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New task force to drive defence opportunity in the Hunter


Release Date: 5/12/2018
A high-level advocacy and action group has been formed to promote the Hunter’s defence industry capability and drive more defence contracts and investment to the region.
 
The Hunter Defence collaborative task force will represent the interests of existing and potential participants in the defence industry. It will focus on demonstrating the capability of established Hunter defence industry suppliers to Government and prime contractors, as well as upskilling local SMEs to become ‘defence ready’.
 
Hunter Defence represents a diverse group of industry stakeholders in the region, including manufacturing and supply firms, industry networks, specialist consultants, advisors and government. The advocacy and action group will be chaired by Tim Owen, a former Air Force Commander and 32-year services veteran with significant expertise in the Australian Defence Force contracting process and experience working with defence primes.
 
Mr Owen said the group would provide a strong voice promoting Hunter defence industry capability and help position regional firms to take advantage of upcoming opportunities.
 
“We have firms with excellent capability in the Hunter but that is only part of the equation; winning contracts is a competitive business that requires deep industry insight and high visibility with primes, defence stakeholders and government at all levels,” Mr Owen said.
 
“Hunter Defence will seek to align local industry capabilities and capacities with coming opportunities and demonstrate the region’s supply chain capability.
 
“We also want to encourage more SMEs to acquire advanced defence capability by facilitating education, training and advice.
 
“The Hunter already has strong expertise in advanced high-value, high-skills manufacturing and R&D, so there is great potential for locally based firms to diversify into defence or, for those who already have a toehold in the industry, to increase their market share.”
 
The Hunter Defence task force will be launched today at the Hunter Defence Forum, to be held at 755 Hunter Street from 5pm to 7pm. RDA Hunter, HunterNet and the Hunter Business Chamber have provided seed funding for the initiative.
 
HUNTER DEFENCE
 
ABOUT HUNTER DEFENCE
 Hunter Defence is a collaborative group that has been formed to promote Hunter defence industry capability and attract more defence industry manufacturing and supply opportunities to the region.
 
 Key stakeholders include:
 
o RDA Hunter
 
o HunterNet
 
o Hunter Business Chamber
 
o Ai Group (Australian Industry Group)
 
o TAFE NSW – Hunter and Central Coast
 
o AIDN (Australian Industry Defence Network)
 
o ICN NSW (Industry Capability Network NSW),
 
o Hunter Defence Support Network
 
o University of Newcastle
 
 Foundation office holders:
o Chair – Tim Owen, Former Air Force commander and industry consultant
 
o Secretary – Bede Boyle, Senior Advisor, Defence and Industry with McLean Management Consultants
 
o Advisor – Dusko Bajic, Manager NSW Defence Industry with ICN NSW
 
 Objectives
o Be a strong and unified voice promoting Hunter defence capability to primes and the Australian Defence Force.
 
o Demonstrate Hunter Region supply chain capability to the Capability Acquisition and Sustainment Group (CASG), Centre for Defence Industry Capability (CDIC) and defence primes.
o Attract Defence contracts to the region, including sections of jobs that have been awarded to other states.
 
o Align local industry capabilities and capacities with coming opportunities.
 
o Understand defence opportunities and delivery models and communicate this to regional manufacturers and suppliers.
 
o Map regional defence capabilities.
 
o Upskill identified defence SMEs with required training (eg: quad chart writing, tendering of defence jobs, ICN profile writing)
.
o Encourage SMEs to acquire advanced defence capability and broaden the region’s product offering.
 
o Build Hunter defence capability through optimising innovation, competiveness and cost efficiency.



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