6 May 2013

Australia's ability to respond to Pacific security threats intact despite funding dip

6:20 pm on 6 May 2013

An analyst says Australia's ability to respond to strategic threats in the Pacific remains fully intact despite overall reduced funding for Defence.

Released last week, Australia's Defence White Paper captures Australian defence spending at 1.56% of GDP, the lowest level since 1938.

The director of the Australian Strategic Policy Institute, Peter Jennings says the funding dip makes little sense given the more complicated strategic environment the paper identifies in the wider region.

He says this impacts investment in expensive military capabilities.

"In the absense of longterm sustained government funding for those sorts of projects, they're at risk. But our ability to do smaller scale operational type activities in the South Pacific remains pretty good and I would be very confident that the government will fund those to whatever extent neccessary in order to make sure Australia was responding properly to those types of events."

Peter Jennings