Jun 30, 2020
Scott Morrison Speech Transcript Unveiling $270bn Australian Defence Plan
On June 30, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison and other Australian officials unveiled a $270 billion Australian Defence Plan. The plan will be for the next decade to make sure the defence force is able to deter threats in a “post-COVID world.” Read the speech transcript here.
Transcribe Your Own Content
Try Rev for free and save time transcribing, captioning, and subtitling.
Greg Moriarty: (00:00)
Prime Minister, ministers, members of Parliament, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen, I begin by acknowledging the Ngunnawal people, the traditional custodians of the land on which we meet today, and pay my respects to their elders past and present. I extend that respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people here today. Welcome to the Australian Defense Force Academy, and thank you very much for being here on what is a very important day for defense.
Greg Moriarty: (00:37)
Thank you for your patience this morning and for helping us to comply with the appropriate COVID-19 restrictions. It’s important that, in these times, we are able to hold these events, but do them appropriately. It’s the 1st of July. We’re already halfway through 2020, and here’s hoping that the second half of the year will be a little less eventful than the first.
Greg Moriarty: (01:06)
But today is, as I said, a really important day for defense, and today is significant in terms of the words that we’ll hear from the Prime Minister and the Minister for Defense because of the rapidly and profoundly changing period in which we are living. In a moment, it will be my privilege to introduce the Minister for Defense, Senator the Honorable Linda Reynolds, CSC, who will be followed by the Prime Minister, the Honorable Scott Morrison, MP. Between them, they will outline what is a significant change in defense policy and a reorientation of our force structure to match.
Greg Moriarty: (01:55)
The work to support the government in developing these policies has been led by two teams in the Strategic Policy and Force Design divisions in the Department, but has been supported by all the groups and services in defense and across government departments from the National Security Community, including Finance and Treasury. The work has been backed by comprehensive analysis and testing against a range of possibilities and future scenarios.
Greg Moriarty: (02:27)
I’d like to thank all of those who have been involved in getting us to this point today. With that said, I’d ask you please to welcome the Minister for Defense, Senator the Honorable Linda Reynolds to say some introductory words. Thank you, Minister.
Linda Reynolds: (02:59)
Well, Secretary, thank you very much. To the Prime Minister, to my ministerial colleagues, and to all of you here from the ADF and the APS, welcome. I, too, acknowledge the Ngunnawal people, the traditional custodians of the land on which we are having this very important meeting today, and I also pay my respects to their elders past and present. As Minister for Defense, I also pass my respects to the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander men and women who have served with such great distinction in times of peace and in war for our nation. Ladies and gentlemen, we are in unprecedented times for our society, for our economy, our nation, and indeed for our world. Today, Prime Minister Morrison and I are making announcements that are profoundly important to our nation’s defense and to our security, announcements that evolve Australia’s strategic defense policy and also significantly sharpen our defense policy. As a government, national security is at the center of our responsibility to the Australian people, and, of course, as Defense Minister, this is central to my responsibilities. I work very closely with the Prime Minister and all of my cabinet colleagues on these critical decisions. As a cabinet and also as a government, we are very clear-eyed about Australia’s current strategic challenges. We are resolute in taking the steps necessary to respond to these challenges, and in prefacing the Prime Minister’s comments, I acknowledge and thank the department for their very rigorous and detailed work that underpinned today’s announcements.
Linda Reynolds: (04:44)
Just over 12 months ago, following my appointment as Minister for Defense, I spoke to defense leadership, and, in fact, it was right here in this theater. I spoke about the fundamental constitutional responsibility of any Australian Commonwealth government to safeguard the defense and the security of our nation. That day, I set three priorities: strategy, capability, and also reform. These three pillars underpin Defense’s purpose and also steer its success.
Linda Reynolds: (05:17)
Australia’s security environment is changing very quickly, with militarization, disruptive technological change, and new gray zones threats all making our region less secure. To keep our own nation secure, we must keep adapting to these changes. Today, to that purpose and to that objective, the Prime Minister is launching the document that addresses the priorities of strategy and capability. Tomorrow, I will address the Australian Strategic Policy Institute to expand on these announcements and provide more detail of these capabilities that will sharpen our defense force, capabilities that will enhance our Australian industrial sovereignty, capabilities that build on already productive long-term partnerships with Australian industry. This, in turn, is already creating tens of thousands of generational jobs right here in Australia.
Linda Reynolds: (06:18)
So ladies and gentlemen, the Morrison government is the custodian of highly significant generational defense investment on behalf of the Australian people. On a personal note, it is a great privilege to serve in Prime Minister Morrison’s cabinet. The tremendous leadership and decision-making clarity that is a hallmark of his prime ministership is reflected not only in our nation’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, but, as you’re about to hear, is also stamped in our nation’s clear-eyed response to our current strategic circumstances. So Prime Minister, welcome, and thank you all.
Scott Morrison: (07:16)
Well, thank you very much, Linda, and thank you for all joining us here today. Can I particularly commence by acknowledging the Ngunnawal people, their elders past and present, and, of course, leaders emerging for the future. As is always my practice and particularly on an occasion such as today, can I acknowledge any veterans who are here in the room with us today and serving members of our defense forces, of which there are many, and to simply say on behalf of an incredibly grateful nation, once again, thank you for your service?
Scott Morrison: (07:51)
Can I also, of course, acknowledge my many ministerial and parliamentary colleagues who are here with us today? I will speak of Linda in just a moment, but to our Ministers Hawke and Price, who are here with us doing such a tremendous job in critical areas of our defense operations and in defense engagement, both in the building of that capability through Minister Price and rolling out the enormous commitments and the industry capability that is essential to achieve what we’re speaking of today, but also to Minister Hawke, who has been leading our approach in the Pacific step-up, bringing together not just the defense components of that, but the international development components of that, and bringing that into one strategic initiative that has seen our standing amongst our Pacific family rise to whole new levels.
Scott Morrison: (08:49)
That is so essential to what I’m setting out today. Senator Molan is here, of course, who has been a longtime friend and a conciliary on many matters regarding defense, border protection, and many other things, Jim, and it’s good to see you here today. Thank you for being here.
Scott Morrison: (09:07)
Can I also acknowledge the Chief of Defense Force, General Campbell and Secretary Moriarty and all of the defense leadership that is here today? Your skill, your experience, your integrity is so written into these documents and gives Minister Reynolds and I and the entire Cabinet and the National Security Committee of the Cabinet great confidence in the advice that we receive and that, when we make decisions, we are making them on the best of possible advice and experience. The leadership that you’re showing across the services, together with your service chiefs represented here today, is exemplary. It really is a very strong period for our defense forces under your leadership.
Scott Morrison: (09:58)
That of course, leads me to Minister Reynolds, not only serving [inaudible 00:10:04] to self with deep engagement in matters of defense over her professional life, but she has brought a clarity to this portfolio. She has brought an accountability to this portfolio, which is absolutely essential, as Linda and I just … Was it this morning or last night, again reflecting on the depth of what is in these documents.
Scott Morrison: (10:27)
There is, of course, the many more apparent elements of the strategy that we’re outlining today, the hardware, the equipment, all of these sorts of things. Of course, that draws significant public attention, but at the end of the day, that’s not what makes it work. What makes it work are the people who drive it and the accountabilities that are placed upon the plans that we see here today.
Scott Morrison: (10:56)
That is what Linda in particular has driven so far in her time as Minister. There is an accountability to these plans that she insists on, as I know the service chiefs and others are very well aware of and the secretary. That gives me a lot of confidence, because the investments we’re making here today and for the longer term require the accountability of implementation. It’s significant, and so I commend you, Linda, for the terrific job you’ve had in bringing this all together as part of my team, and I also thank that many members of the National Security Committee or Cabinet as well who have been integrally involved in the development of this. It goes without saying that we will pass on our thanks to the Finance Minister and the Treasurer, who have had a keen interest in what we’ve been working on now for some time.
Scott Morrison: (11:46)
So it is an honor to be here today. It is a pivotal day for Australia and for our defense forces. It is an honor to be here at [inaudible 00:11:55] to launch the Australian government’s 2020 defense strategic update and the 2024 structure.
Scott Morrison: (12:03)
… strategic update. And the 2024 structure plan. These two very important documents that will guide our nation through one of the most challenging times we have known since the 1930s and the early 1940s. A plan for Australia’s future in the most important area of a federal government’s responsibility. For cadets of the Australian Defense Force Academy, who would normally sit in this lecture theater today, will be asked to confront many of the challenges that are set out here throughout the course of their careers. But more than that, to live up to the ideals and traditions of the ADF, serving and protecting Australia.
Scott Morrison: (12:49)
And at times, that work will be in accordance with plans already developed, and it will be also at other times, responding quickly to the unexpected. Our times are a testament to that challenge. This year, the ADF has provided crucial support to Australians during our Black Summer bushfires. And now as respond, to a once in a century pandemic. Senator Seselja, who is also here with us today, has been very familiar seeing that support here in his own home territory here in the ACT, and so often in his other responsibilities.
Scott Morrison: (13:26)
At the height of the operation Bushfire Assist, led by a Major General Justin Jake, as he’s known, Elwood. Six and a half thousand ADF personnel provided support to state and territory, fire, and emergency services across our nation. It was a proud time for our defense forces. And in particular, the unsaid preceded compulsory call out of 3080 ATF reservists, who are proud of the best of times, but to be able to be serving as reservists in their own country at a time of great need. So many of them that I was able to meet around the country felt a great pride in being able to deliver that service. And I thank their employers, once again, for supporting them in their efforts.
Scott Morrison: (14:12)
Then we went through when we thought life was going to return to normal, as the fires receded. Of course, it didn’t, the COVID-19 pandemic hit. And once again, the ADF has responded with operation COVID-19 assist at its peak. It has involved around 2200 personnel across Australia. In April, there was an outbreak of coronavirus in the Northwest Regional Hospital in Burnie. An outbreak that included staff across the hospital. The ADF responded with a 50 person deployment to assist the hospital. For two weeks, the ADF’s medical professionals treated and supported more than 400 locals who entered the hospital’s doors. This support was not just practical, but it was a great confidence boost, at a time of great anxiety in Northwestern, Tasmania. And Premier Gutwein, to this day, continues to offer his thanks to the tremendous support provided by the ADF.
Scott Morrison: (15:11)
Meanwhile, in shepard and engineering maintenance specialists from the Army Logistical Training Center and the Joint Logistics Unit, worked on lifting vital PPE capacity at the Med-Con plant. And thanks to them, Med-Con surgical face mask production now has an output capacity of 200 million masks per year. From contact tracing to quarantine support and isolation checking, the ADF has demonstrated again its capability, professionalism and adaptability. Lieutenant General, John Frewen and the COVID-19 Task Force, I want to thank you very much for your calm and methodical way of getting the job done, yet again. And the jobs continue with more than 200 personnel right now in Victoria and others standing by ready if needed, to go and assist with the current outbreak.
Scott Morrison: (16:04)
And if we need reminding, 2020 has demonstrated in no uncertain terms that the challenges and threats we face as a nation are constantly evolving. The enduring responsibility of government though, is timeless, to protect Australia’s national interests, our sovereignty, our values, and the security of the Australian people. This responsibility requires sustained commitment, focus, application. It requires strong economic management to support the necessary investment. And it demands tough and difficult choices.
Scott Morrison: (16:42)
As the Australian Strategic Policy Institute noted in the 2012-13 defense budget brief Just prior to our government’s 2013 election, the defense budget had fallen to 1.5% for 1.56% of GDP. That was the lowest level since 1938. Now, to illustrate the real world implications of this, there were no major domestic Naval ship building projects commissioned in the six years that followed the end of the Howard government in 2007 and the decisions they made to acquire the Hobart class air warfare destroyers, and the Canberra class LHDs.
Scott Morrison: (17:28)
I want to assure the men and women of the ADF who inherit a proud tradition and carry it, that our government, my government, will not repeat those mistakes of the past. We will ensure together that you are always properly supported, as you face the challenges of today, tomorrow, and you carry out the decisions that we make, but you undertake on our behalf and on behalf of the Australian people. Despite the many pressures on the budget, and of course during this COVID-19 recession, they have only accelerated, I reaffirm today that our government’s commitment is to properly fund defense with the certainty of a new 10 year funding model that goes beyond our achievement of reaching 2% of our economy of GDP this year.
Scott Morrison: (18:23)
The simple truth is this. Even as we stared down the COVID pandemic at home, we need to also prepare for a post-COVID world that is poorer, that is more dangerous, and that is more disorderly. We have been a favor dial, with many natural advantages for many decades. But we have not seen the conflation of global, economic and strategic uncertainty, now being experienced here in Australia, in our region, since the existential threat we face when the global and regional order collapsed in the 1930s and 1940s. That is a sobering thought. And it’s something I have reflected on quite a lot lately, as we’ve considered the dire economic circumstances we face. That period of the 1930s has been something I’ve been revisiting on a very regular basis. And when you connect both the economic challenges and the global uncertainty, it can be very haunting. But not overwhelming. It requires a response. Now, we must face that reality, understanding that we haven’t moved into a new and less benign strategic area. One in which the institutions of patterns of cooperation that have benefited our prosperity and security for decades are now under increasing, and I would suggest almost irreversible strain.
Scott Morrison: (20:04)
The Indo-Pacific is the epicenter of rising strategic competition. Our region will not only shape our future, increasingly though it is the focus of the dominant global contest of our age. This is the setting for it. Tensions over territorial claims are rising across the Indo-Pacific region as we have seen recently on the disputed border between India and China, in the South China Sea, in the East China Sea. The risk of miscalculation and even conflict is heightening. Regional military modernization is occurring at an unprecedented rate. Capabilities and reach are expanding. Previous assumptions of enduring advantage and technological edge are no longer constants and cannot be relied upon. Coercive activities arrive, disinformation and foreign interference have been enabled and accelerated by new and emerging technologies.
Scott Morrison: (21:05)
And of course, terrorism, hasn’t gone away, and the evil ideologies that underpin it. And they remain a tenacious threat. State sovereignty is under pressure as our rules and norms and the stability that these provide. Relations between China and the United States are fractures, at best, as they compete for political, economic and technological supremacy. But it’s important to acknowledge that they are not the only actors of consequence.
Scott Morrison: (21:40)
The rest of the world and Australia are not just bystanders to this. It’s not just China and the United States that will determine whether our region stays on path for free and open trade, investment and cooperation that has underpinned prosperity and stability. The people to people, relationships that bind our region together, Japan, India, the Republic of Korea, the countries of Southeast Asia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Vietnam, and the Pacific all have agency choices to make, parts to play.
Scott Morrison: (22:20)
And of course, so does Australia. There is a new dynamic of strategic competition and the largely benign security environment, as I’ve noted, that Australia’s enjoyed, basically from the fall of the Berlin Wall and to the global financial crisis, that’s gone. Since the government’s 2016 Defense White Paper was released, we have witnessed an acceleration of the strategic trends that were already underway.
Scott Morrison: (22:48)
The pandemic has accelerated and accentuated many of those trends. And that is why today, I’m launching the 2020 Defense Strategic Update. It represents a significant pivot. It outlines the shifts and challenges I’ve foreshadowed and mentioned. It makes clear the strategic environment we face. And this clarity will guide Australia’s actions. The update sees an evolution of strategic defense objectives, in accord with our new strategic environment.
Scott Morrison: (23:24)
The objectives outlined in the 2016 Defense White Paper saw an equal weighting across the three areas of Australia and its Northern approach, Southeast Asia and the Pacific and operations and support of the rules based global order. In this update, the government has directed defense to prioritize, to make choices. ADF’s geographical focus on our immediate region. The area ranging from the Northeast Indian Ocean through maritime and mainland Southeast Asia, to Papua New Guinea and the Southwest Pacific. The government set three new…
Scott Morrison: (24:03)
Guinea and the Southwest Pacific. The government has set three new strategic objectives to guide all defense planning, including force structure, force generation, international engagement, and operations. Now these shape Australia’s strategic environment, deter actions against Australia’s interests, respond with credible military force when required. We must be alert to the full range of current and future threats, including ones in which Australia’s security and sovereignty may be tested. These new policies will require force structure and capability adjustments. These must be able to hold potential adversaries, forces, and infrastructure at risk from greater distance, and therefore influence their calculus of costs involved in threatening Australia’s interests.
Scott Morrison: (24:59)
This includes developing capabilities in areas such as longer range strike weapons, cyber capabilities, area denial systems. And at the same time, our actions must be true to who we are as a nation of people. What we value for ourselves, our friends, for our neighbors. Soon after becoming prime minister, I said that our decisions as a nation are reflection of our character and our values. And so are these decisions today. What we believe in, and if need be, what we will defend.
Scott Morrison: (25:35)
As one of the world’s oldest liberal democracies, we know who we are. We know what we believe. We know what we’re about. We know what we stand for. And we know what we’ll defend. We’re about having the freedom to live our lives as we choose, in an open and democratic liberal society, without coercion, without fear. We’re about the rule of law, we’re about being good neighbors, pulling our weight, lending a hand, and not leaving the heavy lifting and hard tasks to others. We don’t seek to entangle or intimidate or silence our neighbors. We respect their sovereignty. We champion it. And we expect others to respect ours. Sovereignty means self respect, freedom to be who we are. Ourselves, independence, free thinking. We will never surrender this. Never. Never.
Scott Morrison: (26:35)
Everything my government does is designed to build our national resilience and protect our sovereignty, our freedom, our values, and our independence. This is our great trust. Australia’s defense and capability planning has been updated accordingly and is detailed in the 2024 structure plan, which I’m also launching today. And the good news is that we’re already pointed in the right direction. This journey didn’t start today. It’s been happening for some time. The government made a commitment to deliver a more potent, capable, and agile ADF in the 2016 white paper. And we went further than that. We’ve backed it up with the investments, something that is often peculiar for white papers.
Scott Morrison: (27:21)
We are undertaking the biggest regeneration of our Navy since the second world war, and have charted the transition to a fifth generation air force. This includes the F35 Lightning Joint Strike Fighter, the most advanced Strike Fighter in the world. The Joint Strike Fighter. We’re strengthening our high tech industrial capability, as well. Minister Price and I have been out there, seeing it being built in southwestern Sydney, parts of it. Over 50 Australian companies already sharing more than $1.7 billion in contracts, as part of the global JSF program. Truly exciting. Greater mobility, protection, and strike power. Also for our army, new infrastructure to enhance the delivery of our war fighting capabilities, from logistics and intelligence to basis, which also brings benefits for many local and regional communities, including indigenous communities.
Scott Morrison: (28:14)
And to implement the defense strategic update, my government is making a further commitment to better position defense to respond to rapid changes in the environment that I’ve noted. We are again providing longterm funding certainty for defense and defense industry. That enables them to plan with confidence. An updated 10 year funding model that will enable defense to deliver the strategy and the complex capabilities it requires to keep us safe. This will see capability investment grow to $270 billion over the next decade. That’s up from 195 billion we committed in the decade following the 2016 defense white paper.
Scott Morrison: (28:54)
So what will this deliver? It will expand our plans to acquire sophisticated maritime long range missiles, air launched strike, and anti ship weapons, as well as additional land-based weapons. That’s right. That’s what we’re going to do. We will also invest in more highly integrated and automated sensors and weapons, including potential development of hypersonic weapons systems. And this investment will see us build on defense’s collaboration with Australian industry, which is already at a new level. In 2016, the government released the defense industry policy statement. In 2018, we launched the defense industrial capability plan. As I said, we’re not starting here today. We’ve been long at this task. This was followed by the release of the defense policy for industry participation last year.
Scott Morrison: (29:46)
These steps have all been about making sure we have a robust, resilient, and innovative defense industrial base. A base that maximizes Australian participation and supports highly skilled Australian jobs and local investment, whether it’s the small arms and ammunition being designed and manufactured at force ordinance in South Australia or new capabilities such as Boeing, Australia’s autonomous loyal wing men, designed and produced in Brisbane and Melbourne.
Scott Morrison: (30:15)
We were on track with the delivery of our boxer combat reconnaissance vehicles that we’ve just seen outside here today, an example of which we’ve got for you to see. These new armored vehicles will provide better protection, fire power, and mobility to the men and women on the ground. And they will be built right here in Australia.
Scott Morrison: (30:34)
And it’s a similar story for our Naval ship building industry. Naval ship building plan in 2017 set out a longterm vision for a strong, sustainable, and innovative Naval ship building industry here in Australia. Three years on, we are delivering on that vision. Continuous Naval ship building in South Australia and Western Australia is now underway. The [inaudible 00:30:55] class offshore patrol vessels are under production. The guardian class Pacific patrol boats are already being delivered to our Pacific family, which I know Minister Hawk has been on a number of those deliveries, and they couldn’t be more pleased. Really couldn’t. The Hunter-class frigates and the attack-class submarines are now both on contract and progressing well. And we will cut steel on the first Hunter prototypes at our new Osborne shipyard in Adelaide later this year. These Naval shipbuilding programs are on track and they are on budget.
Scott Morrison: (31:27)
The 2024 structure plan now includes plans for the acquisition or upgrade of up to 23 different classes of Navy and army vessels, representing a total investment of almost 183 billion, up to that. This program is delivering thousands of jobs, even more important as we come out of the COVID-19 recession. And this will grow over the coming years. Mr. Price has ensured that we’ve been bringing forward elements of our defense procurement and investment, as part of our activity to support the Job Maker program more broadly, in response to the corona recession. Laying the foundation, though, more broadly in all of these areas of shipbuilding, for advanced shipbuilding for generations to come, so Australia can be in a strong position.
Scott Morrison: (32:12)
Now these actions that we’ve taken since 2016, and those that I’m announcing today, will deliver the cutting edge capabilities necessary to achieve what we’ve set out as our objectives. The first objective is to shape Australia’s strategic environment. Now the Indo-Pacific is where we live, and we want an open, sovereign Indo-Pacific, free from coercion and hegemony. We want a region where all countries, large and small, can engage freely with each other, and guided by international rules and norms. These are not unreasonable objectives or ambitions or requests. Where countries can pursue their own interests peacefully and without external interference, because this means Australia can pursue our interests, too. The Indo-Pacific is where Australia has our greatest influence and can make the most meaningful impact and contribution, and we intend to. And it is also where our need is most pressing.
Scott Morrison: (33:09)
Before the pandemic, the ADF was participating in almost 50 bilateral, mini lateral, and multilateral exercise in our region each year, with great success.
Scott Morrison: (33:17)
We have deepened defense and security cooperation with partners, new and old, including United States, Japan, Indonesia, Singapore, and Vietnam. And we are working more closely than ever with our Pacific family. As part of the Pacific step up, which I launched at [inaudible 00:33:35] barracks, I remember a very warm day up there in November 2018, in [inaudible 00:09:41], we’re working in partnership with Pacific countries to grow economies, build resilience, and enhance regional stability. And the transformation of Blackrock in Fiji has been part of this. And as I said, when I visited there last year, it’s so much more than the bricks and mortar. It symbolizes an enduring commitment to a stable, secure, and sovereign region. It speaks of a deep relationship, a commitment we’ve made to all members of our Pacific family of [inaudible 00:34:15] they’ve stepped up in return, particularly during the bush fires earlier this year, when PNG and Fiji provided military assistance.
Scott Morrison: (34:23)
And so many of our Pacific neighbors donated so generously. It was wonderful to see Linda’s posts of them singing in mess halls around the country, and just their enthusiasm. My good friend, James Marape, the prime minister of Papua New Guinea, would be calling me, saying, “They’re on their way.” And he was keen to understand how they were going each and every day, and I’d share the stories. And when he smiles, that’s a lot of brightness coming back at you. And he was so excited. And that’s how friends and family deal with each other. And the same was true of prime minister [inaudible 00:34:58] as well. So proud that they could be there for us, as we have been there for them on so many occasions and always will.
Scott Morrison: (35:08)
So Australia’s commitment to the region will only intensify a sharpened focus. We’ll see defense forming even deeper links and trust with regional armed forces and a further expansion in our defense, diplomacy, cooperation, and capability and capacity building. Our new strategic settings will also make us a better, more efficient ally. Means a lot to us. We’ve always pulled our weight. We want to continue to do so, as challenges increase. We remain prepared to make military contributions outside of our immediate region, where it is in our national interest to do so, underscored, including in support of US-led coalitions, and where it matches the capability we have to offer. A capability built, as Minister Reynolds often reminds me, a capability built to deal with our objectives, and where that can be applied in other theaters for other purposes, then of course, we show up.
Scott Morrison: (36:03)
… this is then of course we show up. But we cannot allow such consideration of contingencies to drive our force structure to the detriment of ensuring we have credible capability to respond to any challenge in our immediate region. Our first job is always our first job. And it is in our region that we must be most capable in the military contributions we make to partnerships and to our ever closer alliance with the United States, which is the foundation of our defense policy. The security assurances, intelligence sharing, and the technological industrial corporation we enjoy with the United States are and remain critical to our national security. They are enduring,
Scott Morrison: (36:44)
But if we are to be a better and more effective ally, we must be prepared to invest in our own security. Part of this means improving our awareness of what’s happening in the region. And this will include expanding our world- leading Jindalee Over the Horizon Radar Network to provide wide areas of surveillance of Australia’s Eastern approaches complementing the existing surveillance of our North and West.
Scott Morrison: (37:09)
We will also increase our investment intelligence under sea surveillance and cyber capabilities to enhance our situational awareness. Improve situational awareness prides the foundation for the second of our objectives, which is deterring actions against Australia’s interests. Now, Australia has a highly effective, deployable and integrated military force of which we are so proud. But maintaining what is a highly capable, but largely defensive force will not equip us to detour attacks against Australia or our sovereign interests in the challenging strategic environment we face.
Scott Morrison: (37:43)
The IDF now needs stronger deterrence capabilities. Capabilities that can hold potential adversaries, their forces, and critical infrastructure at risk from a distance thereby deterring an attack on Australia and helping to prevent war.
Scott Morrison: (38:04)
Of course, we can’t match all the capabilities in our region. That’s not the point of what we’re announcing today. That is why we need to ensure our deterrence capabilities, play to our strengths. Australia will invest in longer range strike weapons, cyber capabilities, and area denial. As mentioned, we’re expanding our plans to acquire long range maritime and land strike capabilities and to invest in more highly integrated sensors and weapons. We will increase the Australian defense forces ability to influence and deny operations directed against our interests.
Scott Morrison: (38:40)
The threshold of traditional conflict in what experts call the gray zone, which has becoming ever present and ever expanding. This will involve boosting defenses of special operations, intelligence, and offensive cyber capabilities, as well as its presence, operations capacity building efforts and engagement activities. $15 billion investment in cyber and information warfare capabilities. Says a lot about where the world is at and where the threats are coming from, and it will range across all key touchpoints of capability. People, platforms, technology, research. Our investments in these capabilities will enable defense to more effectively counter cyber attacks on Australia on defense and out deployed forces. And this will be part of my government’s broader investment in Australia’s cyber defense’s resources and capabilities. It’s no secret, nor have we see to make it one, that the cyber threat landscape is evolving rapidly. And soon we will announce as a government, our new cyber security strategy building on our 2016 strategy and it’s $230 million investment and incorporating our $156 million cyber security commitment from last year. It will include funding of 1.35 billion over the next decade to enhance the cyber security capabilities and assist in provided to Australians through the Australian Signals Directorate represented here today. And of course also at the site in cyber security center.
Scott Morrison: (40:17)
The focus will extend well beyond defense capabilities with, for example, over 31 million devoted to enhancing the ability of the ISD to disrupt cyber crime off shore. Taking the fight to [foreign 00:40:27] or criminals that seek to target Australians and providing assistance to federal, state and territory law enforcement agencies. Over 12 million will go towards new strategic mitigations and active disruption options, enabling ISD and Australia’s major telecommunications providers to prevent malicious cyber activity from reaching millions of Australians.
Scott Morrison: (40:49)
And I want to thank Australian industry, Australian businesses for the response to my statement several weeks ago. Where we alerted them to the increasing nature of cyber activity in Australia. And I’m advised by ST, the response from the business community has been extremely strong as well as from state and territory and local governments. We appreciate that. We’d encourage you to continue to engage. You are joined in this great effort with us.
Scott Morrison: (41:20)
Now, the third objective, our defense strategy update is ensuring Australia can respond to threats with credible military force when required. The strategic environment and the heightened risk of miscalculation in the region makes this a necessity. There’s much more tension in the cord these days. We need an IDF that is ready now, but it’s also future [inaudible 00:05:42]. And this means streamlining our capability development acquisition processes, as well as bolstering supply chain security, heightened by what we’ve seen during the COVID-19 pandemic. Because responding credibly to threats doesn’t simply come down to the IDF.
Scott Morrison: (41:59)
It’s about the system that surrounds it, supports it, the ecosystem that it is a part of. And this is the hard bit, it’s about the support and structures it has to do with the job. We learned that with the health system, during the pandemic, it’s equally true for our defense capability. It’s about Australia having what we need when we needed and the ability to provide it. And to achieve these aims, the government will invest accordingly in resilience and the idea of stability to respond to an array of challenges at the same time. That includes investment in the logistic systems that will improve the idea of stability to deploy globally and support our allies, where it is in Australia’s interests. And over time, we will significantly expand the idea of guided weapons and explosive ordinance stock holdings. We will modernize and reform the IDFs supply system, including expansion of its fuel holdings and deployable fuel and water systems. We will prioritize our investment in critical military infrastructure. Such as the $1,6 billion upgrade to RAAF base Tyndall, where I was recently just before the pandemic really took hold.
Scott Morrison: (43:10)
Furthermore, the government will significantly increase investment in defense space capabilities, a whole new theater. Including a network of satellites. So we have an independent communications network and we’re going to invest some $7 billion in those space capabilities over the coming decade. Working closely with industry and other government agencies, including the Australian Space Agency, headquartered in Adelaide, where I was there to open that agency not that long ago.
Scott Morrison: (43:42)
Working with key partners and allies, we will take advantage of Australia’s unique geographical position to better contribute to collective space, to mine awareness. And so too we will look to enhance the idea of stability to counter emerging threats in the space domain and ensure our continued access to space based intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance. And we’ll increase our investment Australia’s technology, innovation programs. Partnering with defense industry research institutions and education providers, while also rethinking how defense can better support during natural disasters.
Scott Morrison: (44:14)
The defense of Australia is a big team effort, and it goes well beyond those who wear uniforms. It really reaches almost into every aspect of our community and Australian life. And that’s important because we all have a stake in it. We all have a part to play, always, to hold dear what we value most.
Scott Morrison: (44:37)
Ladies and gentlemen, the strategic challenges of today and tomorrow call Australia in many ways as we’ve been called before at difficult times, to play our part in a region where peace, stability and prosperity cannot be taken for granted. 2020 has demonstrated once again, the multiple challenges and radical uncertainty we face. Eerily haunted by similar times, many years ago in the 1930s. Today with the Indo Pacific experiencing fundamental shifts and increased threats, our commitment will only deepen.
Scott Morrison: (45:17)
Our defense Forces will need to be prepared for any future, no matter how unlikely and hopefully not needed in the worst of circumstances. And I’m very confident, very confident in both the leadership and the plans of our defense forces. Their resources, the people, whether from those in command to those following commands, there is a great culture. A tremendous culture that will build even stronger in the future under the leadership that I know was in place from Minister Reynolds and the Chief of Defense force, General Campbell and secretary Moriarty. It has the budget certainty our defense effort of the government’s ten-year funding model and our sustained record of taking defense and national security seriously.
Scott Morrison: (46:12)
I acknowledged [Jim Marlin 00:10:13] before. It was Jim who convinced our government before we came to government of the strategic need to make the big commitment to have the budget, to do the things that Australia needed to defend itself. We’re putting into action, all of this with the Defense Strategic Update for Structured Plan. Stepping up once again for Australia to protect our sovereignty, to preserve peace which we value, to help our region meet the challenges of the 21st century together. Because that is how we will keep Australians safe. Thank you very much for your kind attention.