Independent News For The Australian Public Service
Edition Number 404. Updated Tuesday, 08 April 2014

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PM takes aim at 'affordable' ADF

The Prime Minister has announced that a new Defence White Paper is to be developed.

Tony Abbott said the Government would develop a Defence White Paper to be released next year which would underpin a costed, affordable plan to achieve Australia's defence and national security objectives.

Mr Abbott said the White Paper would align defence policy with military strategy and deliver an affordable Australian Defence Force structure.

"The Government is committed to returning Defence spending to two per cent of Australia's Gross Domestic Product in the next decade as our budgetary position improves," he said.

Defence White Paper announced

Mr Abbott said the Defence White Paper would assist in developing a costed acquisition program and a 10-year Defence Capability Plan and an updated Defence Industry Policy Statement.

"It will be informed by the Government's Commission of Audit and a first-principles review of the Department of Defence that will be undertaken during 2014," he said.

Mr Abbott said the Defence White Paper would also consider the merits of an enhanced Defence presence in northern Australia.

He said it would draw on parallel work being done on the Northern Australia White Paper, which the Government was developing in partnership with Queensland, Western Australia and the Northern Territory.

"In developing the White Paper, the Department of Defence will consult with industry, the public, Australia's allies and regional partners," Mr Abbott said.

According to the Prime Minister, the White Paper's development would be supported by the Expert Panel announced previously by the Minister for Defence.

He said this Panel would provide input at all stages of the process, to challenge any key assumptions and ensure strong public consultation during the development of the White Paper.

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