It is an honour to have today been given the added portfolio responsibility of Science and Technology by the Prime Minister.
As the PM said this morning, there is a strong connection between Science and Technology and my Defence Industry responsibilities, with the linkages between our economic security and our national security as clear as ever.
Australian companies are at the cutting edge of technology and it is critical that we harness this capability to ensure our men and women in uniform are the best equipped in the world during this strategically challenging time.
Since taking on the Defence Industry portfolio in June 2019, we have made significant, positive changes that have focused on creating more opportunities for Australian businesses in our Defence industry.
This included a ‘five pillars’ approach that encapsulated my vision for changing the way we support and do business with defence industry.
I also recently launched a review into our Defence innovation system to ensure that our Defence Force has access to the most cutting-edge technology in the world.
Throughout my time as Defence Industry Minister, I have been focused on delivering world-class capability for our Defence Force, exporting the ingenuity of Australian business abroad, and creating thousands of Australian jobs in the process.
That work will continue. I have no doubt that the lessons learned over the past two years will apply to industries that are part of the Science and Technology portfolio.
The AUKUS agreement is also going to deliver significant opportunities for government agencies, Australian SMEs and academic institutions in the Science and Technology space, and I look forward to ensuring we are ready to capitalise on those opportunities.
I thank the outgoing Minister and fellow West Australian, the Hon Christian Porter MP, for working tirelessly throughout this pandemic to support Australia’s science and technology industries.