This week, Prime Minister Scott Morrison has revealed plans to increase defense spending in attempts to combat the rise of cybersecurity threats as well as expand Australia’s military power.
The Australian government has announced a $930 million-US dollar investment in cybersecurity and the allocation of $185 billion US dollars towards the Defense department to upgrade Australia’s military capabilities. Both these plans were designed to produce improvements throughout the next ten years.
These programs are amongst the largest investments ever made by the government.
On Monday June 29th, the Cyber Enhanced Situational Awareness and Response (CESAR) package was created with the purpose of enhancing the identification of threats, combating foreign hackers and building stronger ties in the field.
“My Government’s record investment in our nation’s cyber security will help ensure we have the tools and capabilities we need to fight back and keep Australians safe,” stated the Prime Minister.
The Australian Minister of Defence, Senator Reynolds, said that he is confident that this investment will ensure the safeguarding of all Australians “by blocking known malicious websites and computer viruses at speed”.
Following that statement, Morrison outlined the billion-dollar military spending package that he described as being essential to impede any possible attacks as well as prevent war. The funds would be directed towards developing armed drones, anti-submarine warfare as well as long-range missiles. Further details will be unveiled in a speech that will be given on Wednesday July 1st.
“We must face the reality that we have moved into a new and less benign strategic era – one in which the institutions and patterns of co-operation that have benefited our prosperity and security for decades are under increasing strain”, Morrison will say in his speech at the Australian Defence Force Academy according to excepts released by media source Reuters.
These investments come at a time of rising tension in the Indo-Pacific region, especially between China and Australia. The Australian government has expressed that they wish to increase and strengthen their ability to respond to threats if necessary. In the speech that will be delivered on Wednesday the PM will state that Australia wants to ensure an “open, sovereign Indo-Pacific, free from coercion and hegemony”.