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WA announces creation of Defence Advisory Forum and new Executive Director

West Australian Minister for Defence Issues Paul Papalia has announced the formation of the new Defence Advisory Forum and welcomed the appointment of the inaugural executive director for Defence West.

The Defence Advisory Forum, announced by Minister Papalia, will advise and support the state government on defence industry capability and business development and investment issues including workforce, skills, research and infrastructure requirements.

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Chaired by WA defence advocate Rear Admiral (Ret'd) Raydon Gates, AO, CSM, the forum includes representatives from key industry and defence sector stakeholders, including:

  • Australian Industry and Defence Network;
  • Chamber of Commerce and Industry (WA);
  • Henderson Alliance;
  • Australian Industry Group;
  • Construction Contractors Association;
  • Centre for Defence Industry Capability; and
  • Each of the four WA public universities.

Minister Papalia said, "Promoting WA's defence industry capability is a key government priority. The forum will help us identify and target opportunities for WA's defence industry and make sure we have the workforce, skills and infrastructure to support it."

State government representatives from Defence West, the Department of Training and Workforce Development and South Metropolitan TAFE will also be included.

The forum will report directly to the minister, providing independent advice to support the sustainable growth of the WA defence industry sector.

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"I welcome Rear Admiral Gates as the forum chairperson and look forward to the ideas and issues that will be raised. Western Australia is home to a world-class and globally competitive defence industry, including a thriving research and development sector," Minister Papalia added. 

The steering committee, which is overseeing the implementation of the WA Defence and Defence Industries Strategic Plan, will also engage with the forum to seek feedback and advice. Establishment of the Defence Advisory Forum was a key action from the WA Defence and Defence Industries Strategic Plan, and the state government's Plan for Jobs.

Minister Papalia also welcomed the appointment of the inaugural executive director of Defence West, Matt Moran, who brings an extensive knowledge of Defence, having experience as a senior adviser to the federal Minister for Defence Industry and federal Minister for Defence. He worked on Defence’s most complex and expensive projects over the last few years.

He was also a media adviser to prime minister Malcolm Turnbull. Moran deployed to Afghanistan as an Army public affairs officer in 2009 and East Timor in 2007. He previously worked as a journalist with the ABC and Network Ten. He will start soon with an early focus on meeting with Defence and industry stakeholders in WA.

Moran said, "It’s a privilege to be offered this exciting position, I’m looking forward to working with the local defence industry to make the most of the amazing opportunities on offer."

WA announces creation of Defence Advisory Forum and new Executive Director
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