Australian Minister for Defence Message
The Hon Peter Dutton MP
Minister for Defence, Australia
Australia’s defence relationship with New Zealand is built on deep and mutual security interests, shared values and long-standing people-to-people ties. Our two nations share an immediate region - the South Pacific; one that is committed to a stable, international rules-based order, and a willingness to make positive contributions to global security and stability operations.
Our shared strategic interests are reflected in Australia’s Step-up in the Pacific, which takes our engagement with the region to a new level; and in New Zealand’s Pacific reset, announced in February 2018, to develop deeper partnerships with Pacific Island countries.
The close strategic partnership between Australia and New Zealand means that we have a mutual interest in our industrial bases working together. This collaboration is enabled by the Closer Economic Relations agreement between Australian and New Zealand, allowing New Zealand firms to be considered as part of Australian defence industry for the purposes of Australian Industry Capability. Through the Australian + New Zealand Defence Directory, this closeness will only be enhanced.
In Australia, the Coalition Government has transformed the relationship between Defence and Defence Industry through a clear, long-term plan to strengthen our defence industrial base. We are investing $200 billion in defence capability over the next decade under the Integrated Investment Program, and have recognised defence industry as a fundamental input to capability. We have identified an initial list of 10 industrial capabilities we want to develop, maintain, or enhance in Australia. Most recently, the 2019 Defence Policy for Industry Participation, which I launched as Minister for Defence Industry on 28 March this year, extends the Australian Industry Capability Program and Local Industry Capability Plan to provide greater opportunity to small and medium businesses in the defence sector.
The strong, resilient and internationally competitive Australian defence industry we are building is essential to support Australia’s defence capability needs. Increasing defence exports will help our defence industry grow, and by exposing Australian companies to new benchmarks, technologies and best practice, we will drive innovation and productivity. This will ultimately increase capital to reinvest back into capability. Our Government is committed to partnering with industry to responsibly pursue and secure export opportunities, and has established the Australian Defence Export Office to lead the whole-of-government effort to achieve this.
I congratulate the Australian + New Zealand Defence Directory for this valuable resource which builds on the strong collaboration between Defence and industry.
Parliament House, Canberra ACT
The Hon Melissa Price MP
Minister for Defence Industry
As a Government, we have done our part, providing clear and consistent advice to help industry take advantage of, and generate, new opportunities. We have shown our commitment to Australian industry, increasing our defence industry capabilities, keeping Australians in jobs and keeping small businesses across the country operating.
Australia faces major strategic challenges, and we cannot take our traditional capability edge for granted. Further, the pandemic has highlighted vulnerabilities in our supply chains, which can impact on our ability to deliver and maintain our warfighting capabilities. To increase our self-reliance and meet these challenges, we must increase our industrial sovereignty in critical areas, like the Sovereign Industrial Capability Priorities.
Delivering the industrial sovereignty we need is a national endeavour. Key initiatives, such as the Modern Manufacturing Strategy, are part of a whole-of-government effort to increase scale, competitiveness, and resilience of our sovereign manufacturing capabilities. I am also committed to increasing investment in Defence’s capabilities in new and existing areas. This includes munitions capabilities, where we will deliver a sovereign guided weapons enterprise, and space and intelligence, supported by an enhanced communications network. These initiatives will boost skilled jobs and help secure Australia’s defence capabilities.
A robust, resilient and internationally competitive defence industry is crucial for our international relationships and regional stability. Australian defence exports help build strong partnerships with our key strategic partners, and enhance our ability to shape and support prosperity in the region. A strong sovereign defence industrial base also serves to deter those who seek to act against Australia’s national interests.
I am committed to maximising opportunities for Australian businesses and making it easier for Australian businesses to work with Defence and integrate themselves into global supply chains. To achieve this, we are placing small businesses front and centre of Defence decision-making through a tailored approach which cuts red-tape.
Industry needs to play its part as well. To take advantage of the opportunities we are creating, we need businesses to be ‘Defence-ready’. This may seem like a daunting prospect for smaller businesses, but support is available. Our goal is to build genuine partnerships between Defence and industry – critical to ensuring our industrial base effectively supports the defence of Australia and our national interests.
One initiative which will be invaluable in giving Defence staff hands-on experience in Australia’s defence industry is the Defence Industry Secondment Program. The program’s goal is to better inform and strengthen the vital partnerships between Defence and industry to deliver what the ADF needs, when it needs it.
This is a truly national program that backs Australian business by developing the commercial understanding of Defence staff. We are matching secondees in each state and territory to industry hosts based on skills and location. This will facilitate a better understanding of the daily pressures Australian businesses face, and broaden the commercial skills of our people. Additional placements will be arranged to meet as much industry demand as possible. I am confi dent that through this initiative, Defence can become a stronger and better informed client for industry.
Closer industrial engagement between Australia and New Zealand is in our mutual interest, and we can work together to improve the resilience of our supply chains. Building Australia and New Zealand’s sovereign industrial bases remains important as we recover from the COVID-19 pandemic. We have agreements in place that create and maintain a single ANZ government procurement market, which provides many opportunities for Australian and New Zealand businesses to work together.
I would like to thank the publishers of the Australia + New Zealand Defence Directory for their ongoing support and work to continue strengthening the bond between Australia and New Zealand.
THE HON MELISSA PRICE MP
Minister for Defence Industry