Albanese Government invests in our future Defence Force

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The Hon Richard Marles MP

Deputy Prime Minister

Minister for Defence

Media contact

02 6277 7800

The Hon Matt Keogh MP

Minister for Defence Personnel

Minister for Veterans’ Affairs

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Stephanie Mathews on 0407 034 485

The Hon Matt Thistlethwaite MP

Assistant Minister for Defence

Assistant Minister for Veterans’ Affairs

Assistant Minister for the Republic

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Ben Leeson on 0404 648 275

Defence Media

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2 May 2023

Australian Defence Force (ADF) personnel could be eligible for a $50,000 bonus payment for ongoing service, as part of the Albanese Labor Government’s commitment to investing in the growth and retention of a highly-skilled Defence workforce.

One of the six immediate priority areas identified in response to the Defence Strategic Review is the need to both grow and retain our ADF personnel.

The Albanese Government is moving to immediately respond to the Review by investing approximately $400 million to establish a Continuation Bonus initiative.

This initiative will be available to permanent ADF members at the end of their initial mandatory period of service, who have served a minimum of four years.

Near the completion of their initial contract members could be eligible for a $50,000 bonus payment if they serve another three years.

The Continuation Bonus is expected to benefit approximately 3,400 ADF personnel in the first three years of the scheme.

The bonus will be implemented from 2024 and reviewed after two years to ensure it is contributing to increased retention rates.

To complement this initiative, the Albanese Government is also committing $2 million this financial year for a review into Defence Housing.

The Government recognises the challenges facing all Australians when it comes to home ownership. This is particularly prevalent for a mobile workforce such as the ADF.

The Albanese Government is already delivering important reforms in this area, including through the $46.2 million expansion of the Defence Home Ownership Assistance Scheme, announced at the October Budget. But we know there is more that can be done to improve these systems.

It is clear that current Defence home ownership benefits are struggling to keep pace with the Australian property market and meet the changing needs of our service personnel and their families.

As an immediate priority Defence will:

  • consider the contemporary and future housing needs of ADF members;
  • review policies relating to defence residences and rental assistance against these needs, and;
  • review current home ownership support benefits and policies, and identify new opportunities to encourage and enable home ownership for ADF members.

The Government deeply appreciates those who serve in the ADF. Investing in those members and increasing the value proposition will support our service personnel ensures Australia has the defence structure and posture needed to meet our strategic circumstances.

Quotes attributable to Deputy Prime Minister and Defence Minister, Richard Marles:

“When it comes to Defence our people are our greatest asset. We know Defence is facing greater challenges to recruit, retain and grow its workforce than it has for decades.

“The Albanese Government is steadfast in its commitment to achieving these goals, as outlined in our response to the Defence Strategic Review.

“There is a lot of work to be done, but these investments will be an important step towards ensuring we have the highly-skilled Defence Force needed to keep Australians safe.”

Quotes attributable to Minister for Defence Personnel, Matt Keogh:

“It’s no secret that in the current low unemployment environment it is more difficult than ever to recruit and retain staff.”

“This bonus will ensure Defence retains its greatest capability - its people.”

 Quotes attributable to Assistant Minister for Defence, Matt Thistlethwaite:

“Access to safe, suitable, and affordable housing is fundamental to family wellbeing.

“The Albanese Government is committed to improving support to ADF members and their families to enter the housing market through greater housing flexibility, less mortgage stress, and greater purchasing power. This will help make Defence a workplace of choice for Australians.

“We need to ensure that ADF housing solutions prepare members for transition to civilian life, with home ownership a critical aspect of support.”

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