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Landmark defence review to be handed to government

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese says the government is about to receive the major defence report.

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese says the government is about to receive the major defence report. Photo: AAP

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese is set to receive a landmark defence strategic review.

Mr Albanese told parliament the report by former defence force chief Angus Houston and ex-minister Stephen Smith would be handed over on Tuesday afternoon in Canberra.

“This is about preparing Australia for the challenging strategic circumstances that we face,” he said.

“We want to make sure that our (defence) assets are fit for purpose and that they deliver the greatest return on investment.”

Mr Albanese said the government had inherited 18 major defence projects running a combined $6.5 billion over budget.

Defence Minister Richard Marles said it would take “some weeks” to consider the findings of the review but he intended to release a public version of the report along with the government’s response.

“(This is) the single most important re-evaluation of Australia’s strategic posture in the last 35 years against a backdrop of the most complex strategic landscape that we have faced since the end of the Second World War,” Mr Marles told parliament.

He said the review had received more than 360 public submissions and the panel had met with 150 experts across academia, industry and the defence force.

The report is expected to “identify and prioritise the estate, infrastructure, disposition, logistics and security investments” required by the ADF by 2032-33.

It ran concurrently with a task force which is working with the United States and Britain on the best pathway to a fleet of nuclear-powered submarines.

– AAP

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