The Tasmanian government has appointed Rear Admiral (Ret’d) Steve Gilmore as the state’s first full-time defence advocate and strategic adviser for maritime industry and national security affairs.
Gilmore has helped Tasmanian business like Liferaft Systems Australia, CBG Systems, Penguin Composites, Taylor Bros, Direct Edge and Pivot Maritime International win significant supply contracts in the defence industry.
The role means Gilmore will continue to help local industry take advantage of growing opportunities in the maritime and national security sectors.
Following the three-year appointment of the retired Rear Admiral, Tasmania has become the first state with a full-time defence advocate, which the government said ensures the state is "strongly represented at national and international defence industry forums and further increasing opportunities for Tasmanian businesses to win key defence, maritime and national security contracts, and creating jobs locally".
Tasmania generates nearly $350 million sales revenue annually in the defence sector, with over 2,000 employees spread out between 30 businesses in the state.
Tasmania said it is "looking to further leverage off the Australian government’s commitment to invest $195 billion in defence during the next eight years".
The appointment comes after the state government updated its Tasmanian Defence Strategy, in which an increased focus on the local defence industry aims to raise Tasmania's reputation for high-quality niche products solidify around the world.
Gilmore served as Commander of the Royal Australian Navy fleet from 2009-2011, and was in the RAN for 40 years before his retirement in 2017.