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Aussie Minister Reaffirms Investments, Personnel Reforms

The Minister for Defence Science and Personnel, the Hon. Warren Snowdon MP, today re-affirmed the importance of the Government’s upcoming Defence White Paper during a speech to the Australian Defence Magazine Annual Conference in Canberra today.

In delivering the keynote ministerial address, “Australia’s Defence Policy,” Minister Snowdon outlined some of the principles that guide policy making in difficult times and the relevance of clear strategic guidance in today’s changed security environment.

In addition to emphasising the need to invest in, and maintain a strong Australian Defence Force to protect Australian territory and interests, the Minister reaffirmed the Government’s commitment to personnel reform.

“We must have high quality people who can react quickly when situations change. It means investing in these people – training them for different types of operations; supporting them and their families; giving them jobs that are both interesting and rewarding and providing them with opportunities for advancement and promotion.

“As the Minister for Defence Science and Personnel, I am personally committed to the reform of Defence approach to personnel matters and look forward to the White Paper’s discussion of the reforms,” Minister Snowdon said.

In describing the practical challenges ahead for Defence as part of the new White Paper, Minister Snowdon also reflected on some of the achievements of the last twelve months.

“Over the past year, the Government has been very active in pursuing many of the strategic goals outlined at the start of 2008, including making a commitment to real growth in Defence expenditure and the commissioning of an independent review of the Defence budget.

“As well as these significant undertakings, we have also launched many new initiatives including the Australian Industry Capability Program; a national work experience program; the Asia Pacific Civil-Military Centre of Excellence and several family support; mental health and housing initiatives; as well as conducted reviews into Defence procurement and sustainment and the military justice system.”

During his concluding remarks, Mr Snowdon emphasised the importance of balancing strategic risk with competing resources to ensure that Defence is fully prepared for today and at the same time, investing for tomorrow.

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Australia’s Defence Policy