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New Opportunities for Australian Industry

Defence 2000 White Paper Our Future Defence Force

Hon. John Moore, MP Minister for Defence

Wednesday, 6th December, 2000 MIN341/00

New Opportunities for Australian Industry

The Minister for Defence, John Moore, said that the Defence White Paper, released today by the Federal Government, provides unprecedented opportunities for the Australian defence industry sector.

“Defence 2000: Our Future Defence Force makes a long-term commitment to a first class Australian Defence Force in partnership with Australian industry,” Mr Moore said.

“Specifically, industry will benefit from clear guidance contained in the White Paper. There will be greater predicability in acquisition, planning and contracting which will facilitate a more certain, sustainable basis for business planning.”

A Capability Plan, as outlined in the White Paper, has been developed on through-life costing estimates for the different types of capability the Government believes the ADF should have. These estimates cover not only the initial capital investment required, but personnel, operating, support and upgrade costs.

“To support the Capability Plan, Defence funding will increase by an average of 3 percent per annum in real terms over the coming decade, and there will be an immediate increase of $500 million in 2001-02 and $1,000 million in the following year.

“Enhancements to the ADF’s capabilities will provide specific opportunities in the construction of:

 new ships;  upgrading and modernisation of aircraft, ships and vehicles; and  improvements to a range of communications, command and control, and information systems.

“The Government retains a strong preference for building new ships in Australia,” Mr Moore said.

A project will start next year to replace the current Fremantle class patrol boats. The landing ship, HMAS Tobruk, will be replaced in 2010, and the support ships, HMAS Westralia and Success, will be replaced in 2009 and 2015 respectively.

In addition to the extension of the Pacific Patrol Boat program, announced in October by the Prime Minister, at least three air warfare destroyers are planned to replace the guided missile frigates after they leave service from 2013, with construction planned to start around 2008. Planning will begin next year for replacements for the Fremantle Class Patrol Boats, with the new boats scheduled to begin entering service in 2004-5. Two amphibious support ships, HMAS Manoora and Kanimbla, are planned to be replaced by 2015.

“This constitutes a detailed, long-term plan on which Australia’s ship-building industry can develop its plans and infrastructure.

“The White Paper points also to an increased Defence reliance on science and technology. This will create benefits and employment opportunities for regional Australia, as the Defence Science and Technology Organisation (DSTO) works with industry to create and maintain a high technology Defence force.

“In particular, simulation and modelling systems, distributed across Australia, will be increasingly developed for force training and evaluation.

The Minister said that the Coalition Government would continue with its policy of extracting the best possible outcomes for Australian taxpayers.

“We will not limit the ADF to purchases from Australian industry alone, nor will we pay unreasonable premiums for domestically-produced equipment and services. However, a significant amount – at least half – of new investment is expected to be spent in Australia.

“Approximately $40 billion will need to be spent on capital investment over the next 10 years for capability maintenance and enhancement.

“An important focus of the acquisition reform program in the new Defence Materiel Organisation will continue to be the improvements of industry support arrangements. This will enable an effective, whole-of-life approach to be taken to defence materiel and will simplify Defence’s interaction with industry

“Industry will be engaged earlier in the acquisitions process, which will help reduce unnecessary industry costs and improve project turn-around-times.

The Minister said that Defence remains committed to outsourcing non-essential support functions. In particular, the program of market testing most of logistic support functions will continue.

The Government is finalising an Innovation Action Plan which will provide opportunities for defence industry to develop new ideas and encourage commercialisation of research into new technologies. It will support innovation in the defence industry sector, including small-to-medium enterprises.

“The Government appreciates that industry has recently gone through a difficult time of rationalisation and restructuring.

“The White Paper and the long term guidance provided by the Defence Capability Plan will consolidate and strengthen the integral role of industry in Australia’s defence capability,” Mr Moore said.

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
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