While the 2017-18 federal budget has been positively received by most in the defence arena, defence consultants are not quite as positive with the proposals.
As part of the defence portfolio's 2017-18 budgetary commitments, the government has said it will try and maximise every dollar spent towards defence is used effectively and, to that end, will find savings through the reduction of consultants and contractors.
The budget reads, "The government recognises the importance of ensuring that every dollar is spent effectively and efficiently. To that end, the government will realise more than $300 million in savings over the next four years through efficiencies resulting from reductions in the numbers of consultants and contractors used in Defence."
The money saved from slashing the number of consultants and contractors will go towards military security for the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games and its associated Queen's Baton Relay, where defence will provide capabities to support Queensland authorities.
Unsurprisingly, those in the defence consultancy and contractors area have expressed their disappointment with these measures.
Mike Kalms from professional service company KPMG said in the KPMG initial budget response the move can only be described as "bad news" for defence consultants.
"Defence implications of the budget can be summed up as – good news for the defence industry, but bad news for defence consultants," said Kalms.
"The budget makes much of $200 billion for the defence industry, particularly in Australia, for major defence projects. But at the same time the government will reduce by $300 million over four years the amount spent on consultants and contractors."
The figures presented in the budget indicate Defence will receive $34.6 billion in funding this financial year and $150.6 billion across the four-year forward estimates, reaffirming the government's commitment to its 10-year, $195 billion investment plan outlined in the 2016 white paper.
The budget also outlined the financial progress of the Future Submarine Program.
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