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Underway said:But yah, Austraila has a defined understanding of their place in the world and in Asia in particular. It informs their defence policy and their national awareness of defence issues, and it seems like most sides of their political system agree on much of the strategic situation and what purchases need to be made. They periodically publish white papers and take defence seriously and not as a big piggy bank for when the economy takes a dump (like we do). They don't argue on whether they need two fighter aircraft they argue on what kinds. They understand the importance of submarines where in Canada we haven't had a single intelligent person come out and explain why we need subs to the public in words that the public will understand at all. But they have their own issues as well. There was plenty of push back on even having AAW destroyers where in Canada the replacement project isn't a capability arguement its as cost arguement....which might be worse...
I agree broadly with this paragraph, with some caveats. As it's been mentioned, it's mostly because of the threat to the North and the isolation from allies (US, UK).
However, Defence can/has been used as a piggy bank (the recently-repealed 1.5% pay rise which was less than CPI, for example). The "2 fighter types" were because the F-35 was delayed, leading to the purchase of the SH - the SH was never intended just to be a strike platform as the F-111 was. A happy side-effect is that with the purchase of the SH, they now have the capability of EW when the Growler fleet comes online - again, it wasn't in the original intent.
But, back to ships, what you said about the Hobart-class is pretty much spot on.