Premier Jay Weatherill and Minister for Defence Industries Martin Hamilton Smith today launched a 10-year strategy for South Australia’s defence sector.
Speaking to a 100-strong audience of Defence and industry leaders, Premier Weatherill reaffirmed the Government’s commitment to the defence sector.
“Defence is a critical sector for South Australia,” Mr Weatherill said.
“It is a core pillar of our economy, creating jobs, driving investment and innovation. Our commitment to the defence sector is unmatched across the nation.”
Currently employing 27,000 South Australians both directly and indirectly, the sector contributes around $2 billion to the economy annually.
“Our industry consistently attracts around one-quarter of Defence’s in-country spend on platform acquisition and sustainment – an outstanding achievement in anyone’s language.
“We have an ambitious vision for our defence sector. We aim to grow to 37,000 jobs (direct and indirect) and $2.5 billion annual economic contribution by 2020.
“South Australia’s Defence Strategy 2025 provides the roadmap to achieve this vision, guiding our efforts into the future.
“Over the next decade, we are committed to partnering with Defence, industry and academia to build on our strong foundations. We will focus on driving sustainable defence industry growth and attracting additional Defence activity to the state,” Mr Weatherill said.
Developed under the guidance of the Defence SA Advisory Board led by Air Chief Marshal Sir Angus Houston AK AFC – who joined the Premier and Minister to launch the strategy today, and in close consultation with Defence and industry, South Australia’s Defence Strategy 2025 proposes clear sector outcomes that capitalise on the state’s existing strengths:
- Maritime – cement South Australia’s status as a national centre of complex warship and submarine build and sustainment.
- Systems and Cyber – establish South Australia as a centre of expertise for electronic and information systems, building on our existing intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance and electronic warfare capabilities.
- Aerospace – position South Australia as a national hub for airborne maritime surveillance and weapons system test and evaluation.
- Land – build on South Australia’s reputation as a centre for military vehicles and integration of combat systems.
- Science and Technology – advance South Australia as a centre of expertise for defence science and technology, expanding on the already considerable DSTO and University based research and development activities in the state.
“We will focus our efforts where we can have the greatest impact, through actively advocating on the key issues, investing in strategic infrastructure and skills development, and ensuring South Australia offers a competitive business environment,” Mr Hamilton-Smith said.
“The partnership between governments and industry needs to be stronger than ever given Australia’s increasingly dynamic national security and defence environment coupled with fiscal constraints.
“Achievement of the state’s defence strategy will be driven by Defence and defence industry. Our role is one of support, together with the education, training and research and development sectors.”
South Australia’s Defence Strategy 2025 is available at www.defencesa.com