Transforming Australia’s attitude to defence

Minister for Defence Industry Christopher Pyne

The Minister for Defence Industry Christopher Pyne has said to achieve reform in defence, Australia’s cultural attitude to the defence industry must change.

Minister Pyne and the government's commitment to reform the nation's defence industry will not just require changes within organisations or government funding, but rather a government that is "fundamentally interested in driving cultural change as a way to solidify defence reform".

"It’s one thing to tinker with the wire diagrams of organisational change, but altogether harder to shift long standing cultural behaviours about 'the way things are done around here'," said Minister Pyne.

The minister identified interaction among organisations and industry as a key part in changing the cultural attitude.

"One area where I think we need to work harder is in changing how the defence organisation and industry interact," he said.

"At least everyone understands the concept – that there is a need for industry to be drawn closer to discussions with government and defence about how to extract more innovation, agility and cost savings from the defence-industry relationship."

Minister Pyne cautioned that, although there has been positive change within the industry, there is still a way to go.

"I’m really pleased to hear both industry and defence leaders tell me they see ‘green shoots’ in defence and industry interaction," he said.

"But I can’t deny that I also hear the opposite from time to time. That sometimes it is more difficult for the two groups to have open and frank conversations than it should be."

To that end, the government has requested a report into promoting better discussion between defence and industry. 

"To support this discussion I have asked ASPI [the Australian Strategic Policy Institute] to develop a report for me on how to promote a closer, more open, more innovative discussion between Defence and industry."

The minister is set to receive the report from ASPI in the second half of this year.

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