Royal Australian Navy landing craft on the Richmond River.
Royal Australian Navy landing craft on the Richmond River. Graham Broadhead

Warning to spend on defence or suffer 'serious consequences'

THE Federal Government has been urged to spend more on defence, or risk "serious consequences" for the nation's strategic edge in the Asia-Pacific and the alliance with the United States.

A warning from the Lowy Institute came in the form of a paper urging an increase in funding for the Defence Force and other security agencies.

Report co-author and Institute military fellow James Brown said Australia's military edge was slipping, and the new government faced "tough decisions in defence policy".

"It (the government) must either increase funding to pay for a modernised military or consider drastic cuts to defence capability," he said.

Co-author Rory Medcalf said there was a "low political priority attached to defence policy and funding", arguing the nation's politicians need to "level with the public" about the challenges ahead.

The paper argued that failing a major increase in defence spending, the government may have to consider reducing the Army's planned fleet of armoured vehicles or cutting staff.


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