Chapter 1 Introduction
The 2010-2011 period represents one of the most intense and sustained
operational periods Defence has experienced. This occurred in parallel with
work on one of the most ambitious reform programs the Department of Defence has
Defence simultaneously supported whole-of-government humanitarian and
disaster relief efforts at home and abroad while remaining committed to
Afghanistan, East Timor, Solomon Islands, border protection and a variety of
The Australian Defence Force assisted communities devastated by natural
disasters in Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria. Additionally, the
Australian Defence Force assisted Pakistan, New Zealand, and Japan, providing
logistic support in wake of devastating floods, earthquakes and tsunamis.
Over 2010-2011, Defence generated Strategic Reform Program savings in
excess of one billion dollars and commissioned a review into shared services to
create further opportunities for efficiency.
A review into the Defence Force Posture was commenced to assess whether
Defence is geographically positioned to support the current and future
Defence has also undertaken a large number of reviews into its business,
finance, and processes to improve outcomes. The Black Review into
accountability will challenge Defence to improve its planning, decision making,
project management, personal and institutional performance, and accountability,
as well as the management of skills and specialisation.
Several reviews into the Defence culture were announced by the Minister
for Defence in April 2011, and, where necessary, action plans to adjust aspects
of the Defence culture will be developed as required.
Annual Report Review Objectives and Scope
The review of the Defence Annual Report is an important task and an
opportunity for the Defence Sub-Committee of the Joint Standing Committee on
Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade to inquire into a broad range of Defence
issues as part of the process of accountability of Government agencies to
Parliament. The Sub-Committee takes this responsibility very seriously.
For the Review of the Defence Annual Report 2010-2011 the Defence
Sub-Committee decided to focus on five main issues. The issues and their
Reform program – covered in Chapter Two;
– covered in Chapter Three;
– covered in Chapter Four;
– covered in Chapter Five; and
Strike Fighter – covered in Chapter Six.
In addition, a series of reviews into the Defence culture were released
shortly before the Defence Hearing conducted on 16 March 2012. Consequently, an
extra chapter has been added to this report, as Chapter Seven, to explicitly discuss
the Defence culture reviews.
Conduct of the Review
The Review was advertised in the Australian and a media release was
issued on 30 November 2011.
On 6 December 2011, the Secretary of the Committee wrote to the following
organisations and invited them to make a submission to the inquiry:
Strategic Policy Institute;
Institute for International Policy; and
The Sub-Committee received a number of submissions from individuals and
organisations, including the Defence Welfare Association, Air Power Australia,
REPSIM Pty Ltd, Mr Erik Peacock, Mr Andrew Mayfield, Mr Danny Nowlan, and Mr
Jack Warner. These submissions are listed at Appendix A.
The Sub-Committee took evidence from witnesses at four public hearings
Australia and REPSIM Pty Ltd – 7 February 2012;
Force Welfare Association – 28 February 2012;
Department of Defence officials - 16 March 2012; and
Martin Aeronautics Company – 20 March 2012.
of these hearings are available on the Committee’s Website.
The proceedings of the hearings were webcast over the internet through
the Parliament’s website, allowing interested parties to watch the proceedings
as they occurred.
Sources of Information
The Defence Sub-Committee notes that the Defence environment is a
dynamic one. This report covers the financial year 2010-2011 and, unless
absolutely necessary, does not refer to information after this period.
Wherever possible this report uses Defence publications as its primary
source of material. However, in some cases the Defence Annual Report 2010–2011
and the Defence Department website provide limited information on the topics
the Sub-Committee had resolved to look into. Consequently, publications and
articles by the Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI) have been used as
an additional source.
Conclusions identified by the Committee are outlined at the end of each
The Government should note these conclusions.
The Committee recommended:
A Strategic Reform Program Summary
Chapter be added to the Defence Annual Report to provide a consolidated
overview of the SRP.