An enterprise-wide audit of the Defence estate and infrastructure was initiated in response to the recommendations of the Defence Strategic Review, to assess whether the estate meets Defence’s contemporary operational and capability requirements.
FILE PHOTO: Garden Island – Thales Australia © Photo by Salty Dingo 2022.
The government has now received the findings and recommendations of the independent audit.
Former Managing Director of Defence Housing Australia Jan Mason and Chair of the Infrastructure Victoria Board Jim Miller were appointed as independent co-leads to undertake the audit, and report to government.
The independent co-leads visited more than 70 Defence sites across Australia and conducted a series of stakeholder engagements.
These visits included a mix of operational airfields, maintenance facilities, research laboratories, warehouses, training establishments, reserve and cadet depots, and working accommodation.
Key areas of focus for the audit included strengthening the resilience of the Defence estate, mechanisms to accelerate delivery of major infrastructure, climate change risks and options for consolidation of underutilised facilities.
Minister for Defence Richard Marles said the government would take the necessary time to review and consider the findings of the independent audit.
“In the current strategic circumstances, it is more important than ever to ensure the Defence estate remains aligned with our operational and capability priorities, now and in the future,” Mr Marles said.
“I welcome delivery of the audit report and thank the independent co-leads for their considerable effort in completing this important task.”
Assistant Minister for Defence Matt Thistlethwaite said delivery of the independent audit of the Defence estate was no small undertaking.
“Defence is the Commonwealth’s largest landholder and this report and its recommendations will be critical to ensuring the optimisation of the estate to support Defence’s future growth and posture.”