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September 01, 2021

An Albanese Labor Government will conduct the first Defence Force Posture Review since 2012 after the Coalition has ignored Defence posture for the last eight years.

After six Defence Ministers in eight long years, the Government has been neglecting planning on posture, despite deteriorating strategic circumstances.

Force posture refers to the future security and strategic environment, the importance of domestic and demographic issues and their impact on Defence facilities, and where the ADF is based.

A Labor Defence Force Posture Review would ensure the Australian Government is considering both long-term strategic posture and whether Australian Defence units, assets, and facilities are prepared for the military to take action in a timely way.

The 2020 Strategic Update warned of the rapidly changing circumstances in our region, and stressed that a ten-year strategic warning time for a major conventional attack against Australia is no longer an appropriate basis for defence planning.

Reduced warning times mean defence plans can no longer assume Australia will have time to gradually adjust military capability and preparedness in response to emerging challenges.

Despite this, the Coalition Government has never conducted a fully-fledged Force Posture Review.

Only two fully-fledged Defence Posture Reviews have occurred in recent times – former Defence Minister Kim Beazley’s mid-1980’s review and former Defence Minister Stephen Smith in 2012.

Labor’s 2012 review process enacted new force posture initiatives with the US that led to the current Marine Rotational Force in Darwin.

The Morrison Government has regularly spoken of – and taken credit for – posture related activities, such as upgrades to Defence assets in Northern Australia, and the presence of US Marines, yet they have largely ignored posture.

Only Labor is committed to a genuine, independent Defence Force Posture Review to ensure our assets and our troops are positioned where we need them to be.