Mar 14, 2019
New opportunities in the Defence industry
The Defence Industry plays a crucial role in protecting our country. But a strong Defence Industry is also critical to create jobs, build skills and develop capabilities in technical fields. With this in mind, the Australian Government has several initiatives underway on sea, air and land that are creating new opportunities in for businesses and individuals.
Investments in naval shipbuilding
The Government has outlined their vision for the Australian naval shipbuilding enterprise. This involves the biggest investment in our naval capabilities since WWII and is intended to provide ongoing employment opportunities for generations. The investment includes:
- $90 billion for new naval ships and submarines
- Over $1 billion to develop modern shipyard infrastructure
- $62 million to skill the workforce so that it can deliver this infrastructure. This includes establishing the Naval Shipbuilding College to identify, train and upskill workers for the naval shipbuilding enterprise.
These initiatives will ensure we have modern, innovative and secure shipbuilding infrastructure. This will also make a significant contribution to employment in the defence sector and contribute to the sustainability and cost-competitiveness of Australia’s industrial base.
The plan is being developed in collaboration with the State and Territory Governments as well as agencies in the industrial and educational sectors. One of the cornerstone’s of the naval shipbuilding plan is the SEA 1000 Program that involves the acquisition of 12 Future Submarines that we reported on last year.
Air combat capability secures the skies
The Joint Strike Fighter Division is currently responsible for the Australian F-35A Project. This project introduces a fifth generation air combat capability that will meet Australia’s needs through to 2030. The project involves the addition of 72 F-35A aircrafts to the Australian airforce. It will also deliver facilities, weapons and new support systems that will give our Air Force unprecedented capability to combat threats and secure our nation. The project is expected to meet Initial Operating Capability by the end of 2020.
To date over 50 Australian companies have benefited from $1.3 billion in production contracts. It’s expected that hundreds of more companies will benefit from supply chain work through this project in the years to come.
Building industrial capability
The Australian Government established the Centre for Defence Industry Capability to support small and medium businesses in the defence industry. The organisation issues capability improvement grants and provides support to encourage their participation in the industry. This increases jobs and opportunities in these enterprises.
In addition, the Local Industry Capability Plan makes sure that local businesses are involved in building our Defence capability. This has helped provided opportunities for businesses and workers in both urban and regional areas. For example, 80% of construction subcontractors in the Shoalwater Bay Training Area Redevelopment come from the Livingstone and Rockhampton regions. The program has also supported upgrading the Townsville Field Training Area, redevelopment of the HMAS Cerberus in Victoria and creating opportunities in North and Central Queensland through the implementation of the Australia-Singapore Military Training Initiative.
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