Major Defence attitude shift for state government

Sydney
Major shift for New South Wales

"The NSW State Government has gone from an attitude of benign indifference towards Defence, to a government who is passionate about Defence," says NSW Minister for Industry, Resources and Energy, Anthony Roberts.

Speaking at the recent HunterNet Defence Conference in Newcastle, Anthony Roberts noted that there had been a major culture shift in the state government's outlook on Defence and the industry.

"Ten years ago we looked at the industry with a sort of, it was a real indifference," Roberts said. "That has changed.

"We want those contracts."

Minister Roberts also commented on the need for each state to recognise what they could and could not do, and what they could realistically offer the ADF.

"There's no point fighting for contracts we can't fulfil. However, we want to be able to say to Christopher Pyne (Minster for Defence Industry), 'how can we help you achieve your goals? In NSW we can do this'."

"I don't necessarily want the whole pie," the Minister joked. "We're happy to share with the other states and territories."

Jokes aside, Minster Roberts also made a point of his intent to win contracts that include not just the initial build, but the longer term maintenance through life-of-type contracts. 

"I'd also like to see Naval shipbuilding and maintenance here in Newcastle," he added. 

When asked about possible closures of RAAF Base Richmond, Minister Roberts was quick to answer.

"Decisions like that would be made by RAAF and we as a government trust the decisions made by them. Personally I can't see it closing any time soon anyway."  

 

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