With the Federal election outcome decided, South Australia is getting on with the task of maximising industry and job opportunities arising from the $89 billion Future Naval Shipbuilding contracts, announced in April.
Defence Industries Minister Martin Hamilton-Smith is in France and the UK over the next week meeting with defence and high tech industry representatives as well as government officials as South Australia works to strengthen strategic government, industry and supply chain networks.
Today, at the invitation of French President Francois Hollande and French Defence Minister Jean-Yves Le Drain, Minister Hamilton-Smith will attend a French Defence Ministry event in Paris where he will meet international defence sector representatives and promote South Australia as the ‘Defence State’ with advanced manufacturing and defence capabilities.
While in France and as Minister for Veterans’ Affairs, he will also attend the July 14 Bastille Day Parade, led by the Australian Defence Force at the French Government’s invitation. He will attend commemoration ceremonies at the Menin Gate in Ypres and at Fromelles, marking the 100th anniversary of the arrival of Australian troops in France in July 1916.
While in the UK, the Minister will visit the Biennial Farnbrough International Air Show, where he will meet with defence and technology firms including BAE and Ultra Electronics.
Having run a sustained and successful campaign to secure a continuous shipbuilding program for South Australia, the task of maximising the many economic benefits is now underway.
This includes efforts to significantly lift South Australia’s defence-related activity, helping the sector maximise the multi-billion dollar Offshore Patrol Vessel, Future Frigates and Future Submarine contracts now and in the future.
Attraction and development of maritime systems, science and technology capabilities are core pillars of the South Australia Defence Strategy 2015 -2025 and an important step in the transformation of the South Australian economy toward high end, advanced manufacturing and high tech jobs for young South Australians.
While in France and the UK the Minister will also meet with the key government officials to discuss French defence military procurement strategies. He will also meet representatives of Thales, a global firm with capabilities across defence and commercial sectors including rail, maritime, land, communications, aerospace and cyber security. A central aim of the mission will be to meetwith GICAN (Groupement des Industries de Construction et Activites Navales), an industry group representing 500 maritime and naval companies and organiser of the Euronaval Trade Exhibition, held in France every two years, as South Australia prepares to launch a major government and industry presence at Euronaval 2016 in October
Euronaval is seen as a strategically important opportunity for our defence industry to showcase its capabilities to French and wider European markets, with a view to attracting new investment.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Defence Industries Martin Hamilton-Smith
The South Australian Government is serious about supporting and growing the defence industry in South Australia.
A strong and vibrant defence industry is a vital part of our high-tech advanced manufacturing future.
The state’s relationship building and meetings with key players, as well as our involvement in high level events such as Euronaval later his year, will ensure we are not only ready for the projects already secured, but that we are also ready to continue as the nation’s hub of naval shipbuilding activity well into the future.
Now that the contracts are won, the work begins to showcase our industry to a global audience and ensure we are on the front foot to maximise opportunities for South Australia’s involvement in these strategic projects.
We are already home to a number of key international defence companies and our intention is to attract even more companies to invest in industry.