New $1.35b package to fight cyber attacks

New $1.35b package to fight cyber attacks

In a media release on June 30, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said that the federal government would invest $1.35 billion over the next decade to enhance Australia's cybersecurity capabilities and cyber readiness.

The prime minister says strategic competition between China and the United States is creating "a lot of tension in the cord and a lot of miscalculation".

"This is an Australian response to threats to our own nation", she told the Seven Network on Tuesday.

The 2016 paper included an eye toward support around the globe for the rules-based order - such as its aerial support of the USA coalition in Iraq and Syria.

Announcing the plan, Morrison said that tensions over territorial claims are rising across the Indo-Pacific region and referred to the recent border skirmish between India and China, the tension in the South China Sea, and the East China Sea.

"But we can not allow consideration of such contingencies to drive our force structure to the detriment of ensuring we have credible capability to respond to any challenge in our immediate region", he said.

The Australian Defence Force will focus on building "stronger deterrence capabilities" to raise the cost for any would-be aggressor and concentrate on the immediate region over operations further afield.

"The Federal Government's top priority is protecting our nation's economy, national security and sovereignty".

Prime Minister Scott Morrison will reveal details of the military package on Wednesday
Prime Minister Scott Morrison will reveal details of the military package on Wednesday

Most recently, Australia enraged China by calling for an investigation into the origins of the coronavirus pandemic.

Although Morrison did not name any country at the time, a few days later, the country's authorities raided the house and office of a New South Wales lawmaker for his alleged links with the Chinese government.

But it will do little for relations with China, Australia's largest trading partner.

The statement came weeks after Australia said that a "sophisticated state-based actor" has been attacking all levels of the government, political bodies, essential service providers and operators of critical infrastructure. This included developing longer-range strike weapons, cybercapabilities and area-denial systems, he said.

Up to £12bn is being earmarked for cyberwarfare tools which Mr Morrison said "says a lot about where the threats are coming from".

He has promised the ADF $270 billion over the next decade, up from the $195 billion promised in 2016. It's also buying 72 Joint Strike Fighters estimated in 2018 at AU$115.7 million each.

He said the 2024 structure plan includes plans for the acquisition or upgrade of up to 23 different classes of Navy and Army vessels, representing a total investment of nearly $183 billion.

Morrison expressed resolve to be more involved in the region, saying, "the Indo-Pacific is where we live and we want an open, sovereign Indo-Pacific, free from coercion and hegemony". "And to do that you've got to have a responsible deterrent".

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