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South Australia unveils defence industry strategy

sa defence strategy launch

Defence SA and its advisory board, with input from local industry and academia, have released the South Australian Government Defence Strategy 2030.

The strategy, which outlines how the state can accelerate defence investment, create export opportunities and grow its defence workforce, reflects on changes in the defence landscape since the release of the federal government's 2016 Defence White Paper, the Naval Shipbuilding Plan and the announcement of a national space agency.

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The new strategy, launched at Boeing Defence Australia's Adelaide office, aims to position the state as a national leader in innovation as it works to create more high-tech jobs over the next decade and beyond. Currently, it estimates there will be 6,000 direct jobs in SA, with more in the supply chain, in SA's defence sector over the next decade.

Minister for Defence and Space Industries Martin Hamilton-Smith said as the state prepares for major shipbuilding projects, including the Future Submarines, Future Frigates and two Offshore Patrol Vessels, the strategy will look to ensure it maintains a competitive edge.

"South Australia continues to be at the forefront of innovation, cutting-edge technology and defence capabilities, and this strategy ensures we maintain our competitive edge in new growth areas while building the state’s highly-skilled defence workforce over the next decade," the minister said.

"This strategy provides a clear direction to invest in our defence future and build a strong and capable workforce. Our vision to be the nation’s Defence State is now a reality, and it’s important for us to remain competitive through innovation and new technology."

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The minister also welcomed the support of key defence primes like Boeing in the state's endeavour to create defence jobs for the future.

"Boeing is a terrific example of the high-tech companies we want to attract to South Australia to create more highly-skilled jobs in defence and new growth areas – a key priority in our new strategy," he said.

Boeing Defence Australia's managing director Darren Edwards said the state's investment in technology is in line with the business' "innovation culture".

"Boeing Defence Australia is proud to play an active role in expanding the defence industry in South Australia," Edwards said.

"South Australia’s investment in cutting-edge technology and business aligns with Boeing Defence Australia’s innovation culture. There is a clear focus here to invest in innovation, commercialise research and build global business and export opportunities." 

Boeing has already grown its workforce in Adelaide since signing an agreement with the state government in April this year. It is currently on track to create 250 jobs by the end 2021.

South Australia unveils defence industry strategy
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