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Australian Government Announced Record Defense Budget

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Australian Government Announced Record Defense Budget

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Two F-35A Lightning II aircraft in formation lead a CAC CA-18 Mustang and a Curtiss P-40E Kittyhawk during Warbirds Over Scone 2024.
Two F-35A Lightning II aircraft in formation lead a CAC CA-18 Mustang and a Curtiss P-40E Kittyhawk during Warbirds Over Scone 2024.

The Albanese Labor Government is delivering historic investments in the Australian Defence Force (ADF), as they further strengthen the defence of nation. The 2024 National Defence Strategy and 2023 Defence Strategic Review call for significant and urgent changes to our defence settings to respond to our complex strategic environment and deliver an integrated, focused Defence Force. The 2024-25 Budget sees Defence funding increase to $764.6 billion over the decade to support a more capable and self-reliant Defence Force that can safeguard Australia’s security into the future. At the centre of the Albanese Government’s renewed investment in Defence is the allocation of $330 billion over the decade to 2033-34 for the rebuilt Integrated Investment Program – a significant lift compared to the $270 billion allocated as part of the 2020 Defence Strategic Update and 2020 Force Structure Plan. This will see Defence funding as a proportion of Gross Domestic Product reach over 2.3% by 2033-34 – more than 0.2% higher than the spending trajectory set by the former Coalition government. The Albanese Government’s commitment to Defence is an investment in a future made in Australia – ensuring we keep Australians safe, while delivering jobs and opportunities right across the country for decades to come.

This includes:

  • An additional $5.7 billion over the forward estimates – the largest increase to Defence spending over a forward estimates period in decades.
  • An additional $50.3 billion over the next decade.
  • As a result of these significant investments, the annual Defence budget will grow to an estimated $100 billion by 2033-34 compared to $53 billion this financial year.

The 2024 Integrated Investment Program (IIP) supports the Albanese Government’s funding decisions by prioritising investments that help meet our changing strategic environment. This will include $11.1 billion over the decade to support the Government’s response to the Surface Combatant Fleet review, providing a larger and more lethal surface fleet, and an additional $1 billion over the next four years to accelerate ADF preparedness including long-range strike, targeting and autonomous systems.

The Australian Army M1A1 Abrams Main Battle Tank fires its 120mm cannon during a live-fire serial for the Coral Balmoral Cup 2024 at the Puckapunyal Military Area, Victoria.
The Australian Army M1A1 Abrams Main Battle Tank fires its 120mm cannon during a live-fire serial for the Coral Balmoral Cup 2024 at the Puckapunyal Military Area, Victoria. (Photo by CPL Johnny Huang/Australian Department of Defence)

Quotes attributable to the Minister for Defence Industry, Pat Conroy MP: “In rebuilding the IIP, the Government is delivering the capabilities the ADF needs to make Australians safer and at the same time strengthening our sovereign defence industry to deliver jobs and a future made in Australia. The Albanese Government is spending a record amount on Australian defence industry, at the same time we are ensuring the money contained Defence budget will be spent more wisely to deliver the capabilities we need.”

Quotes attributable to Deputy Prime Minister, Richard Marles MP:“This Albanese Government is making the biggest commitment to increasing Defence funding over the forward estimates in decades. National security is a big focus of the Albanese Government and it’s a big focus of the Budget. This is about ensuring our Australian Defence Force is fit for purpose and equipped with suitable capabilities to meet present and future challenges.”

Quotes attributable to the Assistant Minister for Defence, Matt Thistlethwaite MP: “We’re increasing the Defence budget by over $50 billion over the course of the next decade. This Government is entering into record spending on Defence to ensure that Australia has the capability to defend our nation into the future.”

Quotes attributable to the Minister for Defence Personnel, Matt Keogh MP: “The National Defence Strategy reinforces the need for the growth and retention of highly-skilled people to deliver Australia’s National Defence Strategy. People are, and will remain, our most important capability, which is why the Albanese Government continues to invest in recruitment and retention.”

As the 2024-25 Budget outlines, the Albanese Government is also investing in other crucial areas to strengthen our defence settings, including:
$81.9 million towards defence industry for critical jobs, including for scholarships, attracting and recruiting apprentices under the Shipbuilding Employment Pathways Initiative, supply chain support and uplifting the defence industrial workforce.
$166.2 million over five years from 2023-24 in grants to support small and medium businesses and local defence industry as part of the Defence Industry Development Strategy.
$28 million over 2024-25 to 2027-28 to implement reforms under the Defence Trade Controls Amendment Act 2024, including to support industry engagement and accelerate trade between AUKUS partners.
$232.3 million of international military support and assistance activities between 2023-24 and 2024-25, including $144.3 million in additional military support to Ukraine.
$17.5 million to establish a new Parliamentary Joint Committee on Defence to enhance parliamentary oversight and understanding of Defence’s role in responding to Australia’s challenging strategic environment.
The Defence funding confirmed in the 2024-25 Budget advances the implementation of the Government’s six immediate priorities announced in response to the Defence Strategic Review. It will also deliver the capabilities required to achieve an integrated, focused Defence Force across all domains – maritime, land, air, space and cyber – in line with the concept of National Defence.
Importantly, the 2024-25 Budget confirms the Albanese Government’s commitment to set out an affordable, achievable, and sustainable plan for now and the future which delivers the capabilities, jobs and investment in local Australian industry needed to support our Defence Force and safeguard Australia’s security.

Two F-35A Lightning II aircraft in formation lead a CAC CA-18 Mustang and a Curtiss P-40E Kittyhawk during Warbirds Over Scone 2024.
Two F-35A Lightning II aircraft from No. 77 Squadron in formation lead by Mr. Jason Easthope in a CAC CA-18 Mustang followed by Mr. Paul Bennet in a Curtiss P-40E Kittyhawk during Warbirds Over Scone 2024. (Photo by Mr. Mark Jessop/Australian Department of Defence)

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