Budget bang for their buck
Senator Johnston said the Budget was about building a strong and prosperous economy for a safe and secure Australia.
“The government will provide Defence with $29.2 billion in 2014-15 and $122.7 billion over the forward estimates,” he said.
“This demonstrates our firm commitment to a strong and capable ADF.”
Included in the budget for 2014-15 is $669.4 million to maintain the current operational tempo, including operations in the Middle East and closer to home as part of Op Resolute and the search for Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370.
The increase in the operational budget will allow Army to concentrate on supporting forces and individuals deployed on operations and Army will remain committed to many operations globally and domestically.
The ability to train, sustain and preserve deployable brigades and battalion groups for prolonged periods of time in an operational environment remains a high priority.
The 2014-15 Budget increases will support the implementation of the Multi-role Combat Brigade under Plan Beersheeba, which will optimise Army’s Force Generation Cycle and achieve further efficiencies.
Increases in spending will fund Defence projects already announced by the government such as the F-35 Joint Striker Fighters, P-8A Maritime Patrol Aircraft and Triton Unmanned Aerial Vehicles.
ADF numbers are set to increase under the Budget from 56,395 to about 59,500 over the forward estimates period. While the ADF reached a numbers peak in 2010-11 and slowly began to decrease over time, a number of initiatives are set to bolster numbers, including the reintroduction of the ADF Gap Year program, which will employ up to 1000 participants a year.
Defence has developed the Defence Employment Offer framework to ensure the ADF maintains a compelling offer to encourage potential recruits to join and stay with Defence. Offers will also be tailored to deal with retention issues in specific parts of the workforce.
Under the new Budget, Defence will retain the proceeds of Defence property sales, which will be directly reinvested back into furthering Defence capabilities. For the 2014-15 financial year it is forecast that there will be 14,318 Navy, 30,383 Army and 14,138 Air Force personnel.
The Budget has allocated $18.3 million to support the reinstatement of the popular ADF Gap Year Programme and $1.5 billion has been brought forward from 2017-18 to purchase vital capabilities.
Senator Johnston said these actions would provide the ADF with a stable and sustainable growth plan.
"Defence will not be immune from the government’s insistence on value for money,” he said.
“The government is committed to finding ongoing efficiencies in Defence administration and redistributing these to the sharp end.
“We will lay out a clear, fully -funded plan for a strong and secure Australia.”
For more information on the 2014-15 Budget.