Former Defence Minister calls for new Defence Force Posture Review

Former Defence and Foreign Minister Stephen Smith is calling for the government to urgently conduct a new Force Posture Review to ensure Australia’s military assets are well positioned.

Mr Smith spoke to Sky News Australia about a major port proposal near Exmouth, in Western Australia.

The proposed port is set to provide economic and strategic benefits; however, critics have targeted the potential environmental implications which may be incurred.

“Having a port in that part of the world takes us closer to the Indonesian archipelago,” Mr Smith said.

“From a submarine perspective, it means submarines don’t start their operation in Freemantle or in Port Adelaide, they start in the northwest of Western Australia.

“So, from a strategic and operational point of view, it’s very significant.”

Mr Smith said, “if there’s one piece of advice I’d give the government, and defence, it would be: take the chance now to do a further Force Posture Review”.

This comes after some veterans and defence experts have recently backed the proposal to build the port.

Gascoyne Gateway, the Australian-owned company behind the proposal, has pledged to make its port accessible to Navy ships, submarines, and Border Force vessels.

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