The Hunter region will have its defence industry capability promoted by a newly-formed high-level advocacy and action group, leading to more Defence contracts and investment to the region.
The Hunter Defence collaborative task force aims to represent the interests of existing and potential participants in the defence industry, focusing on demonstrating the capability of Hunter to suppliers and prime contractors.
Tim Owen, a former Air Force Commander with 32 years of service, will chair the task force.
Owen said the group would provide a strong voice promoting the regions capability and help regional firms take advantage of upcoming opportunities.
“We have firms with excellent capability in the Hunter but that is only part of the equation; winning contracts is a competitive business that requires deep industry insight and high visibility with primes, defence stakeholders and government at all levels,” Owen said.
“Hunter Defence will seek to align local industry capabilities and capacities with coming opportunities and demonstrate the region’s supply chain capability."
The advocacy and action group will also help upskill local SMEs to become 'defence ready'.
“We also want to encourage more SMEs to acquire advanced defence capability by facilitating education, training and advice," Owen said.
“The Hunter already has strong expertise in advanced high-value, high-skills manufacturing and R&D, so there is great potential for locally based firms to diversify into defence or, for those who already have a toehold in the industry, to increase their market share.”