Joint media release – Budget 2022-23 delivers record investment in Defence and supporting our veterans

Tuesday, 29 March 2022

The Hon. Scott Morrison MP
Prime Minister

The Hon. Peter Dutton MP
Minister for Defence

The Hon Andrew Gee MP
Minister for Veterans’ Affairs
Minister for Defence Personnel

The Hon Melissa Price MP
Minister for Defence Industry

The Hon Andrew Hastie MP
Assistant Minister for Defence

As part of our plan for a stronger future, the Morrison Government’s 2022-23 Budget continues its record investment in Australia’s national security by building Defence capability and creating jobs, boosting Australia’s cyber resilience, supporting Australia’s sovereign Defence industry and improving the lives of Defence Force members, veterans and their families.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the government’s investments in Australia’s national security spanned air, land, sea, space and cyber capabilities.

“In these uncertain times it is vital that Australia is well-positioned to tackle the challenges our country and our region face,” the Prime Minister said.

“This Budget sets out the investments we’re making that will boost the Defence budget above 2 per cent of GDP not only helping keep Australians safe, but supporting local jobs and industries right here at home.

“The capabilities we’re backing with our investments mean an even stronger Australian Defence Force, an even stronger local defence industry, and an even stronger pipeline of jobs and skilled workers.

“This Budget also continues to build on support for our veterans and their families, in recognition of the service and sacrifice they’ve made to keep our nation safe and secure.”

Minister for Defence Peter Dutton said the Government remained committed to building a strong, sustainable and secure Australia through Defence’s 10 year funding model.

“The 2022-23 Budget continues this Government’s strong investment in Defence and the Australian Signals Directorate (ASD).  This includes a $9.9 billion investment over the next decade in new national cyber and intelligence capabilities,” Minister Dutton said.

“Project REDSPICE – Resilience, Effects, Defence, Space, Intelligence, Cyber, and Enablers – is the largest ever investment in the capabilities of the ASD.

“REDSPICE will substantially increase ASD’s offensive cyber capabilities, its ability to detect and respond to cyber-attacks, and introduce new intelligence capabilities. It will also create over 1,900 new jobs, almost doubling the ASD’s size.

“This investment in ASD recognises the deteriorating strategic circumstances in our region, characterised by rapid military expansion, growing coercive behaviour and increased cyber-attacks. It acknowledges the nature of conflict has changed, with cyber-attacks now commonly preceding other forms of military intervention – most recently demonstrated by offensive cyber activity against Ukraine.

“REDSPICE ensures Australia keeps pace with the rapid growth of cyber capabilities of potential adversaries. It provides new intelligence capabilities, new cyber defences to protect our most critical systems, and is a real increase in the potency of ASD’s ability to strike back in cyberspace.”

Assistant Minister for Defence the Hon Andrew Hastie MP said through the $270 billion investment into the capability and potency of our Defence force, we continue to ensure Australia remains ready and adaptable to the changing nature of warfare.

“Project REDSPICE is a critical investment in our digital sovereignty. There are growing cyber threats and we are acting to secure our nation,” Assistant Minister Hastie said.

“This will create highly skilled jobs, and will equip the next generation of Australians to defend our critical infrastructure.

“The Morrison Government’s investment in the ASD will allow our cyber operators to punch back at our adversaries and protect Australia and our interests online.”

The Government’s investment into national security actively protects Australia's borders and offshore maritime interests, and supports Australians in domestic crisis situations.

“The Government will invest $126.4 million for Operation FLOOD ASSIST in 2021-22.  At its peak, over 7,000 Australian Defence Force (ADF) personnel were made available to support flood-affected communities in New South Wales and Queensland,” Minister Dutton said.

“The Morrison Government will also invest an additional $74.7 million in 2022-23 for Operation RESOLUTE to protect Australia’s maritime interests.

“We will continue to support ongoing operations and activities in the Middle East with an additional investment of $104.2 million in 2022-23 for Operation ACCORDION.”

The Government is committed to meeting Navy’s future requirements through Australia’s first large-vessel dry berth precinct and a new submarine Base to be built on the east-coast.

“The development of ship building infrastructure, including a new submarine base, on the east-coast of Australia will see a 20-year investment estimated at more than $10 billion,” Minister Dutton said.

“The Australian Army will be a future ready fighting force with investment into new uncrewed aerial surveillance systems, Ch-47F Chinook helicopters, Abrams tanks and combat engineering vehicles.

“The Government will also upgrade and extend in-service support for the Hawk 127 Lead-In Fighter Training System that will result in a $1.5 billion investment in the Air Force’s future aviation capability.”

To support Defence’s growing capabilities, the Government will increase its permanent ADF and Defence civilian workforce by 18,500 by 2039-40.

“This growth in workforce will enable us to deliver our nuclear powered submarines, ships, aircraft and advanced weapons. It will mean we can build warfighting capabilities in the domains of space, information and cyber,” Minister Dutton said.

Minister for Defence Industry Melissa Price said the 2022-23 Budget built on the Morrison Government’s commitment to keep Australians safe and secure, now and into the future, by growing our sovereign defence industry.

“COVID-19 and the resultant disruption to international supply chains has shown how vital it is that we ensure Australia has a local defence industry that can build what we need to defend ourselves,” Minister Price said.

“That is why we are not only investing in highly advanced equipment for our service men and women, but ensuring as much of it as possible is being built right here in our own backyard in Australia.

“Our record investment in developing and building the equipment we need to defend our nation is creating more than 100,000 jobs across the country.

“It will ensure our diggers are equipped with the state-of-the-art Australian made ships, armoured vehicles, and other weapons they need to keep Australians safe for decades to come.”

Minister for Veterans’ Affairs and Defence Personnel Andrew Gee said as Australia’s military capability grows, so too will the support provided to the men and women who serve our nation, and their families.

“An initial $22.8 million will fund 90 extra Department of Veterans’ Affairs staff to cut the backlog of unprocessed claims, and this will be followed by a further $73.2 million for additional staff and other measures to further improve the veteran claims processing system and reduce waiting times,” Minister Gee said.

“This takes the total new spending to $96 million with 145 new staff, building on our significant investment in the 2021-22 Budget.

“We will increase the fees paid to providers in the Veterans’ Home Care program through a $70.5 million investment, further improving support for 37,000 Australian veterans.

“There is an additional $22 million to grow the life-changing Psychiatric Assistance Dogs Program, including support for veterans with privately-sourced assistance dogs.

“The successful Kookaburra Kids ‘Defence Kids’ program is being expanded to more regional areas and the service will now be available to Defence and veteran families in Tasmania for the first time.

“A $2 million injection will support the work of Bravery Trust in providing financial counselling to serving & ex-serving members of the ADF. 

“We’re also backing in our Invictus Australia athletes participating at the 2023 Invictus Games and bi-annual Warrior Games with $9.0 million in new support.

“This Government continues to ensure those who have fought for our nation and our values are appropriately recognised, and this Budget includes $5.1 million to build a new pavilion at the Sandakan Memorial Park in Borneo to honour WWII Prisoners of War. There is also $4.9 million to create a Remembrance Trail on the Greek Island of Lemnos, in recognition of the Australian doctors, nurses and other service personnel who served there during the First World War.

“The women and men who serve this nation in uniform make incredible sacrifices for our country and we are ensuring that we repay our debt to them by providing the support they, and their families, need.”

Through this record investment in national security and our veterans, the Morrison Government is committed to building a more secure Australia and protecting our way of life for future generations.

[ENDS]

 

Media contacts

Prime Minister’s office: Press Office: (02) 6277 7744
Minister Dutton’s office: Nicole Chant: 0419 850 222
Minister Gee’s office: Steve Kidner: 0459 966 944
The Hon. Scott Morrison MP, Sydney NSW.
Press Office of the Hon. Scott Morrison MP, Prime Minister, Canberra ACT.

Open Arms – Veterans & Families Counselling provides 24/7 free confidential crisis support for current and ex-serving ADF personnel and their families on 1800 011 046 or the Open Arms website. Safe Zone Support provides anonymous counselling on 1800 142 072. Defence All-Hours Support Line provides support for ADF personnel on 1800 628 036 or the Department of Defence website. Defence Member and Family Helpline provides support for Defence families on 1800 624 608.