Defence Under Labor: A Safe, Secure and Independent Australia

A Shorten Labor Government will keep Australia safe and prosperous while protecting our values and unique way of life. This should always be the primary obligation of any government.

Labor will continue to adopt a constructive and bipartisan approach to Australia’s national security, because there is no place for political partisanship when it comes to the safety and security of our nation and our fellow Australians.

Labor acknowledges the pivotal role that the Australian Defence Force (ADF) plays in defending Australia and our national interests.

We also acknowledge the critical role that Australian defence industry plays in supporting and equipping our defence personnel.

A Shorten Labor Government will ensure Australia retains a world-class defence force and innovative defence industry by:

  • Implementing the funding goals of the 2016 Defence White Paper, including raising Defence funding to 2 per cent of GDP by 2020‑21.
  • Building 12 Future Submarines in South Australia, and mandating that at least 70 per cent of the work is done in Australia.
  • Maintaining Australia’s strategically vital naval shipbuilding industry by implementing a continuous build of surface warships and ending the Abbott-Turnbull Government’s practice of denying local shipyards the opportunity to compete for work.
  • Continuing to strengthen defence cooperation with the United States, including by redressing the Abbott-Turnbull Government’s neglect of the US Force Posture Initiatives in Australia’s north.
  • Reforming the means by which ADF pay and conditions are determined and putting an end to the Abbott-Turnbull Government’s cynical attempts to cut the pay and conditions of ADF personnel.
  • Establishing an intergovernmental taskforce to develop a nationally consistent approach to perfluorinated chemical contamination at Defence and Commonwealth sites.

More information on Labor’s defence policy is available here.