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1301.0 - Year Book Australia, 2003  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 24/01/2003   
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Contents >> Defence >> Outcome and strategic objectives

The outcome the Government requires from Defence is 'the defence of Australia and its national interests'. This reflects the broad requirements for Defence in a complex modern strategic environment. The outcome recognises the reality that activities detrimental to Australia’s security and national interests may not necessarily involve the use of armed force. Hostile foreign intelligence activities, or economic aggression, deliberate introduction by a foreign power of non-weaponised biological agents, or cyber attack on economically or militarily sensitive cyber-sites, are activities that do not involve the use of armed force, but may be extremely damaging to Australia and its national interests.

As outlined in Defence 2000 - Our Future Defence Force (the Defence White Paper), available at, the Government has identified for Defence four strategic tasks, which guide the development of defence capabilities. These are:

  • to be capable of defending Australian territory from any credible attack, without relying on help from the combat forces of any other country
  • to have Defence Forces able to make a major contribution to the security of Australia’s immediate neighbourhood
  • to be able to contribute effectively to international coalitions of forces to meet crises beyond Australia’s immediate neighbourhood where Australia’s interests are engaged
  • to undertake regular or occasional tasks in support of wider national interests.

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