Minister for Defence Marise Payne has appointed Dr Vivienne Thom to conduct a review of the Defence Trade Controls Act 2012.
Dr Thom is a former Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security and a former Deputy Commonwealth Ombudsman overseeing law enforcement, immigration, taxation and defence agencies.
The Act regulates the supply of military and dual-use technology overseas and brokering in defence goods and technology. It is required to be reviewed after two years.
It has previously been criticised for threatening academic freedom and potentially harming the economy. However, Minister Payne said that the Act is an important element in the Government’s continuing effort to protect current and future national security and ADF capability.
“The review of the Act will consider the adequacy of both safeguards of national defence capability and its operation to prevent trade and collaboration that could advance the military capabilities of potential adversaries or see the transfer of technology that would not be in Australia’s national interests,” Minister Payne said.
“This review is also important to ensure the Act appropriately balances the protection of national defence capability, while not unnecessarily restricting trade, innovation or research collaboration.”
Dr Thom will undertake public consultation including direct engagement with key stakeholders.
The review will take about 6 months.