Focus for future Defence resilience – report tabled

House of Representatives

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The most recent report of the Joint Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade was presented in the House today.

The Committee has conducted a review of the Department of Defence Annual Report 2019-20 and made recommendations in a range of areas.

The inquiry initially focused on four main aspects of the annual report: namely space-based intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, cyber warfare, Defence estate in the north and north-west and Defence workforce. Throughout the conduct of the inquiry, Defence science and technology and strategic fuel security became additional focus areas.

Committee Chair, Senator the Hon David Fawcett, explained that the report and its recommendations reflect the fact that the Committee sees potential for Australia to take an increasingly ‘asymmetric’ approach to national security in coming decades, not only within the Defence organisation but from a broader whole-of-nation perspective. This extends beyond strictly military capabilities to shared civil-military space capabilities, joint civil-military cyber capabilities and innovative approaches to future fuel and energy security measures.

‘The global geostrategic environment is changing at a rate and on a scale much greater than was anticipated towards the end of the last decade. Military modernisation in the Indo-Pacific, particularly in ‘grey-zone’ capabilities and tactics, has added a layer of complexity to Australia’s strategic challenges which must be met in an equally high-paced and agile manner if we are to maintain a credible defensive deterrent’ Senator Fawcett said.

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