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Conroy applauds employment, economic growth in defence industry data

Minister for Defence Industry and the Minister for International Development and the Pacific, The Honourable Pat Conroy MP, on a tour of the CEA Integration Lab before the release of the Defence Industry Development Strategy at CEA Technologies in Canberra. Photo: Kym Smith

The Australian Bureau of Statistics has released new data on economic benefits from the defence industry as part of the Australian Defence Industry Account.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics has released new data on economic benefits from the defence industry as part of the Australian Defence Industry Account.

The satellite account measures the direct economic contribution and direct employment headcount of the defence industry to the Australian economy, including production of goods and services invoiced to the Department of Defence.

In 2022–23, the Australian defence industry contributed $10.6 billion (0.44 per cent) to Australia’s gross value added (up 4.1 per cent from the previous year), employed 64,100 persons (up 6.3 per cent from the previous year), and consisted of 5,544 Australian businesses according to the data.


In 2022–23, the three largest industry contributors to defence industry gross value added (GVA) were professional, scientific and technical services (45.2 per cent of GVA), manufacturing (15.4 per cent of GVA), and construction (15.0 per cent of GVA). Combined, the top three industries account for 75.6 per cent of the total defence industry GVA.

In 2022–23, the three largest state contributors to defence industry GVA were NSW ($3,432 million), Victoria ($2,249 million), and South Australia ($1,684 million).

On the employment front, employment associated with defence expenditure increased by 3,800 (6.3 per cent) from 60,300 in 2021–22 to 64,100 in 2022–23. In comparison, total employed persons in Australia grew by 4.6 per cent.

In 2022–23, defence contributed 0.45 per cent of the economy’s total employment (sourced from Labour Account, Australia original annualised series).

The states with the highest direct employment headcount in 2022–23 were NSW (22,700, or 35.4 per cent), Victoria (13,600, or 21.2 per cent), and South Australia (9,500, or 14.8 per cent).

The number of people directly employed in the defence industry grew by 3,800 jobs, an increase of 6 per cent, with 2,000 jobs added in NSW.

Minister for Defence Industry Pat Conroy said the data underscore the importance of the government’s commitment to growing an innovative, resilient, and competitive defence industry that sustains the Australian Defence Force, creates local jobs, and supports the Australian economy.

“Australian Bureau of Statistics data showing almost 4,000 direct jobs were added in the defence industry demonstrates that the government’s positive plan to grow Australia’s defence industrial base is working,” he said.

“The defence industry is an essential partner in keeping Australians safe at home, secure in the world. This is a very good result and underscores the unwavering commitment on the part of the Albanese government to support this critical industry and create jobs is paying dividends.

“I look forward to continuing to deliver a greater partnership between Defence and industry, developing the sovereign defence industrial base we need for our national security, as set out in the Defence Industry Development Strategy.”

Robert Dougherty

Robert Dougherty

Robert is a senior journalist who has previously worked for Seven West Media in Western Australia, as well as Fairfax Media and Australian Community Media in New South Wales. He has produced national headlines, photography and videography of emergency services, business, community, defence and government news across Australia. Robert graduated with a Bachelor of Arts, Majoring in Public Relations and Journalism at Curtin University, attended student exchange program with Fudan University and holds Tier 1 General Advice certification for Kaplan Professional. Reach out via email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or via LinkedIn.
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