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Western Australia launches inaugural Defence Industry Capability Directory

Defence Issues Minister Paul Papalia has launched the inaugural Western Australia Defence Industry Capability Directory (WADICD) to promote Western Australia’s defence industry and boost exports to create jobs and support economic diversification.

According to a press release by the Western Australia state government on 7 June, the directory is the outcome of TCF Services’ Defence Industry Capability Assessment, undertaken on behalf of Defence West.

Defence West is a government office under the Department of Jobs, Tourism, Science and Innovation. According to the offices’ official website, Defence West supports “the interests of (Western Australia’s) defence industry” and “deliver capability requirements of the Australian Defence Force”.

The WADICD includes an inaugural list of more than 100 companies in the local defence industry. These companies were selected based on analysis in the Western Australia Defence Industry Capability Assessment,  which assessed companies against the six capability streams of the Defence Integrated Investment Program. Most of these companies are small-medium enterprises whose products and services have been identified to most closely meet the requirements of the Defence Integrated Investment Program.

The Defence Integrated Investment Program (DIIP) , according to a 2016 report by Australia’s Department of Defence , constitutes “an affordable and balanced plan for a highly capable, agile and potent Australian Defence Force (ADF) and Defence capability more broadly, to meet [Australia’s]  future requirements”. It incorporates formerly separate investment programs catering to various military equipment, facility, info-comm technology types. The 6 defence capability streams highlighted in the DIIP include: intelligence, surveillance, reconnaisance, electronic warfare space and cyber, Key Enablers, Air and Sea Lift, Maritime and Anti-submarine Warfare, Strike and Air Combat, and Land combat and Amphibious Warfare.

In addition to relevant companies in the local defence industry, the directory also possesses information on the capabilities of all Team WA universities. These universities refer to the University of Western Australia, Curtin University, Murdoch University, Edith Cowan University as well as South Metropolitan Technical and Further Education (TAFE).

Team WA, or University Team West Australia, is a collaborative research partnership between the 4 universities and Defence West focusing on defence-related technologies such as cyber warfare and autonomous transport systems.

Information present in the WADICD will is open to public access, and will provide information to key policymakers as well as the Western Australia State Government’s overseas to promote local defence exports to international markets. The WA Defence Industry Capability Directory can be accessed at http://www.jtsi.wa.gov.au.

"I am proud to launch the inaugural WA Defence Industry Capability Directory, which will be a powerful tool in promoting the State's extensive defence capabilities,” said Defence Issues Minister Paul Papalia."The directory will also be provided to the WA Government international offices for promotion to a range of international markets with a view to increasing the State's defence exports.”

The Western Australia State Government currently operates 8 international offices across the world. These offices facilitate and promote the the state government’s trade and investment interests abroad; with the inaugural launch of the WADICD, the Western Australia State Government expects to leverage on this network of international offices to boost local defence exports.

As of January this year, Australia is the world’s 20th biggest defence exporter, with the country reaching within 1.5 billion to 2.5 billion AUD worth of defence exports on an annual basis. The Federal Government has recently announced a defence exports strategy that “aims to make Australia one of the top 10 global defence exporters within a decade”, and companies in Western Australia’s defence industry are expected to reap the bulk of benefits.

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