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Image of a pilot

It’s one thing to build war fighting capability, it’s another to build industrial capability

7 July 2020

Amid fanfare last week at the start of the new financial year the government promised to invest A$270 billion over a decade to upgrade the defence force.

It said a side benefit would be a stronger local defence industry and “more high-tech Australian jobs”.

The prime minister’s statement hastened to add that it was already strong

Australia’s defence industry is growing with over 4,000 businesses employing approximately 30,000 staff. An additional 11,000 Australian companies directly benefit from Defence investment and, when further downstream suppliers are included, the benefits flow to approximately 70,000 workers.

But the Australian part of Australia’s defence industry is small and getting smaller.

My analysis of contracts listed on the government’s Austender website shows that while the proportion of defence department contracts awarded to Australian operated firms is usually well above 60%, the proportion awarded to firms that are both Australian operated and owned is much lower, presently 11%…..

Read the full article here on The Conversation.

Graeme Dunk, Strategic and Defence Studies Centre PhD Candidate, Australian National University

Louisa Minney, defence consultant, business analyst and company director, also contributed to this article.

Image by ThisisEngineering RAEng on Unsplash.

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