The NSW government launched its new strategy to drive growth across the NSW defence industry yesterday, with the strategy set to provide a major boost to regional NSW.
The Strong, Smart and Connected strategy, which includes the establishment of a new central co-ordination body, Defence NSW, was launched by NSW Primary Industries Minister Niall Blair.
The aim of the strategy is to provide an employment boost to regional NSW, as well as strengthening the economy and further supporting Australia's defence needs.
Minister Blair said Defence NSW would be based in western Sydney and target the delivery of major projects, including the Joint Strike Fighter and Combat Reconnaissance Vehicles (LAND400).
It will also focus on major maritime programs like Future Submarine, Offshore Patrol Vessel and Future Frigate.
"With the Australian government’s Defence White Paper outlining programs and acquisitions worth more than $195 billion over the coming decade, it’s vital that NSW positions itself to take advantage of the significant opportunities for growth," Minister Blair said.
"Every $1 billion in Commonwealth defence spending we can attract to NSW will boost our gross state product by $1.4 billion and support up to 10,000 jobs across the economy.
"This detailed strategy will provide a co-ordinated, whole-of-government approach to prioritise the defence sector as a key driver of growth and innovation across industry, especially in regional NSW.
"One of the five main strategies in the Defence and Industry Strategy is to sustain and grow the defence industry across regional NSW, and I couldn’t be more pleased to say we are expecting this work will boost economies across the state, particularly in the Hunter, Illawarra, Shoalhaven, Riverina, northern NSW and capital regions."
The new strategy has been welcomed by the industry with HunterNet CEO Tony Cade praising the NSW government's insight and investment into NSW talent.
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"HunterNet applauds the effort that has delivered the strategy and the government’s wisdom in identifying the potential that exists within the sector for NSW, and especially in recognising our regional strengths. Delivering on this potential will require a long-term commitment and investment by the NSW government, and continued collaboration with industry, and HunterNet is looking forward to working with Defence NSW," Cade said.
ACT has also labelled the strategy as an important move for both NSW and the capital region, according to ACT local industry advocate Kate Lundy.
"I welcome the strategy, which is a great opportunity to collaborate with our counterparts in NSW, and particularly in developing the defence economy in the capital region and promoting strengths in cyber security," Lundy said.