Powered by MOMENTUM MEDIA
defence connect logo

Website Notifications

Get notifications in real-time for staying up to date with content that matters to you.

Marles flags better engagement with SMEs as crucial

labor mp richard marles
Opposition spokesman for Defence Richard Marles MP with Commander 1st Brigade, Brigadier Ben James.

Increased engagement with small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) has been flagged by the government across various defence policies and documents, most recently the Australian Industry Capability Plan Template, which Minister for Defence Industry Christopher Pyne said will maximise the inclusion of Australian SMEs. Opposition spokesman for defence Richard Marles has echoed these sentiments, calling for better consultation between government and industry.

Increased engagement with small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) has been flagged by the government across various defence policies and documents, most recently the Australian Industry Capability Plan Template, which Minister for Defence Industry Christopher Pyne said will maximise the inclusion of Australian SMEs. Opposition spokesman for defence Richard Marles has echoed these sentiments, calling for better consultation between government and industry.

The Labor MP joined Defence Connect for an exclusive podcast where he noted the conflicting nature of government and SMEs as problematic to increasing engagement.

Advertisement
Advertisement

"From the government perspective, governments are big animals. Dealing with small, medium enterprises doesn't come naturally. That's been the case across governments of all persuasions," said Marles.

The Victorian MP said developing this engagement is not only beneficial for the SMEs, but also crucial to developing a strong defence export industry.

"I really think that we do need to be working, though, on ways in which we can better engage small and medium enterprises. Because a lot of the opportunities to become [an] export-based business actually lie in that sector," Marles said.

"It is smaller companies with, perhaps, a piece of technology that's been developed in a certain way, which may well be world-leading. We need to be giving those companies the opportunity to participate. It may well be doing work for the Australian Defence Force, initially, which gives them the break they need to walk onto the global stage."

And while high-tech has been touted as a key way to develop and expand the defence industry, Marles said this is not the only way to increase work in this sector.

PROMOTED CONTENT

"But also, you can take this to another level, as well," he said. "Not necessarily in the high-tech space, but just providing work to bases around Australia. There's a lot of ... In Darwin, for example, or Townsville, very much defence-focused towns, where there's a whole lot of companies there that could be providing all sorts of services to the Australian Defence Force. They don't necessarily need to be high-tech, but there's the capability in those cities to do that.

"I think ways in which we can engage local companies like that need to be explored, because certainly there is a sense that they miss out."

To hear more from the opposition spokesman for defence, tune in to our podcast here.

Marles flags better engagement with SMEs as crucial
Labor-MP-Richard-Marles.jpg
lawyersweekly logo

more from defence connect

Jul 1 2022
Collaboration key to Australia’s transition to nuclear powered submarines
Collaboration between government, regulators and industry partners will be key to standing up a complete nuclear submarine capabil...
Jun 30 2022
Australians embrace AUKUS but remain resistant to nuclear weapons
Most Australians have endorsed plans to acquire nuclear-powered submarines under the AUKUS deal, but continue to express strong op...
Jun 30 2022
PODCAST: Cyber security, a legal requirement? With Clyde & Co’s Reece Corbett-Wilkins and Avryl Lattin
In this crossover episode of the Defence Connect podcast, Reece Corbett-Wilkins and Avryl Lattin, partners at global law firm Clyd...