Pyne wants defence projects to drive high-tech industry

Image: www.asc.com.au

New defence industry minister Christopher Pyne has said he is determined to see defence projects run on time and deliver maximum spillover benefits within the Australian industry.

In an interview with The Australian, the South Australian MP said he saw the defence industry portfolio – split off from the defence ministry after the election – as something that would be the norm for cabinet over the next several decades. He cited the $100 billion in new defence projects, including the $50 billion construction of 12 submarines with DCNS.

The portfolio involved encouraging defence to embrace industry in these projects, lifting local capability, and driving industry development.

“[It included having to] direct the maximum level of government resources to driving a domestic defence industry to create the jobs and grow the economy that this level of spending has the capability of doing,” he told The Australian.

He also praised the standard of Australian shipyards and facilities.

“We have incredible examples of technologies and equipment we have created here and built here and which we export — some of which we are not able to talk about — which are driving the defence industry dollar,” he said.

Pyne visited Perth last week as one of his first duties in the role, seeking to reassure the state that it would receive a fair share of naval work.