Russell Offices, Canberra. The ACT is the home of the Defence Department and wants to ensure the region benefits from its increased expenditure.

ACT moves to benefit from Defence spend

ACT Chief Minister Andrew Barr and Minister for Higher Education, Training and Research Meegan Fitzharris have announced the establishment of an ACT Defence Industry Advisory Board and launched the Canberra Region Defence Industry Capability Directory.

The formation of the Board and the Directory will ensure that the Canberra region benefits from the Commonwealth Government’s commitment to increased defence expenditure.

Defence already injects about $3.1 billion into the Canberra region’s economy and creates about 16,800 jobs, and with indirect expenditure Barr said the defence sector probably contributes over $7 billion and 30,000 jobs to the Canberra region economy.

The Board will provide strategic advice on how the benefits from the 2016 Defence White Paper can be maximised for the Canberra region.

Minister for Higher Education, Training and Research Meegan Fitzharris said the Directory shows the depth of the defence sector in Canberra.

“There are already more than 100 entries in the Directory comprising companies, government agencies and higher education and research organisations.

“It clearly demonstrates the Canberra region’s unique value proposition for defence companies and promotes the specialist capabilities and expertise of Canberra region based small to medium enterprises and our higher education and research institutions in servicing the full spectrum of the defence supply chain.

“It is a product that can be used by Government, industry associations and the private sector to enhance the profile of Canberra’s place in the national defence ecosystem with a view to increasing collaboration and attracting investment,” Minister Fitzharris said.

According to ADM, 11 of the top 40 defence companies are headquartered in Canberra, including Australia’s two largest private owned defence companies, CEA Technologies and Aspen Medical, which are both Canberra born and grown companies.

The Chief Minister said he was particularly interested in areas where the ACT has significant capabilities including space and spatial technologies, geospatial intelligence, cyber security, health and fitness and the services that go to support defence.

“With the appointment last year of former Senator Kate Lundy as the ACT Defence Industry Advocate, the Board brings together
strong military credentials with an understanding of the key sectors that are the future drivers of the diversification of our

Board Members are:

  • AIRMSHL (Ret’d) Geoff Brown AO - Chair
  • AVM (Ret’d) Mark Skidmore AM
  • RADM (Ret’d) Raydon Gates AO CSM
  • BRIG (Ret’d) Alison Creagh CSC
  • Tony Henshaw, Chair of the Canberra Cyber Network
  • Adam Smith, CEO of Geoplex Pty Ltd and Chair of the Canberra Space-Spatial Sector Development Committee
  • Robert Forbes, Commercial Director, CEA Technologies and Chair of the ACT Branch of the Australian Industry Defence Network
  • Glenn Keys, Co-Founder Aspen Medical and Chair of the Canberra Business Chamber
  • Kate Lundy, ACT Defence Industry Advocate (ex-officio).

The Directory is available at Companies and organisations wishing to be included in the Directory can
also register at the website.

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