The NSW government has launched its new defence strategy, with five stages outlined to set out a roadmap for the state to follow.
The five stages, which are part of the NSW government’s Strong, Smart and Connected industry strategy, are as follows:
- Foster stronger relationships with Defence and across the NSW defence industry at a state and regional level;
- Leverage NSW’s strengths in critical capability areas to grow existing work and create new Defence and defence industry activity;
- Provide Defence and industry with their future workforce;
- Sustain and grow existing and new Defence and defence industry activity across regional NSW; and
- Increase opportunities for innovation, commercialisation and research within Defence and the defence industry.
The industry strategy represents the NSW government’s vision for defence-related industries in the state.
The five stages of the strategy coincide with the creation of a new organisation, known as Defence NSW. According to Minister for Trade and Industry Niall Blair, “This organisation will be responsible for co-ordinating all Defence and defence industry-related activities for the NSW government.”
This strategy was developed by the NSW Department of Industry and included consultations with stakeholders from defence industry, regional defence networks, industry associations, local government and other departments of the NSW government.
The strategy and its five stages are supported by a number of targeted state and regional initiatives and recognise the importance of Defence to regional economies and communities by putting forward a ‘hub and spoke’ delivery approach. This involves central co-ordination of state priority initiatives delivered through dedicated resources and specialised expertise in each region.
Foster stronger relationships with Defence and across the NSW defence industry at a state and regional level.
The strategy recognises the importance of enhancing NSW’s relationship with Defence to provide a more collaborative, consistent and strategic approach.
The strategy recognises the importance of strengthening Defence engagement and will establish Defence NSW as a new, central body to better co-ordinate all defence-related activities for the NSW government. Defence NSW’s role will be to clearly articulate and facilitate the delivery of the vision for Defence and defence industry in NSW, as detailed in this strategy.
The strategy also requires the development of strong relationships between local communities and Defence establishments to better understand the issues, develop opportunities and deliver services in a co-ordinated way. Defence NSW will build on existing regional centres to deliver this strategy, and in turn help deliver on the Premier’s priorities in relation to jobs growth and supporting regional infrastructure.
Initiative 1A — Establish Defence NSW as the co-ordinating agency for all defence related activities for the NSW government.
Initiative 1B — Support existing Defence establishments to prosper in NSW including closer engagement at regional level to build defence-supportive communities.
Initiative 1C — Collaborate with the Commonwealth, state/territory and local government to provide integrated services to Defence and industry.
Leverage NSW’s strengths in critical capability areas to grow existing work and create new Defenceand defence industry activity.
Defence industry in NSW has a strong reputation in areas critical to Defence including system integration, cyber security and advanced materials. NSW: Strong, Smart and Connected seeks to build on NSW’s strengths in complex systems integration and sustainment to enhance Defence’s ability to successfully deliver its investment program.
The strategy acknowledges that NSW has critical expertise to contribute to the development and sustainment of major platforms, including sub-system manufacturing which may be independent of the location of final assembly. NSW will support and develop, including through the provision of infrastructure, regionally specific defence industry precincts focused on locally relevant projects that build on comparative strengths.
Initiative 2A — Ensure NSW remains Australia’s leader in complex systems integration and sustainment.
Initiative 2B — Build on NSW’s strengths in cyber security and space, and promote collaboration between experts in Sydney and the capital region, and ACT industry.
Initiative 2C — Target major defence projects to take place in NSW through co-ordinated campaigns including Joint Strike Fighter (AIR6000), Air Force’s Future Battle Management System (AIR6500), Combat Reconnaissance Vehicles (LAND400) and Future Submarines (SEA1000), Offshore Patrol Vessels (SEA1180), and Future Frigate (SEA5000).
Initiative 2D — Explore Western Sydney Airport as a future aerospace precinct through engagementand partnership with NSW and federal governments.
Provide Defence and industry with their future workforce
NSW currently has the largest number of defence-related skilled workers with a skills base that strongly aligns with key areas of defence growth and investment including engineering, ICT, manufacturing and systems integration, including aerospace. NSW has a number of key training facilities that provide skills for both defence and wider industry requirements, and programs in place to promote jobs of the future.
NSW: Strong, Smart and Connected commits the NSW government to promoting defence industry career pathways and encouraging and developing educational opportunities and incentives to stimulate the uptake of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) subjects at schools and the transfer of STEM-skilled employees to NSW.
Initiative 3A — Promote interest and accessibility of STEM in NSW’s secondary and tertiary institutions, and promote careers paths in defence industry and technology through industry partnerships and incentive programs.
Initiative 3B — Work with Defence and industry to build on the training and education strengths in the Riverina, Hunter, Sydney and capital regions.
Sustain and grow existing and new Defence and defence industry activity across regional NSW.
NSW is home to more bases and more Defence and defence industry personnel than any other state. Systems based in NSW are some of the most complex in the Australian Defence Force (ADF). This includes a significant portion of the RAN fleet, the Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) and Naval Aviation capabilities. Regional strengths have developed as a result of base requirements, for example rotary wing expertise in the Shoalhaven, naval sustainment in Sydney and fast jet sustainment in the Hunter.
NSW defence industry, and its total supply chain, plays a major role in sustaining these complex systems. For NSW to continue to be the leader in sustaining complex systems it must continue to support Defence and defence industry and remove any barriers to future growth.
The major prime contractors already operate in NSW and the NSW government is committed to working closely with defence industry to attract increased investment into the state. Prime contractors require a capable supply chain, and the NSW government recognises it has a significant role in helping small to medium enterprises (SMEs) better access local and global supply chain opportunities.
NSW: Strong, Smart and Connected commits the NSW government to working closely with industry networks and the CDIC to leverage federal industry support programs such as Team Defence Australia and the Global Supply Chain initiative. The strategy is the enabler for building and delivering a state industry that is diversified locally and internationally by assisting industry to increase exports. Key to this will be developing and supporting regional defence networks and creating opportunities for collaboration both across the state and with other states and territories.
Further work also needs to be done in conjunction with the CDIC to map sector capabilities and better understand the key areas of specialisation and their locations.
Initiative 4A — Assist the RAN manage its interests at a congested Fleet Base East and position NSW as a leader in maritime sustainment.
Initiative 4B — Promote the inclusion of Port Kembla steel products in ships and vehicle procurement.
Initiative 4C — Grow and connect regional networks to enhance collaboration and develop business opportunities.
Initiative 4D — Assist specialist SMEs to better access local and global supply chain and export opportunities.
Initiative 4E — Facilitate regional opportunities for the defence industry to invest and expand.
Increase opportunities for innovation, commercialisation and research within Defence and the defence industry. NSW is home to world-class R&D institutions with significant experience in delivering on Defence priorities and attracting international funding.
The development and commercialisation of new capabilities will depend on the strength of the connections and collaborations between industry and research institutions and the involvement of the Defence and science networks in NSW.
NSW will facilitate access to Defence’s key innovation funding in CDIC’s Next Generation Technology Fund and the Defence Innovation Hub. A key step will be the mapping of research capabilities and current activities.
Initiative 5A — Enhance Defence and industry collaboration networks with universities to enable faster development and commercialisation of technologies.
Initiative 5B — Support regional collaborations between prime contractors, SMEs and research institutions to develop defence capability.