Home' Defence Magazine : White Paper 2009 Contents 12
he previous four defence
white papers were
delivered in 1976, 1987, 1994
and 2000, while the 2009
version represents the most
statement on defence ever produced.
This White Paper affirms the Government’s
commitment to the defence of Australia, the security
and stability of the regional security environment,
and a rules-based global security order.
The White Paper confirms the centrality of
the alliance relationship with the United States
and reaffirms Australia’s commitment to the
United Nations system. The White Paper notes the
increasing uncertainty of the strategic environment
and better positions Defence to respond to
conflicts, contingencies and humanitarian and
disaster relief activities in that future environment.
But beyond these motherhood statements,
the White Paper dictates that Australia’s military
strategy will be predominantly a maritime one
where we will seek to control the air and sea
approaches to Australia, if necessary by defeating
hostile forces in their bases or staging areas, or
attacking them in transit.
The key long-term force structure choices
made by this Government are to replace the
current six submarines with 12 to be built in South
Australia, build a new class of frigates that will
be optimised to detect and destroy submarines,
provide more than 1100 new combat vehicles
to the Army as well as increasing its general
firepower, mobility and survivability, and equip the
Air Force with around 100 Joint Strike Fighters.
The Government is making a significant long
term investment in the capability of the Australian
Defence Force while at the same time remediating
the current and projected force.
To achieve this, the Government has directed
the most complex and far reaching reforms of
Defence business ever undertaken, including
within the Defence Materiel Organisation, with
the redirection of significant internal Defence
resources to the development of new capability.
Fundamental reform to Defence personnel
management arrangements will enable Defence
to manage its workforce in an integrated way,
optimising the mix of military, civilian and
contractor personnel, based on funding available
rather than specific number targets and caps.
To ensure Defence optimises the resources
available for its core business, Defence will streamline
its core business processes and make greater use of
shared services for payroll, human resources systems,
procurement and financial services.
Government has agreed to a new funding
model for Defence, including the continuation of
the three per cent real growth in Defence funding
to 2017/18, with a commitment to growth, in real
terms, at 2.2 per cent per annum beyond that.
the white paper process
A Ministerial Advisory Panel provided
external advice on key issues associated with
the White Paper. The panel members were
retired Major General Peter Abigail, Dr Mark
Thomson and Professor Ross Babbage. A further
Community Consultation Panel included chair
Mr Stephen Loosley, deputy chair Mr Arthur
Sinodinos, and panel members Rear Admiral
Simon Harrington (Retd), Professor Tanya Monro
and Mr Peter Collins.
The Community Consultation program’s
public meeting schedule began in Darwin on
8 July and finished in Bendigo and Ballarat
on 17 September.
The development of the White Paper was
characterised by close inter-agency consultation
and cooperation. This is consistent with the
Government’s intent for Defence matters to be
considered as part of a holistic, national security
approach that encompasses all elements of
force structure review
A separate Force Structure Review (FSR)
drew on a range of policy and strategy analysis
to assess the force structure and capabilities
Australia needs to provide appropriate response
options for the Government.
Through various interactions with Government and
expert analysis, the FSR identified the likely tasks for
the ADF; determined the joint capabilities needed to
undertake these tasks; and developed an appropriate
force structure to deliver these joint capabilities.
The focus throughout was to ensure the
nature of future joint, inter-agency and coalition
operations was understood as well as a careful
consideration of key issues such as concurrency,
preparedness and sustainability.
Above all, the FSR delivered a force structure
for a capable, sustainable joint force which
leverages the whole Defence establishment.
In addition to the Force Structure Review,
a series of accompanying reviews (including
Companion Reviews) were conducted across a
range of Defence business areas in order to inform
development of the new White Paper.
The reviews addressed the processes
associated with the development of the Defence
Capability Plan; preparedness, personnel and
operating costs; uniformed and civilian workforce;
the estate; intelligence; information technology
requirements; the defence industry capacity we
require, as well as science and technology and
logistics management needs.
These reviews provided important input into the
development of defence business and budget priorities
as part of the White Paper and, in particular, identifying
potential reform proposals to be implemented as part
of the Strategic Reform Program.
Beyond these pages, you will be able to read
further details pertaining to how the 2009 Defence
White Paper and subsequent Strategic Reform Program
affects Defence’s array of Groups and Services.
A WHITE PAPER
defence magazine ›
What has changed since the last White Paper?
Much has changed in the world duirng the past nine years that
requires Defence to fundamentally re-assess what the future
threats to Australia’s security are and what place the use or
threatened use of military force plays in our national approach –
this can only be done through a White Paper.
The specific changes are:
• The global shifts in the distribution of power have become more
obvious with China’s rise and other changes within the Asia-
Pacific region seeing significant military modernisation;
• Terrorism has become global with no nation immune from its
effects as Australia has tragically seen;
• Australia’s military forces are fighting in Afghanistan and have
fought in Iraq, and closer to home we have sent our forces to
East Timor, Indonesia, PNG, the Solomon Islands and Tonga;
• State fragility in our nearer region has increased;
• Global challenges such as climate change, resource depletion
and patterns of persistent poverty have increased and all have
potential security impacts;
• The threats from cyber warfare and weapons of mass
destruction have increased;
• The security effects of the global economic crisis are yet to be
These changes mean that we are facing a fundamentally uncertain
future – it could become one characterised by friendly competition
but it could also turn out to be a much more threatening one.
Defence must hedge against the future with a readiness and capacity
to act with military force in support of our national interests, which
will be a positive influence and ultimately deter aggression.
On 22 February 2008, the development of Defence’s fifth
White Paper began in earnest. On 2 May 2009, the 140-page
document was launched by Prime Minister Kevin Rudd in
spectacular fashion on Royal Australian Navy frigate HMAS
Stuart, with Sydney Harbour as an appropriate backdrop.
By Michael Weaver
What’s it all going to cost?
The Government’s financial plan for Defence will fully fund the
force structure, readiness, sustainment, personnel, infrastructure,
and other objectives outlined in the White Paper.
For the period 2009/10 to 2012/13, Defence will receive $104.4
billion from the Government in revenue.
In addition Defence will generate $3.4 billion in net savings
and efficiencies during the same period.
Collectively, these amounts will enable Defence to deliver White
Paper initiatives totalling $6 billion over the forward estimates.
The ongoing economic crisis and financial uncertainty
has been taken into account as part of the Government’s
considerations of the Defence White Paper. Fluctuations in
exchanges rates and other price indices that impact on the
Defence budget have informed these considerations.
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