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A Royal Australian Air Force C-17 Globemaster prepares to unload Australian aid at Kathmandu International Airport, Nepal as part of Operation Nepal Assist.

2015-16 Defence Budget

Ministerial Forward

Portrait of Minister Kevin Andrews The first responsibility of a national Government is the safety and security of its people. As Defence Minister, I take this responsibility very seriously.

The 2015–16 Budget delivers on the Government’s promise to grow, rather than cut, the Defence budget. The Government remains firm on its commitment to increase Defence spending to two per cent of GDP within a decade.
Since its election, the Government has invested more than $22 billion in Defence capability projects. New projects will be announced in the Defence White Paper, which will be delivered later this year and underpinned by a fully-costed Force Structure Review. The White Paper will outline the Government’s long-term Defence strategy that will guide Australia’s defence capability over the coming decades.

In conjunction with the White Paper, the Government will publish a fully-costed 10 year Defence Investment Plan, a Defence Industry Policy Statement and an enterprise-level Naval Shipbuilding Plan. Together, these policies and plans will ensure Australia has a sustainable and viable industry. Until the White Paper and Force Structure Review are released, the Government will continue to approve and fund the most urgent capability projects, listed in the 2015–16 Portfolio Budget Statements.

The Government continues to support our deployed Defence Force personnel including those in Iraq, Afghanistan, the Middle East and on maritime operations. I recently farewelled troops who joined the Building Partner Capacity training mission in Iraq, the next phase of Australia’s contribution to the international coalition effort to help the Iraqi Government disrupt, degrade and, ultimately, defeat Daesh.

Back home, the much-anticipated First Principles Review was released on 1 April 2015. The implementation of the recommendations will see Defence functioning as a wholly integrated organisation that delivers enhanced joint capability. While this review has reset the reform agenda for Defence, the Pathway to Change cultural reform program initiatives continue. These cultural reforms focus on initiatives creating a fair, inclusive, diverse and respectful work environment.
In an increasingly challenging global environment, the Government is now, more than ever, committed to countering both new and traditional threats that challenge our national interest and security.

Kevin Andrews
Minister for Defence


Defence 2015-16 budget brochure

Download the Defence 2015-16 budget brochure for a overarching snapshot and informational overview of the 2015-16 Defence budget.

Budget Snapshot

In the 2015–16 Budget, the Government has reaffirmed its commitment to growing the Defence budget to two per cent of GDP within a decade.

The Government will provide Defence with $31.9 billion in 2015–16 and $132.6 billion over the Forward Estimates. This is an increase of $9.9 billion over the Forward Estimates when compared to the 2014–15 Budget and represents record expenditure on Defence.

Key measures in the 2015–16 Budget include:

  • Operations – the Government has agreed to additional funding of $752.7 million in the 2015–16 Budget and $802.4 million over the Forward Estimates. This takes total operations funding to $910.7 million in 2015–16 and $1,071.8 million over the Forward Estimates.
  • Capability – over the past 12 months the Government has committed more than $5 billion to new Defence capabilities including:
    • two additional Boeing C-17A Globemaster III aircraft to bolster the Royal Australian Air Force’s existing fleet of six strategic lift aircraft
    • the new Helicopter Aircrew Training System – a fully integrated modern training environment preparing aircrew for the new generation of advanced combat helicopters
    • state-of-the-art Special Forces vehicles being assembled in Australia.
  • Future capability – in 2015–16, the Government will enhance its strong record of investment in Defence capability. A complete program of capital investment in new capabilities will accompany the 2015 Defence White Paper.
  • Defence Force pay – on 16 April 2015, the Chief of the Defence Force, Air Chief Marshal Mark Binskin AC and the Government applied to the Defence Force Remuneration Tribunal, seeking to increase the Workplace Remuneration Arrangement for Australian Defence Force (ADF) personnel from 1.5 to 2.0 per cent per annum. This decision reflects the special contribution the ADF makes towards the security of our nation.
  • Sir John Monash Centre – the Government has previously announced that it would provide initial funding of $2.8 million in the Budget to commence the establishment of an Australian interpretive centre at Villers-Bretonneux, near the site of the Australian National Memorial on the Somme. The Government will commit a further $18 million in 2015–16 and $89 million in the Forward Estimates to complete the project. The interpretive centre will provide a focal point for Australian visitors and tell the proud story of the soldiers who served on the Western Front battlefields during World War I.

Defence 2015-16 Budget Fact Sheets


Full PBS

For the full Defence Portfolio Budget Statements visit the 2015-16 PBS page.