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SA industry must be prepared to compete strongly for defence contracts

Tuesday, 30 August 2016

Get smart, get organised and get strategic, is the message to South Australia’s defence industry and small business sector looking to gain lucrative work on future defence contracts.

Minister for Defence Industries Martin Hamilton-Smith will open DefenceSA’s South Australian Industry Engagement Forum this morning at Mawson Lakes, where more than 70 local firms will hear that the next 20-30 months will define how local industry can benefit from the next 20-30 years.

Supply chain work is not gifted, it has to be won, Minister Hamilton-Smith said.

Today’s summit will reinforce: What it takes to be involved in the defence; a vision for the industry; what’s needed to win work and support available to help companies in stepping up.


Construction of the $3 billion Offshore Patrol Vessels starts at Techport in 2018;it will lead to 400-plus direct and 400 indirect jobs. The $30 billion Future Frigate program, is due to commence in Adelaide in 2020. It will lead to approximately 2000 direct jobs. Construction of the 12 Future Submarines will start in 2022. Worth $50 billion, French designer DCNS estimates the submarines project represents 2900 direct jobs in South Australia, with 1700 jobs at ASC, 100 jobs at DCNS office, 600 jobs in supply chain, 500 jobs in combat system integration.

Firms presenting at today’s event include: BAE, Thales, Mincham Aviation, SupaShock, MG Engineering and Smart Fabrication and other presenters include DTC, DefenceSA, Department of State Development and the Economic Development Board.

Quotes attributable to Defence Industries Minister Martin Hamilton-Smith

Now is not the time to rest on our laurels. There is a significant body of work on the near, medium and far horizons for our state’s industries.
The Government is doing everything possible to maximise South Australian industry involvement in the programs. Our role is to support companies who are already in South Australia and encourage others to invest here.

There’s every reason to be excited about these projects and plenty of opportunity to get involved in the supply chain. But the opportunities won’t just fall into the laps of firms; they’re going to have to compete for it. If we sit back and wait, we’ll miss out. I’m pushing the Commonwealth to ensure a continuous flow of defence work and have already issued a list of five key actions.