The Albanese Government has announced details of a Defence Strategic Review, including the Terms of Reference and the independent leads who will conduct the review for government.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Defence Richard Marles said that in 2020, the Defence Strategic Update identified that changes in Australia’s strategic environment were accelerating more rapidly than predicted in the 2012 Force Posture Review.
“This necessitates an immediate analysis of where and how Defence assets and personnel are best positioned to protect Australia and its national interests,” Mr Marles said.
“It also requires an assessment of Defence’s force structure and integrated investment program.
“Exploring how our capabilities can better integrate and operate with the United States, the United Kingdom and other key partners will also be an important element of the review.”
“In 2020, the Defence Strategic Update identified that changes in Australia’s strategic environment are accelerating more rapidly than predicted in the 2012 Force Posture Review.
“As our national security landscape changes, it is vital that our defence force remains positioned to meet our global and regional security challenges.
“To meet these challenges, the Review will examine force structure, force posture and preparedness, and investment prioritisation, to ensure Defence has the right capabilities to meet our growing strategic needs.
“This is a large task, and it is for this reason we have appointed two eminent leads to conduct the Review; former Minister for Defence, Professor the Hon Stephen Smith and former Chief of the Defence Force, Air Chief Marshal Sir Angus Houston AK AFC (Ret’d).”
Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said this work would help ensure that the Australian Defence Force was well positioned to meet the nation’s security challenges over the next decade and beyond.
“Professor Smith and Sir Angus bring a unique blend of knowledge and experience to their role as independent leads,” Mr Albanese said.
“Their depth of expertise will be invaluable in informing the Review.
“[My] government is committed to ensuring it has a capable and sustainable Australian Defence Force, which is informed with the best possible strategic assessments.
“As independent leads, Professor Smith and Sir Angus will ensure the Review’s recommendations to government meet this criteria.”
Professor Smith and Sir Angus will deliver the review and its recommendations to government in early 2023.
Submissions to the review from all interested parties are welcome until noon AEST, Sunday 30 October 2022.
For more information or to submit a paper for consideration as part of the review, visit www.defence.gov.au/about/reviews-inquiries.
A copy of the Terms of Reference can be found here.