Last week, Rockingham in WA welcomed Federal Minister for Defence Industry, Melissa Price, Minister for Small Business, Reece Whitby, (representing the State Minister for Defence Industry Paul Papalia) Royal Australian Navy Rear Admiral Wendy Malcolm, and a wide range of local and global contractors to its first ever Defence Industry Forum.
More than 100 guests attended the event at the Gary Holland Community Centre on Thursday 15 April which focused on helping local SMEs obtain work in the Defence industry sector.
With $1 billion of investment set to occur locally on HMAS Stirling over the next decade, Minister Melissa Price told the forum that Rockingham’s involvement in Defence industry would play a key part in boosting the nation’s sovereign capability.
Minister Reece Whitby said the Rockingham region was in pole position to support growth in Defence industry and that the State Government was committed to assisting SME’s in the sector.
Meanwhile, Rear Admiral Wendy Malcolm said the work scheduled to be carried out at HMAS Stirling would be critical to helping the ADF’s operations.
Forum attendees also heard from representatives at Defence West, the Centre for Defence Industry Capability and important Defence industry contractors including Thales, Lendlease and Ventia.
Insight on future infrastructure upgrades and the potential for an Indian Ocean Maritime Academy, based in the Rockingham region, were key highlights during presentations.
Mayor Barry Sammels said the Defence Industry Forum was a key initiative in the City’s Economic Development Strategy 2020 – 2025.
“The City of Rockingham is committed to supporting local SMEs in their pursuit of economic growth, and the Defence Industry Forum was a major opportunity for businesses to learn more about how they can get involved in the unprecedented infrastructure investment occurring at HMAS Stirling,” Mayor Sammels said.
“A key aspiration of the City’s Strategic Community Plan is actively pursuing tourism and economic development, and the City hopes local businesses are able to take the knowledge they’ve gained through the Defence Industry Forum and translate it into economic success.
“The City would also like to gratefully acknowledge all of the special guest speakers and industry experts who participated in the forum and shared their knowledge.”