Patrick Durrant | Sydney
In a speech given at the Australian Strategic Policy Institute today Defence Industry Minister Christopher Pyne revisited the subject of the Government's planned Defence Export Strategy, indicating the policy, which would support existing initiatives such as the Centre for Defence Industry Capability and the Defence Innovation Hub, would be released before the end of the year.
At the event, which was sponsored by Project Sea 1180 (Offshore Patrol Vessels) contender Luerssen, Pyne said defence exports would help build the capability of defence industry to better meet the ADF's needs while also contributing to Australia’s economic prosperity.
“Defence industry exports will sustain our key industrial capabilities across peaks and troughs in domestic demand,” he said.
Defence exports would also promote international engagement, capability building and greater interoperability with allies and strategic partners.
“Defence exports will position Australian companies as players on the global stage, driving competitiveness, which ultimately places industry in a stronger position and gives Australian taxpayers better value for money in defence procurement.”
Pyne said that success stories such as Marand, Nulka, CEA and Austal needed to become the “new normal”.
According to the Minister, the strategy will consider a range of issues:
- It will examine the contribution of Australian defence exports to defence capability.
- It will look at the relationship between defence industry export outcomes and Australia’s broader foreign, defence, trade and national security objectives.
- It will evaluate Australian defence industry export opportunities, challenges and priority markets, along with measures of defence industry exports and goals for future outcomes.
- It will seek to further refine cooperation and coordination between government and industry to support Australian defence exports and examine the management of sensitive technologies.
“Exporting can be both a daunting and demanding undertaking for any business, and the nature of the defence industry can introduce further levels of complexity,” he said.
Pyne acknowledged businesses may face challenges such as identifying export opportunities, obtaining export market access and complying with export regulations and said this dictated the need to establish a means whereby Defence and industry could work together to support exports.
“We will need to facilitate export development so Australian firms can broaden their ambition with minimal exposure to risk,” he said.
The approach taken would need to take account of different markets, the likelihood of success and the different industry needs of SMEs and primes.
“The fundamental issue we seek your assistance in determining is this: what can defence support do to offer a unique benefit and expansion of an export-focussed Australian defence industry?”