Developing a better political understanding of the defence industry sector is part of one state government’s plans to capitalise on the growing industry.
Defence NSW director Peter Scott joined the Defence Connect podcast to discuss the implementation of the state government's Defence and Industry Strategy — Strong, Smart, and Connected. Scott, a former Director General Submarines for the Royal Australian Navy, said Defence NSW is taking a custom approach to the niche industry, keeping in mind the differing needs of the various key players.
"I think the way I'd describe that is we'll take a tailored approach because the needs of a prime or the needs of an SME depending on what work they are competing for will vary, and the support that the state government can provide to those companies will vary a lot," explained Scott.
"So a big part of my job right now is actually listening, and we're working hard to engage with stakeholders and understand what it is that they need and how best we can support defence industry, to best support defence."
NSW SMEs are calling for more support from the state government as the federal government embarks on a $200 billion spend over the next decade, a call that Scott says is being answered.
"Universally, they [SMEs] are looking for the state government to be more vocal in their support of Defence and defence industry," explained Scott.
"I think we're doing that. We're doing that through the strategy. We're doing that through the inquiry. We're demonstrating political understanding of the importance of the sector, and we're demonstrating political will.
"One of the things we're looking to do is clearly not do everything ourselves because we're small in number, but we're connected to a very capable government, so understanding our own business in the first instance, but then looking to really understand all those capabilities that New South Wales government can bring to bear to support defence and support defence industry.
"So we're pretty quickly establishing working relationships with other parts of government like Jobs for New South Wales or Trade & Investment or the Office of Regional Development, because they're all people that, depending on a company's needs or requirements, or Defence's capability needs, they're all people that can bring something to bear and support defence."
To hear more from Peter Scott, tune in to our exclusive podcast here.