Keeping Australians safe

We are living in a time of global uncertainty. The pandemic, the invasion of Ukraine and extreme weather events have caused enormous disruption, and Australia is facing a challenging geostrategic environment.

The Government’s response to COVID‑19 saved lives and livelihoods. Decisive action continues to keep Australians safe and protect our way of life for future generations.

As we learn to live with COVID‑19, the Government is planning for winter and potential future waves of COVID‑19 and influenza.

The Government is investing in communities across Australia to help them prepare for and manage the impacts of more intense and frequent natural disasters.

The Government is also ensuring Australia is well prepared to respond to strategic challenges by investing in more agile and potent defence and law enforcement capabilities, securing our borders, and deepening partnerships with countries that respect freedom and the rule of law.

Helping communities recover from natural disasters

The Government is supporting families, farms and businesses affected by recent floods on the east coast

Floods assistance package

In response to the recent floods in parts of Queensland and New South Wales the Government is providing support to households, businesses, primary producers, not‑for‑profit organisations and councils. This support is helping affected communities to get back on their feet.

Targeted assistance is being provided to communities in the Northern Rivers region, recognising the catastrophic impacts on that region. Support includes additional payments to households, support for temporary accommodation and grants to businesses to recover and rebuild.

The Government expects to spend more than $6 billion on disaster relief and recovery as a result of these floods. This includes new measures as well as reimbursing the states for a share of their costs such as the reconstruction of essential public assets (like roads and schools).

$2.2 billion to households for income support, temporary accommodation and social services

$665 million to businesses and farmers for repairs, new equipment and support services

$589 million for community clean-up and recovery, including $300 million from the Emergency Response Fund for recovery and post-disaster resilience initiatives

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Planning for the future

The Government has invested $1.3 billion since the 2021‑22 Budget to implement recommendations of the Royal Commission into National Natural Disaster Arrangements. This funding will help Australia to better prepare for, respond to, and recover from disasters in the future.

7,000 Australian Defence Force personnel were deployed to help with clean-up and recovery efforts from floods in Qld and NSW

Improving space capability and access to environmental data

The Government is delivering a step-change in our access to earth observation data, which includes $1.2 billion to enhance our space capability and develop Australian-made satellites. This data is critical for emergency responders in times of natural disaster, supports more reliable weather forecasting and helps farmers better manage our land and water resources.

Protecting Australians from COVID‑19

Australia's pandemic response saved lives and supported the economy

The Government acted quickly and decisively, with $343 billion in direct health and economic support, to save lives and livelihoods. Australia's COVID‑19 mortality rate is 9 times lower than the OECD average.

Australia has achieved excellent health outcomes with the third lowest death rate from COVID-19 in the OECD. This equates to over 46,000 deaths avoided across the Australian population.

Further COVID‑19 waves are likely, but our strong health record, high levels of vaccination and government support, have allowed the economy to weather the shocks and bounce back stronger.

Cumulative COVID-19 mortality (deaths per million people)

This chart compares Australia's mortality rate from COVID-19 deaths per million people with that of the OECD average. There is a clear and substantial difference, with Australia significantly and consistently having a lower COVID-19 mortality rate than the OECD average. At the most recent data point, Australia's COVID-19 mortality rate per million people was around 200 per million people, compared to the OECD average of around 2,000 per million people.

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A plan for winter

Managing COVID‑19 variants and influenza to support reopening and economic recovery

The Government’s additional $6.0 billion for the COVID‑19 health response supports our preparations for winter and new variants. The Winter Response Plan outlines Australia’s national approach to managing COVID‑19, influenza and other respiratory diseases. Building up the resilience of Australian’s healthcare system and extending the vaccine rollout will support reopening in line with the National Plan to Transition Australia’s COVID‑19 Response and boost our economic recovery.

The Winter Response Plan seeks to minimise health impacts while supporting the economy

Vaccination: Maximising COVID‑19 and influenza vaccination coverage

Vulnerable populations: Prioritising access to treatments and boosters to protect those most at risk of serious illness

Testing: Prioritising testing for those at risk of severe disease from COVID‑19 and influenza

Residential aged care and disability: Preventing transmission and containing outbreaks

Business and supply chains: Ensuring businesses are prepared for workforce and supply chain challenges

Treatments: Ensuring access to the latest COVID‑19 and influenza treatments

Health system resilience: Reinforcing health system capacity to manage evolving demands

Public communication: Providing regular, targeted, consistent and up-to-date information and advice

A changing strategic environment

In a time of uncertainty, Australians can be assured the Government is acting to keep them safe

The world has entered a period of profound uncertainty and disruption. Australia's location in the Indo-Pacific places us at the epicentre of global strategic competition.

Peace and stability have been supported for decades by a rules-based international order. It has allowed sovereign nations to pursue prosperity and preserve their way of life.

As part of Australia's plan for a stronger future the Government has taken decisive action to keep Australians safe and secure.

The cornerstone of national security under our Government has been extensive reinvestment in defence capability. Defence funding as a share of our economy will exceed 2 per cent in 2021‑22, from less than 1.6 per cent in 2012‑13.

We secured our borders and broke the people smugglers' business model.

The Government has enhanced the powers and capabilities of our security agencies to combat cyber criminals, creating a secure online world for Australians and their businesses.

The Government has built new partnerships and revitalised long-standing ones with likeminded countries to protect our shared values and promote security and prosperity.

Defence funding as a share of GDP

The chart shows Australian defence funding as a share of GDP from 2007-08 to 2020-21. The chart shows defence funding as a share of GDP increasing from below 1.6 per cent in 2012‑13 to above 2 per cent in 2020-21.

Strengthening Australia's defences

Enhanced military capabilities to defend our interests

To ensure Australia is well placed to respond to the new strategic challenges of the twenty-first century, the Government is investing $575 billion in the nation's Defence Force over the decade to 2029-30, including $270 billion for defence capability. This will support a modern, expanded Australian Defence Force with regionally-superior capabilities to safeguard Australia's interests in cooperation with our allies and partners.

New defence capabilities as part of our plan for a stronger future include:

  • At least $38 billion to boost the Defence workforce by 18,500 personnel by 2040
  • More than $10 billion for future naval infrastructure, including a new submarine base on the east coast of Australia
  • $3.5 billion for up to 75 new M1A2 Abrams tanks and other armoured vehicles.

Sovereign defence industry

The Government is also building resilience at home by growing and building our sovereign defence industry base and the capacity needed to maintain them.

Key defence capabilities and local jobs created

This infographic includes a map of Australia showing key air, land, and sea defence capabilities, their location, funding and jobs created.

Stopping cyber, terrorist and criminal threats

Protecting Australians and their businesses as part of our plan for a stronger future

Cyber threats

The Government's 2020 Cyber Security Strategy set out a comprehensive $1.7 billion 10-year plan to achieve our vision of a more secure online world for Australians, their businesses and the essential services upon which we depend.

In this Budget the Government is investing $9.9 billion in Australia’s intelligence and cyber capabilities, bolstering the Government’s commitment to Australia’s Five Eyes and AUKUS trilateral partners while supporting a secure Indo-Pacific region.

Terrorist and criminal threats

More than $2.3 billion has been invested since 2014 to strengthen our nation's defences and protect the community from threats posed by terrorists and criminal elements. The Government's strong stance on countering terrorism has disrupted 21 imminent terrorist attacks since 2014.

This Budget builds on this investment by providing a further $66.9 million to continue to protect the Australian community from the threat posed by convicted high risk terrorist offenders. A further $19.8 million will be provided to establish a national convicted terrorist register to monitor offenders’ movements following the end of their sentences.

The Government also is providing $170.4 million to equip Australian law enforcement and security agencies with the tools they need to thwart transnational, serious and organised crime and protect the community.

Building alliances and partnerships

Deepening cooperation through new partnerships and revitalising long-standing ones

Alliances and partnerships are the backbone of defending and promoting Australia's national interest and our plan for a stronger future.

The new AUKUS security partnership leverages 75 years of working with the United States and the United Kingdom to promote security and prosperity. The partnership’s first priority is to collaborate on nuclear-powered submarines. Cyber capabilities, artificial intelligence, quantum technologies and additional undersea capabilities are other focus areas.

The Government has reinvigorated the Quad partnership with India, Japan and the United States. The group is cooperating on issues from space to critical technology to achieve its objective of a free and open Indo-Pacific.

The Association of South-East Asian Nations (ASEAN) is at the centre of the Indo-Pacific. Through a new Comprehensive Strategic Partnership, Australia and ASEAN will deepen cooperation on health, economic and security priorities and climate change.

Since World War II, intelligence sharing has underpinned our Five Eyes alliance with the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada and New Zealand. It is more important than ever.

The Government has enshrined strategic partnerships with countries such as India, South Korea, Germany, Malaysia and Papua New Guinea.

Our reciprocal access agreement with Japan takes our defence and security cooperation to a new level.