The Morrison Government remains committed to keeping Australians safe, while protecting the nation’s interests as part of Australia’s COVID-19 Economic Recovery Plan, in a rapidly changing global environment. The 2020-21 Budget sees sustained strong investment in Australia’s national security, with a focus on regional security, building defence capability and creating jobs, boosting Australia’s cyber resilience and supporting Australia’s sovereign defence industry. The Budget delivers the Morrison Government’s commitment to grow the Defence budget to two percent of GDP in the 2020–21 financial year and will deliver a stable funding path into the future.
2020 DEFENCE STRATEGIC UPDATE AND 2020 FORCE STRUCTURE PLAN
The 2020 Defence Strategic Update and 2020 Force Structure Plan is a 10-year funding model with a 20-year outlook and continues to provide Defence and defence industry with the planning certainty required to support the ongoing development and delivery of critical Defence capability and Australian jobs. This 10-year model provides Defence, including the Australian Signals Directorate, with funding of $575 billion over the decade to 2029-30. The Morrison Government’s Budget commitments position Defence to implement the 2020 Force Structure Plan and address our increasing strategic competition, now and into the future.
BOOSTING AUSTRALIA’S DEFENCE CAPABILITY
The Morrison Government will invest $270 billion over the next 10 years to upgrade the capability and potency of the Australian Defence Force. This includes investing in more lethal and long-range capabilities to hold adversary forces and infrastructure at risk, further from Australia, including longer-range strike weapons, offensive cyber capabilities and area denial capabilities. We will also invest in capabilities to give Australia better awareness of our region and to support regional engagement, while also increasing our air and sea lift capability to ensure we can rapidly respond to events across our region. More broadly, through this investment we are ensuring Defence and Australia has more durable supply chains, while further strengthening Australia’s sovereign defence industry to create more high‑tech Australian jobs and enhance the ADF’s self‑reliance. Our investment in Defence will also expand ADF support to civil authorities in response to national crises and natural disasters with deployable health care and engineering capabilities. This $270 billion investment provides unprecedented opportunities for Australian industry and the creation of more Australian jobs. The Morrison Government is strengthening the Australian Industry Capability (AIC) Program to help maximise opportunities for Australian business in these projects. Investment in critical infrastructure, facilities, wharves and ports will continue with around $30 billion being invested over the decade. Local industry involvement in the delivery of these projects will be maximised through the Morrison Government’s Local Industry Capability Plan initiative. This ensures that local suppliers, contractors and tradies have the opportunity to secure more of this work, creating more jobs for local communities.
CYBER SECURITY SUPPORT
Malicious cyber activity against Australia is increasing in frequency, scale and sophistication. This Government is making the nation’s largest ever investment in cyber security through our $1.7 billion 2020 Cyber Security Strategy, which includes $1.4 billion over the next decade to enhance the cyber security capabilities and assistance provided to Australians through the Australian Signals Directorate and the Australian Cyber Security Centre. This significant investment, known as the Cyber Enhanced Situational Awareness and Response (CESAR) package, will mean that we can identify more cyber threats, disrupt more foreign cybercriminals, build more partnerships with industry and government and protect more Australians. The CESAR package has been designed to boost protection and cyber resilience for all Australians, from individuals and small businesses through to the providers of critical services. It includes a $470 million investment to expand our cyber security workforce, with the creation of over 500 new Australian jobs within ASD. The package will put our nation on the front foot in combatting cyber threats and our investment in a cyber security workforce will help ensure we have the people we need to meet future cyber challenges.
SUPPORTING AUSTRALIA’S ECONOMIC RECOVERY
AND BACKING DEFENCE INDUSTRY
Australia’s defence industry has demonstrated remarkable versatility throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, and will continue to keep Defence capabilities and our Australian economy moving. Supporting Australia’s defence industry is crucial to our economic recovery and the creation of more jobs. We have implemented a $1 billion investment package aimed at boosting Australia’s defence industry and supporting thousands of jobs across the country. This includes increased funding of over $110 million for Defence innovation, industry grants, skilling and micro credentialing, and cyber training for Defence industry. The Morrison Government recently launched the Skilling Australia’s Defence Industry (SADI) Grants program, which will deliver $39 million over the next three years to support a skilled workforce in the defence industry sector. In addition to these grant initiatives, the Government is announcing a further $4 million to establish the Joint Strike Fighter Industry Support Program, delivering more opportunities for Australian industry participation. This builds on the success of the New Air Combat Capability Industry Support Program, which has delivered 46 grants to 25 Australian companies, worth $21.7 million. Already we have fast-tracked a range of capability, infrastructure, skilling and workforce initiatives over the next two years, including a $300 million national estates works program focusing on regional areas, and $190 million on infrastructure projects in the Northern Territory. Around 4,000 Australian jobs will be supported over the 2020-21 and 2021-22 financial years through the delivery of this economic package. This reaffirms our commitment to further strengthening the defence industrial base to ensure that it is robust, resilient and internationally competitive. The measures will continue to support and grow the 70,000-strong workforce in defence industry, supply chains, and down-stream suppliers who are benefiting from our investment in defence.
ADF SUPPORTING AUSTRALIANS
The Government remains committed to supporting Australians in need which is why we are strengthening the ADF’s ability to respond to natural disasters, domestic emergencies, and support to the near region. Since February, Defence has provided comprehensive support worth $80.7 million to states and territories as part of Operation COVID-19 ASSIST with more than 3,200 personnel providing support across the country. To continue to provide support, the Government will streamline the process for calling out Reservists to boost the ADF’s capacity to respond quickly when needed. This measure builds on the Government’s commitment to increase the number of reserve days for existing ADF Reserve members, and recruiting an additional 500 Reservists to provide more employment opportunities for Australians impacted by the COVID‑19 pandemic.
DELIVERING SUPPORT TO THE SOUTHWEST PACIFIC
The Morrison Government will invest a further $124.3 million over 10 years to support the Pacific Step-Up through increased investment in security infrastructure in the Pacific. This investment includes a joint Australia-Solomon Islands project to construct a border and patrol boat outpost in Solomon Islands’ western provinces, announced by Prime Minister Morrison and Prime Minister Sogavare in October 2019. Australia’s support for a border and patrol boat outpost will enhance infrastructure and security cooperation between our countries, and support Solomon Islands’ border security. The outpost will be used by the Royal Solomon Islands Police Force and other Solomon Islands agencies to conduct remote patrolling and security operations. The design will feature environmentally sustainable elements and will be appropriate to regional conditions, and will include a wharf capable of replenishing Guardian-Class patrol boats, accommodation buildings, and storage facilities. Under the Pacific Step-Up, Australia is working with regional partners to strengthen economic resilience, deepen personal connections and enhance security cooperation. Our infrastructure projects in the Pacific contribute to the Australian and regional economies. These projects are providing significant economic stimulus and employment opportunities.
Defence Portfolio Budget Statements (PBS) 2020-21 are available on the Defence website.