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The Hon Richard Marles MP
Deputy Prime Minister
Minister for Defence
The Hon Pat Conroy MP
Minister for Defence Industry
Minister for International Development and the Pacific
24 April 2023
Today, the Albanese Government begins implementing key recommendations of the Defence Strategic Review.
As the Review makes clear, a genuine partnership between the Government, industry and unions will be critical to growing Australia’s defence industry and speeding up the acquisition of vital defence capabilities.
The Review recommends significant reforms to the way Defence is structured, postured and operates, to respond to our current strategic circumstances – including reprioritisation of the Defence Integrated Investment Program (IIP).
That is why the Government has agreed to the Review’s recommendation that the Defence IIP be rebuilt to align with the priorities outlined in the Review.
This is a significant endeavour – and one which requires a considered, deliberate, and timely response.
We understand the substantial implications of these changes for both Defence and industry, which is why we will be working closely with industry over the coming weeks and months ahead.
The Review is clear that too much time has been lost on key defence acquisitions and capabilities. Our strategic circumstances demand these issues be addressed urgently.
That is why the Albanese Government will deliver a series of reforms in response to the Review.
The Government has directed Defence to immediately begin work to:
- Remove unnecessary barriers to acquisitions.
- Streamline strategically important projects and low-complexity procurements.
- Make faster decisions in the delivery of Defence projects.
- Develop practical solutions in close consultation with defence industry.
These reforms will cut red tape and see Defence become a better partner with industry, which will help to deliver the capability the Australian Defence Force needs, when they need it.
The Albanese Government has already announced, and is implementing, significant reforms to defence procurement to deal with complex projects and projects that are experiencing challenges.
Later this year, and in order to build the defence industry needed to support the ADF, the Albanese Government will release a Defence Industry Development Strategy that will set out:
- The strategic rationale for a sovereign defence industrial base.
- More targeted and detailed Sovereign Industrial Capability Priorities.
- A plan to grow industry’s workforce to deliver a viable industrial base and increase Australia’s defence exports.
- Reforms to defence procurement to support the development of Australian defence industry and respond to the Review.
- Mechanisms to improve security within defence businesses.
- A detailed implementation plan.
This will be critical step in delivering the reforms and capabilities identified in the Defence Strategic Review.
Quotes attributable to Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Defence, Richard Marles:
“The Defence Strategic Review is a clarion call for action in light of our strategic circumstances.
“The Review is clear that we cannot waste any more time when it comes to acquiring critical defence capabilities.
“The Albanese Government is determined to reform Defence and its capability acquisition processes to ensure our defence forces have the capabilities they need and sooner.”
Quotes attributable to Minister for Defence Industry, Pat Conroy:
“The Albanese Government is fixing the mess left by the former Government, which talked a big game but failed to deliver.
“We are determined to provide the clarity and guidance that industry needs to make informed business decisions based on Australia’s priorities.
“There’s no time to lose, but it’s also essential that Government works closely with industry and unions to get this right, and to build the industrial base we need for our future national security.”
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