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Senator the Hon David Johnston
Minister for Defence
13 May 2014
The Abbott Government is delivering on its commitment to build a stronger Australian Defence Force (ADF).
The Budget is part of the Government’s Economic Action Strategy to build a strong, prosperous economy and a safe, secure Australia.
Restoring Defence Funding
Providing for the defence of the nation is one of government’s most fundamental responsibilities.
Yet, the former Government’s decisions led to 119 defence projects being delayed, 43 projects being reduced and eight projects been cancelled, risking critical capability gaps.
In the 2014-15 Budget, the Abbott Government is delivering on its commitment to end the previous government’s cuts to defence and ensure that our servicemen and women have the resources they need to keep Australia secure.
The Abbott Government is committed to growing the Defence budget to two per cent of GDP within a decade. We will lay down a credible path to achieving our target following completion of the 2015 White Paper and the associated comprehensive force structure review.
Building our capability
The Abbott Government has already approved the acquisition of key capabilities that will support the ADF for decades to come, including F-35 Joint Strike Fighters, P-8A Maritime Patrol Aircraft and Triton Unmanned Aerial Vehicles.
The 2015 Defence White Paper will be accompanied by a fully-funded, 10-year Defence Capability Plan that will ensure the Australian Defence Force has the equipment it needs in future decades and provide greater certainty for Australian defence industry.
Defence will continue to implement all of the accepted recommendations from the Coles Review to ensure that the Navy maintains an effective submarine capability until the introduction of the Future Submarine.
Properly funding operations in our national interest
Around 2000 Australian Defence Force (ADF) personnel are currently deployed on operations and domestically in support of civil authorities protecting Australia’s borders.
The 2014-15 Budget includes funding of $669.4 million for the continuation of Operations in the Middle East, enhanced border security under Operation RESOLUTE (including Defence’s contribution to the Abbott Government’s successful Operation Sovereign Borders), the provision of ADF support to the November G20 summit of world leaders in Brisbane, and the Defence contribution to the search for Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370.
Delivering military superannuation reform
The Abbott Government is honouring its commitment to deliver new indexation to military superannuants.
The 2014-15 Budget includes funding of $162.2 million (in underlying cash terms) to deliver new indexation of the Defence Forces Retirement Benefits (DFRB) and Defence Force Retirement and Death Benefits (DFRDB) superannuation schemes.
The Government will also introduce new modern superannuation arrangements for people joining the ADF from 1 July 2016. The new arrangements form an important part of the Government’s plan to provide flexible working conditions for all ADF members.
The introductio of modern superannuation arrangements for ADF members, combined with the delivery of new indexation for DFRB and DFRDB members, demonstrates the Government’s commitment to ensuring appropriate superannuation arrangements are available to current and former ADF members.
Delivering our commitment for the ADF Gap Year program
The Abbott Government is delivering on its commitment to re-introduce the successful ADF Gap Year program for young Australians to experience a year in the Army, Navy or Air Force.
The 2014-15 Budget includes funding of $191.8 million to re-start the ADF Gap Year program.
The Abbott Government is making decisions that repair the Budget, strengthen the economy and prepare Australia for the long-term challenges before us.
For more information and access to the Portfolio Budget Statement go to http://www.defence.gov.au/budget/14-15/pbs/
Mark Dodd (Minister Johnston’s Office) 0477 389 560
Rebecca Horton (Minister Johnston’s Office) 0477 389 554
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