NSW parliamentary secretary for planning, the Central Coast and the Hunter Scot MacDonald discussed the future of the NSW defence sector at the AIDN NSW 23rd anniversary dinner, saying the state government is looking to grow the state's advanced manufacturing sector.
"The NSW government is committed to creating new high-tech jobs, growing the advanced manufacturing sector, supporting innovation and collaboration in research, and driving economic growth in our regions," MacDonald said.
"With the Australian government’s Defence White Paper outlining spending of more than $195 billion over the decade to 2026, we will work closely with organisations like AIDN to help our companies take advantage of the significant opportunities.
"As the industry association for small-to-medium enterprises (SMEs) doing business in the defence and security sectors, we recognise the central role played by AIDN. Working together with AIDN through close collaboration with Defence NSW, we can help maximiseSME participation while supporting federal Defence priorities."
MacDonald said the state's focus and plans for increasing opportunities for NSW SMEs is part of the NSW Defence and Industry Strategy: Strong, Smart and Connected, released earlier this year.
"First, Defence NSW is supporting defence companies, primes and SMEs to access procurement and supply chain opportunities," he said.
"Second, we’re targeting Commonwealth procurement projects with a co-ordinated approach to leverage NSW strengths in critical defence capability areas, particularly complex systems integration.
"Third, we’re working to boost STEM skills to bring more people into fields like engineering, ICT and advanced manufacturing.
"Fourth, to strengthen R&D and innovation, we’re building networks to bring defence industry, universities and researchers closer together.
"Importantly, we’re supporting regional defence precincts – like our recent work with Thales to upgrade the Carrington slipway to support the maritime sustainment industry."