Federal Budget 2024: Defence funding boosted at home and abroad, with spending on track to hit $100b by 2033

Dylan Caporn
The Nightly
2 Min Read
The funding increase comes as the Government boasted of lifting Defence spending to more than $100 billion in ten years, more than 2.3 per cent of GDP.
The funding increase comes as the Government boasted of lifting Defence spending to more than $100 billion in ten years, more than 2.3 per cent of GDP. Credit: AAP

Australia will increase its support to overseas conflicts, including in Ukraine and the Middle East, as part of a major boost to Defence funding.

The funding increase comes as the Government boasted of lifting Defence spending to more than $100 billion in ten years, more than 2.3 per cent of GDP.

Vowing to continue backing Ukraine against Russia’s invasion as the war enters its third year, Australia will provide an additional $144 million over two years, as part of $232 million in additional military support across the globe.

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As part of the package, Australia is set to supply Ukraine with uncrewed aerial systems, generators, inflatable boats and other military equipment, as well as short range air defence systems.

“Australia remains resolute in its support for Ukraine’s sovereignty in the face of Russia’s illegal invasion,” Foreign Minister Penny Wong said in a statement.

“The Government will sustain Ukraine’s duty-free access into Australia for a further two years, until July 2026, to support Ukraine’s economy.”

As war continues to rage in Israel and Gaza, the Federal Government will commit additional funding, including $1 million for parachutes to provide aid to Gaza, on top of existing money to repatriate and support Australian citizens, residents, and their families.

Among other defence investments, the Government will spend $166.2 million over five years to support small and medium businesses and local defence industry, and $81.9 million towards defence jobs, including on scholarships, and shipbuilding apprentices.

The spend comes after the Government announced in April its Integrated Investment Program, including $11.1 billion over the decade to build a more lethal surface fleet.

Defence Minister Richard Marles said the Government’s additional $5.7 billion over the next four years, was the largest increase over a forward estimates period.

“This Albanese Government is making the biggest commitment to increasing Defence funding over the forward estimates in decades,” Mr Marles said.

“National security is a big focus of the Albanese Government and it’s a big focus of the Budget.

“This is about ensuring our Australian Defence Force is fit for purpose and equipped with suitable capabilities to meet present and future challenges.”

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