National Security

Three key principles are at the heart of Labor’s national security policy are:

  • defending Australia’s territorial integrity
  • protecting our nation’s political sovereignty from external pressure
  • promoting Australia’s economic prosperity and social stability, with sustainable growth, secure employment, and a unified community.

A Labor Government will achieve these objectives and build a more secure, resilient Australia by:

  • Supporting a stronger Australian Defence Force
  • Prioritising better and smarter cybersecurity
  • Shoring-up our economic self-reliance
  • Strengthening our communities and institutions
  • Deepening our partnerships in the region and globally around the world
  • Taking action on climate change.

Investing in Australia’s defences and those who serve

Labor will ensure that Defence has the resources it needs to defend Australia and deter potential aggressors. Labor supported the Strategic Update 2020, including $270 billion of capability acquisition, and we support for the acquisition of nuclear-powered submarines.

Labor will keep Australia’s defences strong by treating our defence personnel with the respect they deserve. Labor led the push for a royal commission into veteran suicide – to ask the hard questions and, hopefully, to find some answers. Labor will also deliver new Veterans hubs across Australia to provide one stop shops for access to a range of services.

Smarter cybersecurity

Cyber security is not just about who has the best offensive cyber tools, it’s about building systemic resilience across public, private and civil organisations. It’s also about recognising that data security is a modern foundation of national security. Labor will lift cyber resilience across the whole nation and ensure that cyber-security has a dedicated minister.

A self-reliant Australia

Economic resilience is at the core of Labor’s Future Made in Australia plan. We have also released our Defence Industry Development Plan which will sustain defence supply chains, develop our sovereign defence industry and encourage innovation. Labor’s plan for a National Strategic Fleet will underpin security of supply for critical commodities like fuel.

Strengthening our democracy

Democratic strength is also critical to our long-term stability and security. Labor will deliver a National Anti-Corruption Commission to lift trust in government and draw on its long support for multiculturalism to build social cohesion. Labor will also take politics out of national security, always seeking bipartisanship and always acting in our shared national interest.

Deepening partnerships

Labor will deepen our engagement with our closest neighbours. And we will ensure that the Quadrilateral consultations deliver in our relationships with India, Japan and the United States. We will also support new arrangements, such as AUKUS.

Climate security

The security implications of climate change are clear and cannot be ignored. Labor has announced a comprehensive plan on climate change. On coming to government, Labor will also commission an Urgent Climate Risk Assessment of the implications of climate change for national security.

We will lead a bid to host a future Climate Change Conference of the Parties in Australia with our Pacific partners would and work with Indonesia to deliver a $200m climate and infrastructure partnership. We will also make climate change cooperation a hallmark of the US alliance.

Fuel Security for Defence

Defence will work with biofuel manufacturers on Australian made military-spec fuels, including through the Defence Fuel Transformation Program.

Labor will partner with the US and UK through mechanisms such as AUKUS, on sustainable Australian-made liquid fuel, including for military purposes.

This will create new jobs in manufacturing, strengthen Australian fuel security and supply chains for Defence, and reduce emissions.

Related policies