Defence is focused on supporting local industry’s contribution to the Australian Government’s $200 billion-plus investment in defence capability. In 2017–18, Australian businesses benefited from a range of Defence-led initiatives helping businesses increase their competitiveness and win contracts, both in Australia and overseas.
First trialled in 2007, the Global Supply Chain program helps Australian enterprises build their business and achieve export success by entering the supply chains of global defence primes. In 2017–18, the program awarded over $1 billion in contracts, benefiting over 170 companies and research institutions. The program continues to grow, with an additional $3.2 million in funding allocated in 2018–19 set to further enhance and expand its support for local businesses.
In 2017–18, increased participation by Australian businesses at Team Defence Australia trade shows and missions provided Australian businesses with unique opportunities to access new international markets. Delegations attended events across the globe, including the Singapore Air Show, Sea Air Space in the United States, Defence Services Asia in Malaysia, and Eurosatory in France.
Defence has also increased its support for businesses working domestically. In 2018, the Centre for Defence Industry Capability hosted ‘Introduction to the Defence Market’ seminars to enable small and medium enterprises to better navigate Australia’s defence industry. Seminars were held in 17 locations across Australia, from Perth and Launceston, to Townsville and Melbourne, with content tailored to the needs of each community. Local businesses heard from prime contractors and industry associations, and met Centre for Defence Industry Capability Advisers for one-on-one consultation sessions. The series was a major success, attracting close to 1,000 participants from a diverse range of sectors.
Australian businesses also play a vital role in supporting Defence bases, facilities and training areas. Defence focuses on maximising the opportunities for local businesses to compete for Defence work. In 2017–18, Defence began piloting a new Local Industry Capability Plan that mandates tenderers actively seek out the capacity and capability of local markets.