Can't see any improvements in the change-over if a few elephants (and white elephants) are ignored. You know, subs, F-35 and the cause (rent-seeking).
Graeme quotes (and my thoughts in bold):
The Coalition will commit to restoring defence funding of Defence to 3% real growth out to 2017-18 as soon as we can afford it.
*No money. Worse, fixing Defece is not about money as much as it is skilling up the place to have real visionary leadership. Giving the drunk uncle that is the Entrenched Defence Bureacracy (EDB) 3% more is of little use.
Continue and further develop Australia's strategic alliance with the United States – the Coalition would be open to a bilateral arrangement with the US that would allow the recognition of particular bases as new joint facilities, such as those at Pine Gap and Exmouth.
*I would vote for annual deployments of USAF F-22s, F-15Es and B-1 bombers to Australia for exercises. Value-added.
Retain the Australian Strategic Policy Institute as independent defence analysts.
*OK, but first it has to be "independent".
Appoint an Industry Advocate for the Defence Materiel Organisation to provide a clear path for complaints and appeals by small and medium firms on tender and contractual matters (recycled from the 2010 policy).
*I would say some very good studies on the state of the EDB have already been done; here and here. These are must-reads to fix the bloated DMO. And, don't forget, Defence-wide we have 22k+ civilian employees and too many flag ranks and executives.
Invest in improved maritime surveillance capabilities for the ADF. This initiative will include a greatly enhanced maritime patrol capability and a greater emphasis on intelligence cooperation with neighbours.
*Properly resourcing the patrol boats we have (5 of 14 operational?) might be a good place to start. Spending money on the untried, and expensive P-8 while ignoring P-3 upgrades needs to be considered at the high end. And, too bad we are going to waste a lot of money on the C-27J while getting rid of C-130H aircraft. While these are not maritime solutions, it points to wasting limited resources.
Team Abbott has several opportunities to improve Defence. Let us see if it ends up being more of the same.