Australian government’s 2021-22 budget is securing Australia’s recovery with renewed commitments to help Defence keep Australians safe, while protecting our national interests in a rapidly changing global environment, according to statements release by the Minister of Defence Petter Dutton. The budget builds on the unique 10-year funding model announced by the prime minister in 2020. Dutton said this provides Defence and Australian defence industry with the continued planning certainty required to support ongoing critical Defence capability and creating Australian jobs.

Australia will begin drawing down its ADF presence in the Middle East as Australia’s focus pivots from the Middle East to the Asia-Pacific region.

“In 2020, the Australian government delivered on its commitment to grow the Defence budget to 2 percent of GDP. The 10-year funding model in the 2020 Defence Strategic Update and 2020 Force Structure Plan builds on this by providing Defence with a total funding of $575 billion over the decade to 2029-30. This includes $270 billion investment in the capability and potency of our Defence force,” Dutton said. “The 2021-22 budget continues to see sustained strong investment in Australia’s national security, building Defence capability and creating jobs, boosting Australia’s cyber resilience and supporting Australia’s sovereign defence industry. As the Prime Minister and I announced in April, Australia will begin drawing down its ADF presence in the Middle East as our focus pivots from the Middle East to the Asia-Pacific region. We will continue to support the stability and development of Afghanistan through our bilateral partnerships with other nations.”

The government also continues to build a more secure and resilient Australia through:

  • A $59.2 million investment in Operation RESOLUTE to support the whole-of-government effort in protecting Australia’s borders and offshore maritime interests through surveillance and response; and
  • A $66.1 million commitment to upgrade the RAAF Base Williamtown runway to accommodate long-range aircraft and facilitate international flights, as part of planned upgrades. This runway is part of the Newcastle Airport, and will support a dual purpose use for both Defence and civilian aircraft.

“We are committed to position Defence to increase our strategic competition, now and into the future,” Dutton said.


Last week, the prime minister and Minister for Defence Industry Melissa Price announced $155 million in infrastructure works at HMAS Cairns to support the introduction into service and sustainment of the new Arafura Class Offshore Patrol Vessels. This crucial investment is part of the $2.1 billion Navy Capability Infrastructure Sub-program delivering maritime and land-based facilities around the country to support operation of the Navy’s new ships being procured under the Government’s 2017 Naval Shipbuilding Plan. This is in addition to $747 million the prime minister and Dutton announced in April to secure Australia’s recovery, with upgrades to four key training areas and ranges in the Northern Territory to enable the Australian Defence Force to conduct simulated training exercises and remain battle ready.

“Essential upgrades will be made to four key military training areas and weapon ranges, including Robertson Barracks, Kangaroo Flats, Mount Bundey and Bradshaw. This significant investment will ensure Australian Defence Force continues engagement with allies and other nations through the conduct of world-class joint training, including the US Marine Rotational Force in Darwin,” Dutton said.

U.S. Marines with Ground Combat Element, Marine Rotational Force – Darwin, conduct offensive and defensive operations at Mount Bundey Training Area, Northern Territory. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Lydia Gordon)

Price said the government’s record Defence spending continues to bolster Australia’s economic recovery. “Our $270 billion spend on our Defence capabilities is buying us so much more than the tools our Defence Force needs to keep Australia safe and secure. Our investment is creating a generation of jobs for Australians and new skill sets in the workforce, getting Aussie businesses ‘Defence Ready’ and setting up our industry for global success. Australia is facing unprecedented levels of threat both at home and abroad, so it is now more important than ever that we build what we need at home to defend the nation.”

Price said the government has kept the wheels of defence industry turning over the past year by accelerating the payment of $26.9 billion in invoices to defence companies, keeping Australians in jobs and businesses going from 2021 into the future. “The government’s additional funding to defence industry grant programs has also supported small and medium sized businesses throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, building a strong future for this great sector. Small businesses are the backbone of our defence industry. These business are contributing to ADF capability and supporting the nation’s economic recovery.”

(PHOTO: Elbit Systems)

The funding boost – to $39 million over three years – to the Skilling Australia Defence Industry (SADI) Grants Program has given small and medium businesses the confidence to continue developing the skills of their employees, and helped industry associations facilitate skills training for smaller defence industry businesses during these uncertain times.

In March, the prime minister, Dutton and Price announced the acceleration of a $1 billion Sovereign Guided Weapons Enterprise, to boost skilled jobs and help secure Australia’s sovereign defence capabilities. Developing a sovereign guided weapons capability will enhance Australia’s self-reliance and build global supply chain resilience.

Raytheon’s new guided weapons facility. (PHOTO: Raytheon)

The government will fund the implementation of a government-wide Cyber Hubs pilot as part of the first step towards centralising the management and operations of secure Cyber Hubs across the Australian Government.

Defence continues to implement the JobMaker Plan in 2021-22 as part of the $1 billion stimulus package to support the Australian Government’s economic and fiscal priorities as Australia continues to recover from COVID-19. Defence will also contribute $0.5 million to the 2021 Resources Technology Showcase that will be held in Perth in June this year. The showcase will be attended by approximately 10,000 students and provides Defence with the platform to promote opportunities within Defence and defence industries. Through strong, sustained investments in Defence, the government’s 2021-22 budget is securing Australia’s recovery, prioritising critical Defence capabilities and protecting our national interests, while supporting jobs and innovation. For the Defence Portfolio Budget Statement 2021-22:


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