Subjects: Military Sales Catalogue
STEVEN CIOBO: Well, thanks a lot for coming along. Today I was very pleased to be able to launch the Military Sales Catalogue. This is a catalogue that showcases the very best of Australia’s defence industry. A strong focus on Australian SMEs, businesses that are making sure that they’re part of the $200 billion investment that the Liberal-National Government is making in the defence industry sector.
What this is all about is making sure we drive Australian jobs as well. Part of the reason as a Government we’ve been able to bring down the unemployment rate and generate more than a million jobs is because we’ve been able to commit, because we’ve restored the budget, with strong investment in our defence exports sector and in our defence sector more broadly. The launch of this catalogue means that we will have Defence attaches and we will have members of Austrade all around the world being able to sell and showcase the very best of Australian defence technology and Australian defence services.
We will, of course, importantly, continue to have in place very firm export controls, controls which will ensure that we don’t sell to customers that we shouldn’t be selling to or we don’t sell technology that we shouldn’t sell. So, firm controls in place to make sure that we don’t have technology or services falling into the wrong hands. But by the same token, a commitment of the Liberal-National Government for us achieving the realisation of our ambition to be one of the top 10 defence exporters globally.
JOURNALIST: What will this mean to industry in Australia?
STEVEN CIOBO: For Australia’s SME sector that is involved in the defence industry space, this catalogue is an ability for them to showcase themselves to the world. This is going to drive jobs, it’s going to drive exports, it’s going to see Australian technology and Australian services being sold around the world. In the last twelve months, we saw a doubling of defence exports, the sale of Australian defence technology abroad, and that’s because the Government has been so forward leaning on backing, in Australian small businesses.
JOURNALIST: And what’s that in dollars terms?
STEVEN CIOBO: It’s really difficult to break down the actual dollar amount because we have contractors and subcontractors and that varies. So, getting an actual dollar figure is just about impossible to measure. But what we do know by value, in terms of what I should say by volume, anecdotally what’s reported back to us is really strong growth.
JOURNALIST: Can I ask you another matter?
STEVEN CIOBO: Was there anything else on this?
JOURNALIST: I was just going to say, [indistinct]?
STEVEN CIOBO: It’s really important to understand that defence exports aren’t just about armaments or aren’t just about sharps, as they’re called. In fact, the vast bulk of what we do is about services and it’s about technology. It’s about support for the Defence Force, it’s about investment in intellectual property; these are the things that Australia really has a strong advantage in, and this is also what underpins our $200 billion investment in the defence industry space.
JOURNALIST: The legal advice on the medevac bill - is the Government confident that it won’t be debatable?
STEVEN CIOBO: That was literally just tabled in the House about 20 minutes ago - I haven’t even seen it myself. So, I’ll leave any commentary on that to the Attorney-General. Alright? Thanks everybody. Thanks for your interest.