The Prime Minister and the Minister for Defence announced on 4 April 2014, that Defence would produce a new White Paper to be released in 2015.
Defence White Papers are the Government's most important guidance about Australia's long-term defence capability. They allow the Government and community to understand the opportunities and challenges for Australia's future defence and security needs.
The 2015 Defence White Paper will be a whole-of-government product that reflects the Government's overall strategic, fiscal and broader policy priorities.
The 2015 Defence White Paper is being developed in a deliberate and methodical manner as these decisions will guide Australia's defence capability for the coming decades. It will align defence policy with military strategy and deliver an affordable Australian Defence Force structure.
The White Paper will include a comprehensive review of Australia's strategic environment, including the changes underway in our region and across the globe and the implications of these changes for Australia. It will outline the tasks the Government expects of Defence and how these can be achieved with the resources available.
A fully-costed Force Structure Review will underpin the White Paper. The Force Structure Review will assess Defence's future capability needs and propose a force structure that addresses Australia's defence objectives within an agreed allocation of funding.
The Minister for Defence has appointed an external Expert Panel to support the development of the White Paper and provide independent advice to the Minister.
A comprehensive consultation process will be conducted to support the development of the White Paper, with input from across Government, industry, the Australian public, Australia's allies and regional partners.
Following the release of the 2015 Defence White Paper, Defence will publish a 10-year Defence Capability Plan and a Defence Industry Policy Statement to provide defence industry with greater certainty about the Government's key priorities and timeframes.