Defence industry policy re-tools Australian manufacturing and jobs of the future
“The Government’s Defence White Paper announcement provides a massive opportunity to re-tool Australia’s manufacturing sector,” Chairman of the Australian Advanced Manufacturing Council, John Pollaers, said today.
“The future submarine program and naval shipbuilding projects are the biggest Government procurement programs in Australia’s history – and will enable Australia to reach the highest levels of digital manufacturing capability,” he said.
“By building strategic capability, Australia has the chance to upskill and sustain its own defence and broader advanced manufacturing industry, providing value for money as well as a more secure future for Australia – in every sense of that word,” Mr Pollaers said.
He said the Government’s commitment to continuous build programs and to maximising Australian industry involvement in the construction of 12 future submarines complemented and leveraged the recently announced National Innovation and Science Agenda.
“The Defence industry commitment will see high value employment opportunities for Australian talent,” he said.
Mr Pollaers said the AAMC strongly supported the establishment of a Centre for Defence Industry Capability. Its test would be how well it would drive collaboration between industry and defence research.
“The idea of a Centre of Defence Industry Capability is a good one,” he said. “It should enable pre-competitive private-public partnerships in Research and Development – and strengthen pathways to commercialisation of that research – rather than just offering business information and other support services,” he said.
“The Defence industry has all the hallmarks for accelerating Australia’s technology development and diffusion – factors like interoperability of manufacturing hardware and software, trust across the supply chain, and advanced workforce skills at all levels.
“These are the markers for success of advanced manufacturing more broadly. Ramping up these capabilities will position Australia strongly in global supply chains and provide stability and prosperity for the future.”
Mr Pollaers called on the Government to direct more attention to supporting Australia’s defence exports.
“There is a great deal of scope and need for more work in this area,” he said.
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Jennifer Conley 0406 857 856