Australia to Support 4,000 Defense Jobs With A$1 Billion Package

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Australia will spend A$1 billion ($717 million) to support 4,000 jobs in the defense industry under a plan to be announced by Prime Minister Scott Morrison on Wednesday.

The spending will increase the employment of Australian Defence Force Reservists who have lost their income due to the impact of the coronavirus, and help recruit an additional 500 reservists. About A$300 million will be spent to improve regional military bases.

Australia is in the midst of a recession that’s expected by the Commonwealth Bank of Australia to extend at least into a third quarter, making it the longest slump since 1982-83. Relieving unemployment, which is set remain elevated next year due to a tepid recovery, is a focus of Morrison’s conservative government and a cornerstone of his stimulus program.

“Like much of the economy, our local defense industry is doing it tough because of Covid-19,” Morrison said. “This is especially so for small- and medium-sized businesses, that are critical to jobs.”

Other measures to be announced include:

  • Accelerating the sustainment of ADF platforms and capabilities, including the upgrade of Bushmaster protected mobility vehicles, and additional C-27J maintenance
  • Bringing forward about A$190 million of investment in approved infrastructure projects in the Northern Territory
  • Increased funding for defense innovation, industry grants, skilling and cyber training
  • Accelerating capability development projects, targeting key manufacturing, construction and high-tech sectors

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