Australia’s Defence Readiness: 12-Month Outlook

On 20 February, Australia’s Defence Ministry announced a major increase of A$11.1 billion to the 2024-2025 federal budget. The following day, Assistant Minister for Defence, Matt Thistlewaite stated the government’s aims to strengthen the Defence Strategic Review. Implying further policy announcements over the next six months. Since 2023, Australia has seen a surge in Chinese cyber attacks. In April, a newly released DSR acknowledged the growing necessity for increasing the ADF’s budget in response to the geopolitical climate facilitated by China as well as US-China relations. However, ongoing inquiries into procurement programs and recruitment initiatives highlight Australia’s shortfalls. 

Key Judgement 1. It is likely that the ADF will invest in the Royal Australian Air Force and army’s capabilities in the north over the next 12 months.

Key Judgement 2. Delays, lack of personnel, and budget overruns will likely reduce the Royal Australian Navy’s operational capability over the next 12 months.

Key Judgement 3. It is likely that the ADF will increase recruitment programs over the next 12 months to address a lack of specialised personnel.

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