Although South Australia and Western Australia are locked in for the construction of Australia’s $89 billion naval shipbuilding projects, the race to secure sustainment contracts is well and truly on, with the Defence NSW director ready to fight for the state.
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Peter Scott joined the Defence Connect podcast where the Royal Australian Navy's former Director General Submarines outlined how NSW can still capitalise on the naval shipbuilding projects.
"The public discourse often focuses on acquisition, and it focuses on certain parts of acquisition, like the assembly of major systems, that's not necessarily our strength," explained Scott.
"Some of our critical capabilities [are] in systems integration and advanced manufacturing and so on. So we look to shine the light on those capabilities that are strong in this state and bring them into those projects. It might not be at the final assembly stage."
And the state's capabilities across systems integration and advanced manufacturing are not all they should be aiming for, Scott said.
NSW is hoping its stronghold on the country's largest amount of personnel and ADF facilities will work in its favour in securing sustainment work; work which is often more than the acquisition costs in defence projects.
"Another area of defence expenditure that doesn't get quite so much light is the sustainment field," stated Scott.
"Over 30 per cent of the ADF is actually based in New South Wales, and over 30 per cent of its major systems are based in New South Wales. There's 80 bases and facilities resident here. There's over 20,000 service personnel in the state.
"So sustaining all that equipment, sustaining and operating those bases, involves very large sums of money on an annual and ongoing basis. That is one of the sort of ... There's not a whole lot of focus and light goes onto that sort of defence and defence industry support. But it's there, and it's there in big numbers."
To hear more from the Department of Industry's director of Defence NSW Peter Scott, tune in to our exclusive podcast here.