveillance and response.
In six years of Government, Labor did not commission the build of one naval vessel in an Australian yard.
Across Defence, Labor delayed 119 projects, cut back 43 projects and cancelled eight projects, placing Defence capability at risk and costing thousands of jobs.
A STRONGER ARMY
The Australian Army is acquiring new rifles, pistols, grenade launchers and other small arms as well as new body armour and night-fighting equipment.
New combat reconnaissance, infantry fighting and self-propelled howitzer vehicles will be introduced into service.
New attack helicopters will strengthen the Army’s firepower from the air.
Upgrades to the M1 Abrams Main Battle Tank will ensure our forces have the protection, mobility and firepower they need to win on future battlefields.
This will be coupled with the new protected truck fleet.
The Australian Defence Force is acquiring a Short Range Ground-Based Air Defence system.
This will improve protection from sophisticated air threats.
A STRONGER AIR FORCE
The Morrison Government is investing around $65 billion over the next decade to deliver the next generation of potent air capabilities.
The F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program is giving the Air Force unprecedented air combat capability. More than 50 Australian companies are benefiting from production contracts in the Joint Strike Fighter program.
The Maritime Patrol Aircraft Replacement project will provide manned and remotely piloted aircraft to replace Australia’s AP-3C Orion fleet.
In addition, we are delivering another uncrewed aircraft, the Loyal Wingman. This is the first military combat aircraft to be designed, engineered and manufactured in Australia in over 50 years.
The P-8A Poseidon and the MQ-4C Triton aircraft will give us one of the world’s most advanced maritime patrol and surveillance capabilities.
The full fleet of EA-18G Growler Electronic Attack Aircraft have arrived. This aircraft is capable of deceiving and destroying a broad range of radars and communications.
The Government is also boosting Australia’s heavy-lift battlefield aviation capability with four new CH-47F Chinook helicopters (increasing Australia’s current fleet from 10 to 14). The first two were successfully delivered within 3 months of the contract being signed.
A STRONGER CYBER DEFENCE
The Morrison Government is investing $15 billion over ten years into Defence’s cyber and information warfare capabilities, which are critical in the era of grey-zone warfare.
In addition to state sponsored attacks, we have seen major ransomware attacks on major Australian corporate and media companies. In 2020-21, the Australian Cyber Security Centre responded to over 1,600 cyber security incidents.
These included incidents affecting the electricity, water, education, banking and finance, health, communications and transport sectors.
The Government is investing $1.67 billion – including $1.35 billion in the Australian Signals Directorate – to bolster Australia’s cyber security.
This includes measures to disrupt and defeat cybercriminals offshore and to block cyber threats to Australia, protecting more Australians.
SUPPORTING OUR VETERANS
We are ensuring our more than 320,000 veterans and their families are supported and respected.
This includes: free lifetime mental health care for ADF personnel; immediate income support for those with mental health claims; psychiatric assistance dogs for veterans with PTSD; and the expansion of counselling support through Open Arms.
The 2020-21 Budget provides over $700 million in additional funding to support veterans and their families.
We have implemented fairer indexation for military superannuants, expanded our Veterans’ Employment Program and introduced a new Australian Veterans’ Card and Lapel Pin.
Veteran income support recipients and concession card holders received $750 payments in April and July 2020 and $250 payments in December 2020 and March 2021.
The Liberal and Nationals Government is converting the records of Australia’s Second World War service men and women into digital files and making them available online for all Australians.
We are expanding the Saluting Their Service grants program to honour the service and sacrifice of our veterans.
We will also support our ADF personnel by allowing them the choice to contribute to their ADF Super even after they have transitioned to a new employer.
In July, a Royal Commission into Defence and Veterans Suicide was established. The Prime Minister said in announcing the Royal Commission: “we owe it to members, veterans and their families to continue to take action.”
Information current as at September 2021