West Australian, South Australian and Victorian defence industry bodies have teamed up to lead the way for interstate shipbuilding collaboration.
WA's Henderson Alliance, SA's Defence Teaming Center (DTC) the Victorian Defence Alliances, AIDN Victoria and AIDN WA have formed an alliance in an effort to ensure the best national outcomes for Australia's shipbuilding industry.
The industry bodies will also jointly host the Maritime Supply Chain Showcase over three days from 7-9 May with up to 150 defence industry delegates scheduled for attendance.
Delegates will visit Henderson Shipyards, WA defence industry SMEs, attend prime defence presentations, collaboration workshops, roundtable meetings and interstate networking opportunities.
"These measures are a huge step in the right direction and a step we should be taking together," Defence Teaming Centre CEO, Margot Forster said.
"The Maritime Supply Chain Showcase is about Western Australia, South Australia and Victoria working together to build our national shipbuilding capability."
Chairperson of the Henderson Alliance Rohan Green said the partnerships between the industry bodies come in response to the ongoing competition between the states looking to secure lucrative defence contracts.
"The current situation of states competing for work is holding us back as a nation and makes it difficult to realise the government’s vision for Australian sovereign capability," Green said.
"Regardless of which state they are from, if SMEs do not work together to secure contracts many will miss out on work. It is crucial that we take parochialism out of the equation and work together to ensure our defence industry develops sovereign capability."
CEO of AIDN Victoria Claire Willette welcomed the collaboration between the industry bodies, which comes after DTC defected from AIDN earlier this year, noting the upcoming showcase will allow the different state industry bodies to develop stronger partnerships for further collaboration.
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"This type of initiative establishes a collaborative posture, which is not only welcomed by Australia’s SME community, but is essential for their growth and success moving forward," Willette said.
"The Maritime Showcase will provide defence industry from across WA, Vic and SA, and their respective peak bodies, with an opportunity to learn from one another, develop partnerships, team and collaborate… in short build capacity, improve their capabilities and make them more competitive and ultimately more appealing to defence primes globally."