The regional concentration of defence spending: issues, implications and policies concerning defence infrastructure development in Australia

Author/s (editor/s):

Michael B. Ward

Publication year:


Publication type:

Policy paper

Canberra Papers on Strategy and Defence No. 38

The author provides new information of a quantitative nature concerning the regional distribution of Defence infrastructure, employment and spending in Australia. He has documented data and opinions in areas where virtually no previous work exists.

Cross-country and regional defence spending objectives are reviewed and attempts to realise chance in Australia's Defence infrastructure network, through closure and reduction in activity, are discussed. In the process, the author examines the budgetary, political, economic and institutional obstacles to change; previous attempts to realise change; and the adverse impacts caused by infrastructure readjustment upon the community. 

He concludes that the range of obstacles can be overcome and the adverse impacts of change alleviated, and suggests that through the introduction of planned adjustment strategies that are workable and acceptable to the community concerned, the government's dual Defence objectives of economic efficiency and developing further the northern infrastructure can be realised in an efficient and timely manner.

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