The board of AIDN Victoria has resolved to withdraw its membership of AIDN National, effective from 11 August.
The news comes after South Australia's DTC ceased its role as AIDN's state chapter and withdrew its membership from the national body in March.
In a statement, AIDN Victoria CEO Claire Willette said the decision to part ways with AIDN National was made to address increasingly divergent outlooks on how to support SMEs in the defence industry and dual-use sectors.
“Our members have been clear about their desire for a strong peak body offering a substantive policy and strategy focus, which has the capability and expertise to advocate on their behalf to government and defence primes,” Willette said.
“The decision to resign our membership has not been taken lightly and comes after a significant investment of time and resources into AIDN National. At this time, the board has determined that the best way meet the needs of our members in the current defence industry landscape is through a focussed effort of AIDN VIC’s resources.
“We are confident that this move will enable AIDN VIC to be better positioned to pursue partnerships with other defence and dual-use industry peak bodies, and create new, focused, pathways for SMEs in Victoria, interstate and internationally.
“AIDN VIC has already implemented a focused agenda and has made good progress with expanding our networks and opportunities to promote our members overseas.”
Last month, during Eurosatory 2018, AIDN Victoria signed an MOU establishing partnership, collaboration, capacity building, and market entry facilitation with the Region Centre Val de Loire in France, paving the way for Victoria's defence industry to access the European market.
70 per cent of France’s defence land systems are developed in the region as well as a significant number of French aviation companies involved in defence aerospace.
“This move directly supports of the Commonwealth’s Defence Export Strategy and we look forward to building upon these successes and our relationships to further the interests of our members," Willette said.
"We will continue to collaborate with all AIDN State Chapters in the same way we welcome partnerships with all relevant advocacy and/or peak bodies.”
In a statement, AIDN National President Rob Forbes said that the body is 'extremely disappointed'.
"AIDN Victoria’s decision to withdraw from our network increases the number of voices purporting to represent the defence industry. This is at a time when the Government is seeking to hear one defence industry voice," Forbes said.
"AIDN reaffirms that its focus will remain to be the representative of a large number of SME suppliers in support of the Australian Defence and Security Forces. The success in providing this representation is reflected in a growing national membership base and its continued advocacy and support for the SME community.
“AIDN will strive to ensure that SMEs Australia-wide can be valued partners in developing a national approach for the defence industry."