Hunter hearing into growing defence industry

18 September 2017

NSW launches new defence strategy

A public hearing was held in Newcastle on 18 September 2017 into opportunities to grow the state's defence industry in the Hunter.

The ‘Inquiry into the Defence Industry in NSW’ is being held by the Upper House’s State Development Committee.

With the Commonwealth Government’s Defence White Paper foreshadowing defence spending of more than $195 billion over the coming decade, the government wants to position NSW including the Hunter to take advantage of growth opportunities.

The NSW Defence and Industry Strategy - Strong, Smart and Connected is the key mechanism through which the NSW Government will drive industry growth to provide a major boost to regional NSW, the economy and support Defence needs.

The NSW Government is committed to building on these strong foundations and growing critical industrial and manufacturing capabilities here and across the state.

The hearing took evidence from a range of stakeholders into the best ways to grow our defence industry including maximising opportunities for Hunter companies and the region’s defence economy.

Giving evidence was the Hunter Business Chamber, HunterNet, Regional Development Australia Hunter, Newcastle City Council, Newcastle City Airport, and 2JC Party Limited.

The committee also visited the Port of Newcastle to discuss with Thales Australia the upgrade of the Carrington slipway which is also supported by the NSW Government, and Williamtown Aerospace Centre to visit its defence innovation hub and companies Dexata, Bohemia Interactive Simulations, and BAE Systems.

NSW is home to 21 major bases and training areas—more than any other state—and NSW’s share of Australia’s Defence spend currently stands at $7.9 billion.

The Hunter has the largest regional defence presence in NSW with 4,000 defence personnel, prime contractors and a deep supply chain of smaller businesses.

The overall economic contribution of defence industry in this region was $1.3 billion in 2014-15, a quarter of the whole NSW defence spend.

More information

For further information visit the Inquiry into the Defence Industry in NSW