Kiwis, Americans and Brits can apply to join the Australian Defence Force in months

Tess Ikonomou and Kat Wong
AAP
A rule change will allow New Zealanders, Americans and Brits join the ADF. (AP PHOTO)
A rule change will allow New Zealanders, Americans and Brits join the ADF. (AP PHOTO) Credit: AP

New Zealanders, Americans and Brits living Down Under could soon be recruited to the Australian Defence Force.

As part of the federal government’s National Defence Strategy unveiled in April, eligibility criteria will be expanded to allow more people to join the defence forces.

From July, eligible New Zealanders will be able to apply to join the ADF and permanent residents from the United Kingdom, United States and Canada can do the same from January 2025.

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Deputy Prime Minister Richard Marles says this is necessary as the defence landscape shifts.

“The Australian government has chosen to grow the Australian Defence Force because it is essential to meet the nation’s security challenges through the next decade and beyond,” he said.

Non-citizens who want to join the defence forces must have lived in Australia for at least one year before applying, must not have served in a foreign military in the previous two years and must be able to attain Australian citizenship.

This comes as the Albanese government defends its plans for the nation’s military.

In a speech at the Australian Strategic Policy Institute Defence Conference on Tuesday, Defence Industry Minister Pat Conroy will link the government’s actions to those of Labor leader John Curtin who led Australia through World War II.

The federal budget, handed down last month, secured an extra $5.7 billion for Defence over the next four years, and an addition $50 billion over the decade.

But ASPI’s budget analysis warns the government’s plans won’t improve the nation’s military capabilities for at least a decade as Beijing pledges to “crush” foreign forces.

Mr Conroy will say the government through its budget, has acted as a trustee of the present and future of the nation’s defence.

“On coming to government, the easy thing for us to do would have been simply to tinker at the edges of Defence,” he will say.

“But it would have been the wrong thing to do.

“Instead, our government identified a need for rational and robust strategy to guide some of the biggest and most consequential investments a nation can make.”

Mr Conroy is expected to set out the manufacture of guided weapons and explosive ordnance outlining how the government will work with defence industry and international partners.

It will be backed with a $16 to $21 billion commitment in the rebuilt Integrated Investment Program over the next decade.

A Lowy Institute poll revealed 70 per cent of Australians believe China will become a military threat within two decades.

China’s Defence Minister Dong Jun told a major defence conference in Singapore over the weekend that Beijing’s military is ready to “forcefully” prevent Taiwan’s independence.

John Curtin famously told Australians in December 1941 that the nation was at war with Japan.

“We Australians have imperishable traditions,” he told them.

“We shall maintain them. We shall vindicate them.”

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