Western Australia Premier Mark McGowan and Defence Issues Minister Paul Papalia announced the state government would soon meet its election commitment to establish a specialised defence office, Defence West.
The WA government said the new establishment, which was officially launched on Friday, will prepare a defence strategy to guide its efforts in actively campaigning to secure a greater share of Australia's defence contracts for the state.
As reported on Defence Connect, a defence advocate will be appointed soon and a panel of specialist advisers will be established to champion the interests of WA's defence industry with federal ministers, defence executives and other key decision makers.
Defence West will also establish a biennial Indian Ocean trade show in Perth to promote the state's capabilities.
The launch came on the same day the Premier and minister held an Industry Engagement Consortium with key stakeholders in WA's defence industry.
Minister Papalia said the the state's location to operational areas and concentration of SMEs is a key advantage of the state's defence capabilities.
"Our proximity to operational areas, and being home to the country's largest Navy Base, means WA already plays a key role in Australia's strategic interests," said Minister Papalia.
"We also have the greatest concentration of defence-related prime contractors and small to medium enterprises of any capital in Australia.
"WA has the capacity, capability and workers to undertake large contracts and Defence West will champion our assets nationally and internationally."
The WA Premier said one of the catalysts of establishing the office has been the minority allocation of shipbuilding work to the state.
"WA boasts an experienced shipbuilding industry with the expertise and capability to build the next generation of Navy vessels, creating more jobs for Western Australians," said Premier McGowan.
"WA is set to receive just 3.7 per cent of the national defence spend but the state government will demand a bigger share of defence work for the state.
"We've identified defence as a key pillar for diversifying the state's economy and believe through strategic advocacy we can secure our fair share of the defence budget."