Former Australian Defence Force personnel who carry out unauthorised military training to foreign troops will face up to 20 years in prison under new laws.
The legislation is in response comes amid concerns Australian pilots are being recruited to train China's air force. It will be introduced into federal parliament today by the government, the Sydney Morning Herald reports.
Defence Minister Richard Marles wants to strengthen existing legislation to protect national security.
Former servicemen and women as well as ex-public servants will be required to gain the approval of the defence minister if they want to work for a foreign military or government.
The work they performed in Australia and information they had access to will be considered by the minister before he gives the go-ahead.
But Australians seeking work with Australia's partners in the Five Eyes intelligence grouping – New Zealand, the US, Canada and the UK – would be exempted from the new laws.
The overhaul aims to reassure Australia's partners in the AUKUS nuclear-powered submarines agreement – the US and Britain – about the sharing of classified military technology.
Australia citizen Daniel Duggan, a former American military pilot, has been in custody since last October over US allegations he trained Chinese aviators.
He is fighting the US extradition efforts and insists the training was for civilian pilots.