House of Representatives Committees

Joint Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade

Inquiry into Australia's Maritime Strategy

Terms of reference


The primary priority for the Australian Defence Force (ADF), identified in the White Paper Defence 2000, is 'to defend Australia from any credible attack, without relying on help from the combat forces of any other country'.

The key to defending Australia is to control the air and sea approaches to our continent, so as to deny them to hostile ships and aircraft, and provide maximum freedom of action for our forces'. For this purpose Australia relies on a 'fundamentally maritime strategy'. To successfully apply a maritime strategy the Australian Defence Organisation (ADO) will maintain and further develop an integrated and balanced joint force.

This inquiry aims to develop a comprehensive understanding of Maritime Strategy and its place within Australias broader military strategy and defence policy. It is not limited to an examination of Australias naval or maritime forces nor is it focused only on the Defence of Australia.

The inquiry also seeks to understand the implications of a Maritime Strategy for the other tasks set out in the White Paper, namely: contributing to the security of our immediate neighbourhood; contributing effectively to international coalitions beyond our immediate neighbourhood; and support of peacetime national tasks.

Terms of Reference

The Joint Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade shall inquire into and report on the ADO ability to deliver the necessary capabilities to meet Australias strategic interests and objectives as defined in Defence 2000, with specific reference to the:

Back to top