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The Australian government has also announced an investment package of one billion Australian dollars to alleviate the economic problems caused by the corona crisis. The aim is to boost the Australian defense industry and save thousands of jobs in the country.

The investment and innovation package targets projects and jobs across Australia. Existing platforms for systems are to be improved and new capabilities are to be introduced more quickly thanks to new platforms for the Australian armed forces. This includes the upgrade of the protected Thales Australia Bushmaster vehicles, which were developed in the 1990s. The uniforms of the entire armed forces are also to be improved. In addition, additional maintenance is to be carried out for the Alenia C-27J Spartan. The Ministry of Defense wants to hire many ex-Qantas and Virgin technicians who just have to fear for their jobs. In this way, these skilled workers can quickly find new employment and the armed forces can finally fill vacant positions.

The support from the Australian government is broad: from increasing funding for defense innovation to industry grants, qualifying for new skills, cyber training for the defense industry, accelerating critical projects, to developing new skills and key technologies targeting the major manufacturing, construction and high technology sectors. The Ministry of Defense intends to approve and announce further details on the individual initiatives shortly.

As far as was known so far, the package is also intended to increase the number of employed reservists in the armed forces who have just lost their civilian jobs. To this end, 210,000 additional military training days are to be made available and 500 new reservists are to be recruited. Active and former soldiers and their relatives are also to be supported in finding new employment opportunities. Around 300 million Australian dollars (AUD) are to be poured into a national reconstruction program that will focus on regional areas, including those affected by the bushfire, such as Jervis Bay & Eden, RAAF Bases East Sale, Pearce, Wagga and Amberley, the Albury Military Area Wodonga and Blamey Barracks. A total of 190 million Australian dollars is to flow into infrastructure measures in the northern territories.

Australien: Investitionsprogramm nach Corona

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the package will save an estimated 4,000 jobs across Australia and help many small and medium-sized businesses in the defense industry's supply chain weather these tough times. “Like much of the economy, our local defense industry is having a tough time because of COVID-19. This is especially true for small and medium-sized enterprises, which are vital to job creation, ”said the Prime Minister. And he emphasizes: “Supporting our defense industry is part of our JobMaker plan - especially high-paying and high-skilled jobs ensure that we maintain a robust, resilient and internationally competitive defense industry. We want to develop our sovereign industrial capacity and Australian workforce to ensure the safety of our employees. [...] We will support the members of the armed forces and their families, especially all reservists who were hit hard because of COVID-19. "

The German economic stimulus program so far only provides for the procurement of systems, vehicles and equipment. The Australian approach goes further. If this were transferred to Germany, the Bundeswehr could, for example, take over technicians from Lufthansa. If Lufthansa has to shut down parts of the fleet, it may have to dismantle pilots, technicians and ground staff. The Bundeswehr could take on temporary employees. After such a period, the employees could decide whether they want to stay with the Bundeswehr or return to the private airlines. The armed forces could finally fill high-quality posts, at least temporarily. The operational readiness of airplanes and helicopters could also be improved.

André Forkert