Prime Minister Scott Morrison today announced that the size and capability of the Australian Defence Force will be significantly increased.
FILE PHOTO (May 2021): An Australian Army Boxer Combat Reconnaissance Vehicle conducts a live-fire battle run during exercise Diamond Walk at Shoalwater Bay, Queensland. Story by Captain Jesse Robilliard. Photo by Private Jacob Hilton.
Under the plan, the number of ADF personnel will increase by around 30 per cent by 2040, taking the total permanent ADF to almost 80,000 personnel.
Overall, Defence’s total permanent workforce will increase to more than 101,000 by 2040 – an increase of 18,500 over baseline growth already agreed in the 2020 Force Structure Plan.
Mr Morrison said the estimated cost of the expansion was at least $38 billion over the period to 2040, which was a significant investment in ensuring our ADF had the right people and skills to keep our nation safe.
“There was never a more important time to invest in increasing the size of the Australian Defence Force,” he said.
“Our world is becoming increasingly uncertain so it’s important we take steps now to protect our people and our national interest over the coming decades.
“You can’t flick a switch to increase your army, navy and air force overnight – growing the type of people and skills we need to face the threats of the future takes time – so we must start now, so critical skills can be taught and experience gained.
“ADF personnel will be increased in every state and territory with a particular focus on capabilities associated with our trilateral security partnership between Australia, United Kingdom and United States (AUKUS), as well as air, sea, land, space and cyber.”
Minister for Defence Peter Dutton said under the 2020 Force Structure Plan workforce growth was critical to deliver and operate the capabilities Defence needs to secure Australia’s strategic environment, protect Australia’s interests, and build a credible military force.
“Defence operates with a highly integrated workforce spanning the Australian Defence Force, civilians and industry providers, with each bringing specialised skills and expertise,” Minister Dutton said.
“This growth in workforce and expertise 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, and information and cyber.
“It will also build the resilience we need in critical areas and enable our people to increase intelligence, information and communications capacity.
“Defence industry will also be fundamental to supporting Defence’s capability delivery and workforce growth to deliver current and enhanced technologies, systems and equipment.”
Mr Dutton said the majority of the expanding defence workforce would see growth mainly in Queensland, New South Wales, South Australia and Western Australia.