Investing in Australia's national defence

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Related ministers and contacts

The Hon Richard Marles MP

Deputy Prime Minister

Minister for Defence

Media contact

02 6277 7800

The Hon Pat Conroy MP

Minister for Defence Industry

Minister for International Development and the Pacific

Media contact

(02) 6277 7840

General enquiries

The Hon Matt Keogh MP

Minister for Defence Personnel

Minister for Veterans’ Affairs

Media contact

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

Media contact

Ben Leeson on 0404 648 275

Defence Media

Release content

9 May 2023

Australia is facing the most difficult strategic circumstances since the Second World War. To meet these challenges we must invest in Defence, including through the acceleration of important capabilities and activities, and the reprioritisation of those which are no longer fit for purpose.

Building on the Albanese Government’s commitment to implement the recommendations of the Defence Strategic Review, and to commence the work to deliver Australia’s nuclear-powered submarine program, Defence spending as a proportion of GDP will lift above its current trajectory to be 0.2 per cent higher by 2032-33.

Over the next four years, the Albanese Government will invest more than $19 billion to implement the immediate priorities identified in response to the Defence Strategic Review.

These include:

  • $9 billion for the nuclear-powered submarine program through AUKUS.
  • $4.1 billion for long-range strike capabilities.
  • $3.8 billion for northern base infrastructure.
  • $400 million to support Australian Defence Force personnel through a new continuation bonus.
  • $900 million on defence innovation, to establish the Advanced Strategic Capabilities Accelerator and through AUKUS Pillar 2.

Central to the security of Australia is the collective security of our region.

Importantly, there is additional funding for key defence partnerships in the Indo-Pacific, which builds on the Albanese Government’s extensive engagement in the region.

These immediate priorities will be delivered within Defence’s existing resourcing, including through an initial $7.8 billion reprioritisation of the Defence Integrated Investment Program.

This initial reprioritisation will be built on in the first National Defence Strategy, which will be delivered in 2024.

Implementation of the Defence Strategic Review represents the most substantive transformation of Defence in over 30 years, requiring whole-of-government and whole-of-nation uplift to ensure we have the ability to defend not only the nation, but our interests.

This will only be possible if we work in partnership with states and territories, communities and industry.

We know we need to skill and train the workforce for the ADF, and importantly to build our sovereign defence industry.

In addition to skills and training measures announced through the nuclear-powered submarine program, the Albanese Government will also commit $11.4 million over three years to extend the Defence Industry Pathways Program within the shipbuilding sector of Western Australia.

Extending this program will continue the pipeline of talent into the defence shipbuilding and sustainment industry, providing more participants with sector knowledge and experience, and a pathway to gain essential skills that will be required by Australia’s defence industry into the future.

Building Defence capabilities and getting projects back on track will not be easy.

But the Albanese Government is steadfast in its commitment to hard decisions which will see the best outcomes for the ADF and Australia’s national security.

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

“The Albanese Government has made no secret that we are willing to make the hard decisions in order to get the best outcome for our ADF.”

“Ultimately, Defence spending will grow over the medium term, which is in line with the strategic circumstances.”

Quotes attributable to Minister for Defence Industry, Pat Conroy:

“We need the right capabilities for our strategic circumstances. That’s why the Albanese Government is investing $4.1 billion over four years on long-range strike and establishing an Australian missiles and munitions industry.”


“We are creating Australian jobs in defence industry, as well as lifting our capability. Urgent reforms to Defence procurement processes will deliver this capability faster, building on improvements already delivered to get projects of concern back on track.”


Quotes attributable to Minister for Defence Personnel, Matt Keogh:

“In Defence our people are our most important capability.”


“In an increasingly competitive environment the Albanese Government is committed to ensuring our personnel and their families are looked after in service, and following.”


Quotes attributable to Assistant Minister for Defence, Matt Thistlethwaite:

“Hardening the ADF’s northern base infrastructure and making Defence’s information networks more resilient are essential to strengthen our posture and accelerate preparedness.”


“Labor’s investments offer huge opportunities all around the country – both to create new, highly skilled, long-term jobs for Australian workers – and for small and medium businesses to expand and grow.”

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