NSW is home to some of the world’s most technologically- advanced and globally- competitive defence industries. The NSW government is helping these industries grow, for the highly-skilled jobs they bring to our state and the capabilities they deliver to the Australian Defence Force, writes Stuart Ayres, NSW Minister for Jobs, Investment, Tourism and Western Sydney.
We’ve leveraged the massive opportunities of PACIFIC 2019, held on October 8 to 10, with a prominent pavilion of technologically- advanced exhibitors, helping NSW companies connect with navy chiefs and other decision makers from around the world.
It’s part of our broader commitment to foster NSW defence industries, helping our companies develop leading technologies and win lucrative international contracts that create jobs in NSW and bolster the nation’s defence.
PACIFIC 2019 attracted more than 16,000 attendees and delegations from more than 50 countries. As the principal sponsor of PACIFIC 2019, the NSW government had a strong presence at the expo, promoting our defence industries on the international stage.
The 16 exhibitors on the NSW pavilion included Blueprint Lab, which makes the world’s smallest and most dexterous “robotic arm” manipulator for remotely-operated underwater vehicles; and Ocius Technology, makers of the BlueBottle autonomous vessels that use renewable energy to stay at sea to search for submarines, detect mines, or assist with electronic warfare.
The NSW pavilion reflected our state’s leading industrial capabilities and our culture of innovation – crucial ingredients that helped propel more NSW companies onto the shortlist for the PACIFIC 2019 Innovation Awards than any other state.
Innovation Awards winners from NSW included Droneshield, which can detect and counter drones; and Advanced Navigation, which develops and makes highly accurate devices for navigating both on and under the sea. The Whiskey Project, which developed a next generation tactical water craft that I co-launched with Minister for Defence Industry, Melissa Price at PACIFIC, was also a finalist.
We are fostering our defence industries so more companies can develop innovative defence technologies and become integrated into global supply chains, expanding our defence industrial sector and delivering jobs to NSW.
Defence industry is often viewed through a prism of major acquisitions, such as the launch of a new ship or the purchase of a new fighter aircraft. In reality, there is industry involvement in all stages of the life cycle of any equipment. NSW may not assemble the Hunter Class frigate but it will play a leading and long-term role in sustainment. NSW companies also supply a lot of the technology going in to every current major Defence project, and indeed into global projects like the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter.
We’re proud of the Defence bases that exist in our state, not only because NSW supports our ADF and our veterans, but because the Defence presence is a catalyst for the growth of industry precincts.
These defence precincts allow a group of defence companies to attract and develop a highly skilled workforce, engage in research, and collaborate where appropriate.
We support our defence precincts for the same reason we support NSW companies at the PACIFIC expos – they bring highly skilled jobs and investment to our state while bolstering the Australian Defence Force.
The NSW Government’s $11.7 million commitment to the Williamtown Astra Aerolab precinct will assist aviation companies to establish themselves in the Hunter region, supporting Royal Australian Air Force aircraft such as the F-35, and delivering more than 5,500 jobs to the Hunter region.
At Albatross Aviation Technology Park at Nowra, which supports the Fleet Air Arm at HMAS Albatross, the NSW Government is supporting the Shoalhaven STEMship Program to identify skills shortages and provide young people with a pathway to jobs.
In our aerospace and defence precinct at the Western Sydney Aerotropolis, we have launched a hub to develop future technologies that will catch the eye of international buyers at expos like PACIFIC.
The international defence prime contractors Northrop Grumman and BAE Systems Australia have already committed to the Western Sydney Aerotropolis, with others set to join them and bring more highly-skilled defence jobs to NSW.
The NSW government has a long-term commitment to nurturing our job-creating defence industries, whether we are fostering the development of new technologies in our defence precincts or marketing our companies to the world through expos like PACIFIC 2019.