A decade long, $9.9 billion spend on Australia’s offensive and defensive cyber capabilities will almost double the size of the country’s cyber intelligence agency.

Some 1900 data analysts, computer programmers and software engineers will join the ranks of the Australian Signals Directorate to help prevent and respond to an increasing number of cyber threats.

Defence Minister Peter Dutton says Project REDSPICE (resilience, effects, defence, space, intelligence, cyber and enablers) marks the largest ever investment in the ASD’s cyber capabilities.

“This investment in ASD recognises the deteriorating strategic circumstances in our region, characterised by rapid military expansion, growing coercive behaviour and increased cyber-attacks,” he said.

“It acknowledges the nature of conflict has changed, with cyber-attacks now commonly preceding other forms of military intervention – most recently demonstrated by offensive cyber activity against Ukraine.”

Mr Dutton says REDSPICE will ensure Australia’s cyber capabilities keeps up with its adversaries and enable the ASD to potently strike back against cyber-attacks.

The new funding is expected to triple the ASD’s offensive cyber capabilities and double its “cyber hunt and response activities”.

An additional $67 million will go towards protecting the community from convicted terrorists by implementing post-sentence supervision orders and ongoing risk assessments.

There is also $62 million to counter violent extremist and $20 million will be used to establish a national convicted terrorist register.


Dominic Giannini
(Australian Associated Press)