The Defence industry has said the defence sector will invest in innovation strategies upfront if the Federal Government will commit to building and maintaining Australia’s ships and submarines locally.
Australian Made Defence campaign national spokesperson, Chris Burns said if innovation is indeed the cornerstone to industry investment, the Federal Government must commit to retaining and growing the highly skilled workforce within the defence sector.
“This announcement is the beginning of a positive national agenda to promote industry investment into technologies and initiatives that will promote Australian business, skills and ideas overseas” said Mr Burns.
“The defence industry will play a crucial role to promote innovation, agility and global competitiveness which will grow the Australian economy.
“In projects like the refurbishment of our Collins Class submarines we have seen that when the defence industry is given the opportunity and certainty over projects they will invest to update technologies, drive innovation and exceed international standards.
“With Federal Government commitment, industry can develop local design capabilities key to building our future fleets.
“To achieve this, our Government needs to set the landscape for the defence industry to promote innovation that will transfer into a variety of sectors to build and sustain local skills that stimulate our economy.
“The Federal Government has still not made any commitment to the defence industry as part of their innovation agenda that is central to reinvigorating our economy.
“The supply chain required to deliver and sustain Australia’s future ships and subs will be beneficial to every state. The lion’s share of the sustainment funds will go to home ports in the western and eastern states while South Australia will be mainly responsible for assembling the vessels.
“Innovation will drive the economy to support the quality of life Australians want and deserve, but without investment and commitment to the local industry across a variety of sectors, we won’t be able to deliver.
“A local build makes sense. Australians don’t want another country building our fleets; Australians want sovereignty in manufacturing,” said Mr Burns.