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THE (RED) SPICE MUST FLOW, BUT CAN THE MORRISION GOVERNMENT DELIVER IT?

March 30, 2022

The Morrison-Joyce Government’s commitment to expanded funding for Australia’s cyber capabilities in the Budget is welcome. 

But despite the flashy announcement there are many questions the Government needs to answer about how it intends to deliver REDSPICE.

The cyber security sector already faces a massive skills shortage after years of neglect under the Morrison-Joyce Government. 

The Government needs to outline where it will find the 1,900 extra cyber professionals it plans to recruit to ASD from an already heavily contested talent pool.

This skills shortage is compounded by the massive backlog in security clearances that the government has allowed to develop, leaving many recruits waiting more than a year before they can begin roles.

The Government has tripled the spend on for-profit security clearance contractors with no commensurate improvement in times.

REDSPICE would significantly increase the pressures on this already clogged process.

Of the $4.2 billion promised over four years, only $588.7 million is new money. The rest is offset from Defence. 

The Morrison-Joyce Government also needs to explain what Defence cuts it has planned. 

As Australians know from this Government’s bungling of its submarine acquisitions, announcements alone don’t fill capability gaps.

Given the rapidly escalating cyber threats facing the nation, Australians can’t afford for REDSPICE to become the latest major defence capability project that never makes it from announcement to delivery.

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