New play exchange and military exchange programmes are part of Australia’s new “competition for resources” approach to defence, Defence Minister Marise Payne said in a press conference today.
“What we want to do is make sure that our defence is there for the long term, and we want the Defence Force to be able to maintain that capability,” she said.
“This means that we are going to continue to invest in the new National Defence Reserve, the new Air Force Reserve and the new Defence Industry Reserve.”
The Government is currently in the process of transitioning the Defence Industry Reserves and Air Force Reserves into the National Defence Reserves.
The National Defence reserves are already well established in the Defence Forces, with about 5,600 Reserve personnel deployed in the Australian Defence Force.
Ms Payne also announced that the Government will create a new National Security Council, with the appointment of three new members, to oversee the process for the Defence Infrastructure Programmes.
This will include the construction of new facilities, and the establishment of an advisory board to ensure the program’s outcomes are delivered.
The Minister said the Council will be “the voice of the Defence workforce and the Government of Australia” and would “assist and guide the Government to deliver a sustainable, efficient and responsible program for the defence sector”.
She said the new council would have a range of responsibilities and responsibilities, including the creation of the National Strategic Defence Strategy, the development of strategic capabilities, the establishment and implementation of the Programmes Programmes, the management of programs and initiatives and the assessment of programs’ effectiveness and sustainability.
Ms Clark also announced the creation, on behalf of the Government, of a National Strategy and Strategic Plans Office to “help ensure that all our plans, projects, strategies and programmes are put into place in a timely and effective manner”.
Ms Clark said the Office will also be responsible for planning the implementation of programs.
The announcement follows a series of announcements made by the Government in recent weeks.
The Government announced on March 8 that it would be setting up a new Strategic Defence Review.
The review will examine “the future of Australia and the way we approach defence and security and the role of the defence and defence infrastructure in the future”.
The Government also announced a $3 billion “spend-on-arms” programme, with $3.8 billion of the funds being earmarked for military equipment and services.
Ms Reid said the government was “not just putting money into defence” and “building up the defence industry”.
“We are investing in our defence capability because we believe it will be our strongest asset, and so we will build up the National Defense Reserve and National Security Reserve,” she told reporters today.
Defence Minister Murray McCully said the Government was “working on a lot of different things”, including “what kind of weapons will be used, how many of those will be deployed and so on”.
He said the Defence Minister was “very confident that we will be able and that the Defence Defence Force will be ready to deliver the defence that we need”.