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The Hon Richard Marles MP

Independent audit of Defence estate

The Albanese Government has appointed Ms Jan Mason and Mr Jim Miller as independent leads to undertake the Defence Estate Audit.

In its response to the Defence Strategic Review the Government agreed to conduct an enterprise-wide audit to baseline Defence estate and infrastructure, a critical component of Defence’s capability which enables our personnel to fulfil their duties in support of our national security.

The Government is committed to ensuring the Defence estate is best structured to support the force posture, force generation and our preparedness to respond to Australia’s increasingly challenging strategic circumstances.

The Audit will consider a range of matters to ensure the Defence estate meets operational and capability requirements, now and in the future.

In particular, the Audit will examine whether the estate reflects contemporary needs in light of the Government’s decision to prioritise investment in Australia’s northern network of bases, ports and barracks, in response to the Defence Strategic Review.

The Audit leads bring a wealth of experience and knowledge from the public and private sectors. Mr Jim Miller is currently Chair of the Infrastructure Victoria Board and Ms Jan Mason is a former Managing Director of Defence Housing Australia.

The leads will present their findings and recommendations to Government by the end of 2023 for consideration.

Quotes attributable to Deputy Prime Minister, the Hon Richard Marles:

“Jan Mason and Jim Miller bring the unique blend of skills and experience needed to this Audit to ensure our Defence estate meets our strategic circumstances.

“The leads were set an ambitious but necessary task and timeline by the Defence Strategic Review, but I am confident they can deliver this important piece of work.

“Now is the time to ensure the Defence estate meets Australia’s future security needs and allows effective, long-term management and sustainment, in line with the recommendations of the Defence Strategic Review.”

Quotes attributable to Assistant Minister for Defence, the Hon Matt Thistlethwaite:

“The Defence estate is the Commonwealth’s largest land holding with a footprint of more than 2.8 million hectares.

“Maintaining such a large and diverse estate requires investment decisions based on where they will make the greatest contribution to Defence capabilities.

“The Audit will assist in accelerating the planning and delivery of infrastructure, including greater use of innovative methods for investment.”

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