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From page 13
The Defence Export Strategy aims to bring Australia
within the top 10 defence exporters worldwide within a
In describing the strategy as an “ideas space” with
little pre-existing policy, Matt says that “the top 10
defence exporter was an ambitious element of the strat-
egy, but that was the opportunity we had in this area,
to be ambitious for the nation and for defence industry,
because that’s what policy is about”.
Nathan says achieving this objective must be driven
by defence industry, and the strategy aims to set the
right framework, policies and support to give industry
the best chance to do so.
“Industry has to take up that opportunity and seek
out those markets. But they can’t necessarily do that
without the right support from government and this is
really about providing those circumstances, providing
that framework,” he says.
Matt adds that “the way to get to the top 10 is to
understand your strengths and weaknesses and to build
upon those and leverage those in order to know how to
understand the markets you are trying to operate in and
then best use resources to achieve that”.
One of the features of defence industry is peaks and
troughs, according to Minister Pyne.
“By investing in defence exports, we are giving
defence industry the opportunity to see through those
peaks and troughs and establish long-term investments
in their equipment, in their skills, in their workforce, in
their management, in their research and development,”
Matt says this is particularly important for small and
medium enterprises within Australian defence industry,
which will play a key role in supply chains through
providing capability that is both cost-effective and fit
for purpose, underpinning Australia’s defence capability
and enhancing interoperability with partner defence
“All future defence exports will remain subject to the
well-established export controls system which ensures
Australia upholds its international obligations and main-
tains Australia’s warfighting advantage and strategic
interests,” Nathan says.
Matt says it’s about “how we can leverage our capa-
bility through Defence industry policy and use defence
exports as a way to support security in the region and
our broader regional and global objectives, but doing
that responsibly and in a way that is very much aligned
with our export control regime”.
The strategy is now in the process of being imple-
mented with the establishment of the Australian Defence
Export Office on 23 April which acts as the focal point
for defence exports. Damien Chifley was appointed as
Executive Director of the Office, which now also incor-
porates the Australian Military Sales Office, previously
within Capability Acquisition and Sustainment Group.
It will also soon include the Team Defence Australia ini-
tiative from the Department of Industry, Innovation and
Science. Further, David Johnston was appointed as the
first Australian Defence Export Advocate on 9 April.
Matt expects much growth over time towards a deep-
er, stronger defence industry.
“The way in which we can give effect to the strategy
in year 10 will be much different than it is in year one,
simply because Australian industry will be different,
it will be better, it will be more capable, it will have a
greater suite of capabilities that are internationally com-
petitive and can be exported,” Matt says.
Through a coordinated effort over the coming dec-
ade, the Defence Export Strategy will result in a defence
industry that is resilient, sustainable, innovative and
competitive, able to provide better capability to the ADF
and known on the international stage for its world-lead-
In Minister Payne’s words, “it sets out a very, very
valuable pathway for our engagement into the future in
defence export terms”.
u Contact the Australian Defence Export Office at: Aust.
THE Minister for Defence, Marise Payne, has
appointed Dr Vivienne Thom to conduct a
review of the Defence Trade Controls Act
According to the Minister, the Act is an
important element in the government’s con-
tinuing effort to protect current and future
national security and ADF capability.
The Act regulates the supply of military and
dual-use technology overseas and brokering in
defence goods and technology. It was enact-
ed in 2012 to strengthen Australia’s existing
exports controls and to align them with inter-
national best practice and was amended in
2015 after extensive stakeholder consultation.
The review, required by section 74B of the
Act, is intended to provide evidence-based,
practical recommendations for improvements
to the Act and associated policy. In particular,
it aims to ensure that the Act is an effective
component of Australia’s export control regime
that appropriately addresses current and
future national security requirements.
The review will include an assessment of
whether the Act is fit for purpose, whether
there are any gaps in the Act’s controls, and
whether there are any unintended conse-
quences resulting from the Act’s controls, such
as unnecessary regulatory burden.
“ The review of the Act will consider the
adequacy of both safeguards of national
defence capability and its operation to prevent
Defence Trade Controls Act
COVER STORY – DEFENCE EXPORT STRATEGY
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