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AIDN calls for clarity on sovereign capability investment through DSR process

by ANZDD on 15-Feb-2023


The Australian Industry and Defence Network (AIDN) welcomes the news that the Defence Strategic Review (DSR) has been handed to the Albanese Government and congratulates the Prime Minister and Minister for Defence in delivering the first stage of this key election commitment.  AIDN looks forward to having the opportunity to review the report and will engage in a constructive manner with the Albanese Government, Defence and industry stakeholders, to ensure that a role for the Australian Defence Industry is considered in the DSR recommendations and the associated defence integrated investment program.

AIDN’s 1000+ strong membership of Australian SMEs supports any Australian Government initiative that affords the Australian Defence Industry the opportunity to secure high end work in all Defence programs.  Recently, the Minister for Defence Industry, the Hon Pat Conroy MP, stated that the Albanese Government was working towards ensuring that enhanced capability for the Australian Defence Industry was the measure the Albanese Government would be seeking, rather than a simplistic measure of percentage.

In principle, as an industry that contributes $10.6 billion to the Australian economy annually, AIDN supports this initiative.  A highly capable Australian Defence Industry supports the Albanese Government’s ambition of a more self-reliant and a sovereign industrial base.  AIDN is calling for the Albanese Government and the Department of Defence (DoD) to work closely with the 61,000+ workers employed by the Australian Defence Industry, to ensure that a comprehensive policy and procurement framework are put in place to achieve this intent.

It is vital that a robust and auditable policy and procurement framework is implemented to ensure the Albanese Government’s Defence capability requirements are achieved as efficiently as possible, particularly in light of the rapidly evolving geopolitical climate.  The future of the Australian Defence Industry depends on a framework where their role in delivering capability requirements is clear, and the procurement process is efficient and accessible to local industry and importantly, SMEs.  It may well be the case that the Albanese Government considers legislating this requirement to ensure compliance by the DoD and the Australian Defence Force (ADF).

There are two (2) hugely significant reports being delivered to the Albanese Government, the DSR and the report from the Nuclear Submarine Task Force.  These reports will shape the outcomes for Australia both strategically and for the Australian Defence Industrial base potentially for decades.  If there is not careful consideration for the role of the Australian Defence Industry, then this will be a failure for the Australian Defence Industry and the future of defence innovation and sovereign advanced manufacturing.

If Australia is to achieve a truly sovereign industrial base, then the Australian Defence Industry must be designed into every aspect of these two reports.  If the intent is simply to acquire capability form foreign owned overseas industries, then our nation will have fallen short of what we need to create with our Industry.

Brent Clark, Chief Executive Officer of AIDN said: “AIDN is proud to demonstrate to Australia’s political leaders that there is a backbone of national resilience and sovereign defence capability in this country, and we are prepared to work side by side with the Albanese Government and the Department of Defence to accelerate capability delivery and build more durable supply chains here onshore”.

“We are keen to ensure that the DSR recommendations ensure our Industry has the opportunity to demonstrate the integral role we play in our national economy through our sovereign supply chains; modern manufacturing practices; research and innovation; skills development; and regional employment” Mr Clark said.


Source: Press Release