The Andrews Labor government said the $2 million Victorian Defence Industry Supply Chain Program will give businesses across Victoria the best possible opportunity to secure work in defence and national security.
The government said, in particular, the program will help local businesses gain relevant accreditations, prepare tenders and meet industry specific compliance requirements, which it believes will ensure local defence supply chain companies are locally and internationally competitive and tender-ready.
Minister for Industry and Employment Wade Noonan said the government is hoping to grow the state's industry and help SMEs play a part in the supply chain of some of the nation's biggest projects.
"Victoria has a proud history of defence capability and excellence, and we are getting on with the job of growing this important industry," said Minister Noonan.
"Supply chain businesses play a particularly critical role in delivering the country’s biggest defence projects.
"This program will put these companies in the best possible position to capitalise on future defence contracts."
The Victorian government is hoping the program will help the state's SMEs secure work from the Commonwealth government’s $195 billion defence capital investment program – including the LAND 400 Phase 2 project and shipbuilding programs.
Victoria is hoping to secure work for the LAND 400 program, for which BAE Systems Australian and Rheinmetall are currently tendering.
Funding is available to Victoria’s small to medium enterprises that are currently supplying to defence or national security related supply chains, as well as those looking to enter the market.
Grants of up to $50,000 are available to businesses under the program, which requires applicants to provide matched funding cash co-contribution.
Recently, the Labor government reappointed former federal minister Greg Combet as Victoria’s defence industry advocate to promote the state's defence credentials.
The Victorian defence sector contributes up to $8 billion to the state's economy annually and is made up of more than 300 businesses, employing around 7,000 people.
For more information about the program, click here.