Budget + Policy

The unprecedented clampdown on Defence’s engagement with media imposed by Defence Minister Peter Dutton has reinforced the importance of Senate Estimates in prising information from sometimes-reluctant Ministers, senior ADF officers, and bureaucrats.

Blunt threats made in Chinese mainstream media, and more recent remarks by an Australian senator warrant yet another examination of Australia’s strategic circumstances and the likelihood of an attack on mainland Australia.

Government has managed to make good on its two per cent of GDP pledge with this year, locking in a 2.1 per cent spending level for Defence from this week’s Budget.

The headline figure for this year is $44.62 billion in funding for Defence and the Australian Signals Directorate (ASD) this year, a 15 per cent jump from last year’s $38.7 billion.

Defence industry has been included as one of six key areas of focus in the government’s $1.5 billion Modern Manufacturing Strategy, but there are questions over whether the roadmap will deliver wider benefits to Australia.

Nova Group has launched its Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) which aims to support the development of respectful relationships and meaningful opportunities with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has moved Peter Dutton from Home Affairs to Defence and former Defence Minister Linda Reynolds into government services and the NDIS.

Minister for Defence Industry Melissa Price announced more than $7 million in support to seven Australian businesses through the Sovereign Industrial Capability Priority grants (SICP).

The deterioration of Australian relations with China over the past year are well-documented, and in some quarters this rapid decline is seen as an accelerant towards an open conflict with China. But war is not inevitable.

Many ADM readers will note that I have a special place in my heart for Senate Estimates and their not so well-known cousins; Questions on Notice (QoN) and their subsequent answers.

Defence is now conducting a review of the ASDEFCON suite of tendering and contracting templates and is inviting industry to contribute.

Following Joe Biden’s victory in last week’s election, outgoing US President Donald Trump has demanded a raft of resignations amongst the Pentagon’s civilian leadership.

At the time of writing, there is not yet a clear outcome in the US presidential election. But no matter who wins, US strategy in Asia is unlikely to change.

2020 is looking a bit slimmer when it comes to approvals working their way through the system.

Shadow Minister for Defence Industry Matt Keogh provides the ALP's response to the federal budget.

I draw the comparison that Defence spending is being used as an economic vaccine for the nation; a chance to grow and invest and also protect what is already in place.