Commenting on Australian National Security policy is problematical because the policy is currently so heavily invested in the US ‘Alliance’ that realignment, away from achieving outcomes that conform with US interests, presents as a practical impossibility.
Faced with that, Australians are left to ask ‘What other limits on sovereign agency are imposed by the current arrangements with the US Empire?’

The answer to this question will rule any further discussion of National Security policy options and possibilities.
May, indeed, entirely rule out the need for any further public discussion and justify the, longtime, Parliamentary practice of ‘no-comment’.

With reference to ‘background sheet 7’,

In a thumb nail, Australia’s relationship with the British Empire was fundamentally different from its current relationship with the US Empire.
The former arrangement was not seamlessly replaced by the latter.

In times past Australia fought in the British Empire’s wars.
Australia paid every tax the Empire imposed.
It raised finance in Britain, supplied minerals and agricultural produce at a discount and bought British manufactures at a premium.

Australia did all this because Australians were British Citizens living, freehold, in the midst of the Crown Lands and consequently, willingly – even eagerly, bore those burdens.

Similarly; these days Australia fights in the US Empire’s wars.
Australia also pays every tax the new Empire imposes.
It seeks finance in the US, supplies minerals at a discount while buying US tech and manufactures at a premium and diligently pays the tax on oil imposed by the Petrodollar hegemony.

However, lacking representation in the Empire’s political processes, Australia should properly resent paying the taxes of US Empire.
Australians should particularly resent the imposition of a blood tax without the former right to representation that was extended with British Citizenship.

Throughout history, Empires have been created in order to collect taxes; the payments are ensured by means of violence, both threatened and applied.
The US Empire collects it’s taxes (in a variety of forms) from the Nations of the Earth, Australia included.
Yet, in addition to those common taxes, Australia pays a tax in blood.
It assists in militarily intimidating and chastising the Nations of the Earth in order to ensure that the overdue tax bill of recalcitrant Nations is paid in full.

In all practicality, without the compensation of political representation, and with the added burden of a blood tax, what is Australia’s % from the profits of Empire?
What comes back to Australia for the hazard of our troops and the annual spend of the 25+ billions that Australia invests in crafting a portable military muscle suitable to the US Empire’s specification?
What return on investment has replaced our right to representation?

And, what would the return on investment be if Australia aligned with China?
Or, India?
Or, when having declared non-alignment, sought a security arrangement with the UN, in accord with the UN Charter’s global promise of 1947. (article 1.1)?

The problem within Australia’s current National Security policy is that less expensive, less provocative, less belligerent, more moderate options are not available to Australia in the real world.
Because disengagement from the webs of Empire has become an impossibility, and a captive Australia, sans an effective sovereignty, is the current situation that will endure into the bleak recesses of an ‘exceptional’ future.

Or, so, I suppose, it will be; if the future is as the past.
Because, historically, public discussion in Australia, on National Security options, has been a tragic waste of oxygen and a dismal failure of democracy.

The Parliament has uncritically accepted each of the US’ lying casus belli and ignored the will of the (largely pacifist) Electorate when it has, in a bi-partisan accord (achieved without visible debate), contributed Australian blood and treasure to the meat grinder of each new war.
All while embracing the practice of a ‘no-comment’ strategy which misdirects debate and obscures, from the Electorate, the fact that Australia is being double taxed by the US for no additional benefit returning to Oz.

I wish you well in this endeavour; may you succeed and change the future for the better.