2016 Australia Defence White Paper

Minister’s Introduction

The 2016 Defence White Paper represents the Government’s firm commitment to the Australian people that we will keep our nation safe and protect our way of life for future generations. This is a fundamental responsibility of the Australian Government; the safety and security of the Australian people and the defence of our territory and interests is our first and abiding priority. The 2016 Defence White Paper is the most rigorous and comprehensive in Australia’s history – it is the culmination of a thorough process of review and assessment of Australia’s security environment spanning the next 20 years. Over the next two decades, we face greater security uncertainty and complexity, globally. This White Paper, together with the accompanying 2016 Integrated Investment Program and 2016 Defence Industry Policy Statement, sets out the Government’s vision to enhance Australia’s defence capability, deepen our international security partnerships and collaborate with defence industry and science and technology research partners in support of our nation’s security. The Defence White Paper presents the strong strategic argument for Australia’s future defence based on seizing opportunities while managing strategic challenges. An important part of the Government’s strategy is to continue to strengthen our alliance with the United States, as well as our other regional and international partnerships, to meet shared security challenges such as the pervasive threat of terrorism. We have been careful in this White Paper to match our strategy and capability plans with appropriate resources. This is the first Defence White Paper to be fully costed, with external private sector assurance of the White Paper’s investment plans. The Government will fund the White Paper goals by increasing the defence budget to two per cent of Australia’s Gross Domestic Product by 2020–21, providing an unprecedented investment in Australia’s defence capability of approximately $195 billion over ten years. 10 MINISTER’S INTRODUCTION The Australian Defence Force is already highly capable and respected for its professionalism world-wide. Our challenge is to maintain our capability edge and prepare for the more complex and high-tech conflicts of the future. To achieve this, the Government has prioritised the development of a more capable, agile and potent force structure. We will invest in modern space and cyber capabilities and the infrastructure, information and communications systems that support defence capability. Australian Defence Force personnel will continue to be appropriately trained, equipped and supported to undertake their diverse, critical roles. The 2016 Defence White Paper sets out the most ambitious plan to regenerate the Royal Australian Navy since the Second World War. The White Paper reaffirms the Government’s commitment to a strong, internationally competitive and sustainable Australian naval shipbuilding industry. Key to the successful delivery and sustainment of our enhanced defence capabilities will be a new level of collaboration with Australian defence industry and science and technology research organisations. Positive new opportunities for enhanced collaboration and partnering between Defence and Australian defence industry will allow us to harness the leading-edge Australian innovation and technological expertise that can provide unique capability advantages for the Australian Defence Force. The Defence Industry Policy Statement accompanying this White Paper transforms the framework for effective engagement between Defence and defence industry. The Defence organisation is undergoing a once in a generation level of change through implementation of reforms recommended by the First Principles Review of Defence. Successful implementation of this significant reform program, including a genuine commitment to effective cultural reform across Defence, will be critical to realising the Government’s White Paper goals. Defence has made good progress in implementing cultural change and there is more to be done. A more diverse and inclusive workplace, with a focus on gender equality in professional development and progression opportunities, will be important to enhance the Defence organisation’s capability and improve its standing as an employer of choice within the Australian community. 2016 DEFENCE WHITE PAPER 11 Our highly dynamic and interconnected world enables the Government to adopt an active and engaged approach in ensuring security and defence policy remains relevant and responsive. We will review our policy to meet the pace of change, through regular national security statements and defence updates to the Parliament. We will also ensure the availability and accessibility of current information on Defence’s capability and industry plans and programs. I am optimistic about Australia’s future prosperity and security; the Government will continue to provide the direction and resources to protect and promote our nation and its interests, including through an enhanced capacity to shape Australia’s security environment. I look forward to continuing an open dialogue with the Australian people as we implement this important White Paper. Marise Payne Minister for Defence


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