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Defence's Priorities


Defence's primary focus continues to be to protect and advance Australia's strategic interests through the provision of appropriately prepared and equipped armed forces. To achieve this, Defence prepares for and conducts military operations and other tasks as directed by the Government.

Defence is transitioning from more than a decade focused on major operations in the Middle East and the South Pacific. The need to retain lessons-learned from this experience, prepare for the opportunities and challenges of strategic transformation in our region, and maximise Defence capability within fiscal guidance, are some of the key elements driving Defence strategy and activities.

The development of a new Defence White Paper has commenced and will be finalised by mid 2015. The White Paper will set out the Government's strategic direction and plan for Defence, and will be accompanied by a ten-year Defence Capability Plan, which will determine the capabilities needed to ensure Australia's national security in coming decades.

The Defence Budget for 2014-15 is $29.2 billion and a further $122.7 billion over the Forward Estimates. The Budget includes a total of $436.8 million in 2014-15 and $669.4 million across the Forward Estimates for the continuation of Operations in the Middle East, enhanced border security under Operation RESOLUTE, the provision of ADF support to the November summit of G20 leaders in Brisbane, and the Defence contribution to the search for Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370.

We will also continue put significant focus on implementing the Pathway to Change strategy to change Defence's culture and performance, so that as an organisation, in the eyes of Government and the nation, Defence is 'trusted to defend, proven to deliver and respectful always'.

Defence White Papers

Defence White Papers are the Government's most important guidance about Australia's long-term defence capability. They provide an opportunity for the Government and community to understand the opportunities and challenges for Australia's future defence and security needs.

The Defence White Papers align defence policy with military strategy and deliver an affordable Australian Defence Force structure.

The development process for the White Paper involves a comprehensive consultation process, with input from across Government, industry, the Australian public, our allies and regional partners.

The Defence White Papers are a whole-of-government product that reflects the Government's overall strategic, national security, fiscal and broader policy priorities.

Defence Capability Plan

Following the release of the 2015 Defence White Paper, Defence will publish a 10-year Defence Capability Plan and a Defence Industry Policy Statement to provide defence industry with greater certainty about the Government's key priorities and timeframes.

Defence Corporate Plan 2012-17

The Defence Corporate Plan 2012-17 highlights our future directions and key priorities. It outlines our approach to sustaining and developing the Defence organisation, our risks and key risk management strategies.

Defence Strategic Reform Program

As part of the 2009 Defence White Paper, the Government committed to fundamental and extensive reform of Defence business to improve accountability, planning and productivity in the organisation.

The Strategic Reform Program - Delivering Force 2030 booklet [PDF 30KB] sets out the details of the Strategic Reform Program and shows how the gross savings of around $20 billion over the ten years to 2019 will be achieved.

This money will be reinvested in Defence to deliver stronger military capabilities, to remediate areas where there has not been enough funding in the past and to modernise the Defence enterprise 'backbone', which is essential to support the fighting force.