The Commonwealth government has released its 2021-22 Budget, announcing a number of measures aimed at enhancing national security, improving cyber resilience, and increasing veterans support.
Treasurer Josh Frydenberg has unveiled the Commonwealth government’s 2021-22 Budget, which includes an additional $1.9 billion over the next decade to bolster Australia’s national security, law enforcement, and intelligence capabilities.
Of these new funds, $1.3 billion will be provided to the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO), in a bid to support its technological capabilities.
The Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission will be provided with $51.8 million to support its efforts to curb “transnational, serious and organised crime”.
The $1.9 billion investment also includes $464.7 million to strengthen Australia’s domestic detention capabilities and a further $38.1 million to support Indonesia with its “irregular migrant population”.
In addition to an increase in national security funding, the government will also invest $1.2 billion in the Digital Economy Strategy.
This includes over $124.1 million to improve Australia’s research and industry capability in Artificial Intelligence and the establishment of a National Artificial Intelligence Centre led by CSIRO.
The Digital Economy Strategy is also expected to fund the development of digital skills and incentivise businesses and the training of “the next generation of cyber security experts”.
Also included in the 2021-22 Budget is an additional $460.4 million for veterans support, including the funding of the recently announced Royal Commission into Defence and Veteran Suicide.
These measures are in addition to the $270 billion committed to enhancing defence capability over the next decade.
Late last month, the government revealed that of the $270 billion, $747 million would be set aside for upgrades to Defence bases in the Top End, as part of a broader $8 billion commitment over the next decade.
The Robertson Barracks Close Training Area, Kangaroo Flats Training Area, Mount Bundey Training Area and Bradshaw Field Training Area are among the Defence facilities expected to benefit from the investment.
The upgrades, which are subject to parliamentary approval, are set to commence later this year, with the projects expected to be completed by mid-2026.
[Related: Top End to receive $747m Defence boost ]