To protect Australia’s future security and interests, the Government is undertaking the biggest rebuild of the Australian Defence Force since the Second World War.
Under Labor, Defence funding was gutted by $18 billion and fell to 1.56% of GDP – the lowest level since 1938.
In 2020, we restored Defence investment to 2% of GDP.
Defence spending has now risen above 2% of GDP as we continue to deliver a stable funding path into the future.
This will safeguard Australia and provide unprecedented opportunities for Australian industry.
AUKUS – A NEW SECURITY PARTNERSHIP
To meet our future security challenges, 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. AUKUS has also agreed to collaborate on hypersonics.
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 will be built 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’s Naval Shipbuilding Plan will mean over 70 vessels being built or upgraded 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 Royal Australian Navy also 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 8 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.
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 benefited 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 uncrewed aircraft, the Loyal Wingman – now known as Ghost Bat. 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 recently secured new measures in Parliament to increase penalties for criminal cyber activity and expand law enforcement powers to tackle crypto cybercrime.
We’re also 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
Our veterans have given so much in their service to our country.
The Government is 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 Government is providing an additional $70.5 million in funding to support homecare services for 37,000 veterans and their families, as well as extending other programs supporting the wellbeing and mental health of our veterans.
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 Morrison 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 2021, 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 April 2022