Australia will significantly increase its defence funding over the next decade.
Scott Morrison has unveiled a $270 billion spend on defence over the next decade that will include the purchase of long-range missiles.
Australia has always set its defence spend at 2% of GDP, a target we were nearing before COVID.
While Australia was set to spend $195 billion over the next decade to keep up with this target, which has just been upgraded to a whopping $270 billion.
“Today is all about recognising the world is changing,” Scott Morrison told the Today show.
“The big competition between China and the United States means tensions are much higher. We haven’t seen a time of instability coming out of COVID-19 like this since the 1930s and early 1940s, so we need to be conscious of that, we need to be prepared.”
What will the $270B buy?
One of the key features of the spend will be long-range “anti-ship” missiles, to be purchased from the US.
The missiles can travel up to 370km, which triples the distance Australia can currently project its military force.
The money will also buy more boots on the ground, with 800 more Australian Defence Force personnel to be recruited, 600 of which will be in the navy.
More than $9 billion will go into developing hypersonic weapons, a capability Australia doesn’t yet have and one China allegedly does.
A whopping $17 billion will be put into fighter aircrafts, joining a $65 billion investment in air force overall.
The Prime Minister singled out the Indo-Pacific region – an area of increased competition with China – as the target for what the upgraded defence force would protect.
It comes as tensions with China continue, after four abbatoirs were blacklisted from exporting to the communist state, tarrifs were slapped on Australian barley and tourists and students were warned not to return to Australia because of racism.
This week, China increased its attack on Australia, not for its racism but for its espionage.
In an article by China-run the Global Times, Australia was accused of sending agents to China to encourage dissent, defection and spread fake news.
Bizarre photos capturing what was found on these agents included mundane items like a subway map, a compass and gloves.
Yesterday, a Chinese foreign spokesperson doubled down on the allegations, and said they were the “tip of the iceberg”.
“Australia has crossed a line,” he said.