On Wednesday, 23 November 2022, under its resolution of appointment, the Joint Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade resolved to have the Defence Subcommittee conduct an inquiry into the Department of Defence Annual Report 2021-22.
Key themes of the inquiry’s focus include:
• Workforce recruiting and retention
• Space Command and capability
• Support to national crisis
Workforce recruiting and retention
The most important part of the ADF is its people. Noting the contemporary challenges in recruitment and retention, the Subcommittee is interested in critically examining the department’s approach to workforce planning, the holistic recruitment process, retention initiatives, and how the organisation is keeping pace with a competitive job market outside of Defence.
Space Command and capability
Space is now a contested domain and Defence must be able to rapidly adapt to the ever-changing operating environment as well as ready itself for future competition and conflict. Noting its relatively new command status, the Subcommittee is interested in reviewing Defence Space Command, its relationship and interoperability with coalition partners, and its emerging capabilities including key milestones.
Support to national crisis
Defence is being used increasingly more as part of the national response to domestic crisis. Recent examples include support to the COVID-19 pandemic, and numerous floods and bushfire events. The Subcommittee is interested in examining how this near persistent requirement impacts the organisation from a preparation, training, and capability perspective, as well as reviewing current policy and how that translates into appropriate resourcing.
Noting this inquiry is into an annual report, potentially all areas referenced in the Department of Defence Annual Report 2021–22 can be considered; however, the Subcommittee strongly encourages written submissions on the three focus areas listed above.
The Committee invites submissions to the inquiry by Friday, 31 March 2023.