Defence

The Defence Portfolio includes the Department of Defence (Defence), Defence Housing Australia (DHA) and the Australian Signals Directorate (ASD).

As at 30 June 2020, the Defence Portfolio employed 18,000 staff under the Public Service Act 1999. Of this total, 9,608 staff (53 per cent) are employed in Canberra, central Melbourne and central Sydney, 5,667 staff (32 per cent) in other capital cities and 2,725 staff (15 per cent) in regional areas.

Department of Defence

Defence including the Australian Defence Force (ADF) has a significant footprint in regional Australia, with an extensive network of bases and associated employment and community engagement activities. Of the total Defence workforce (2019-20 Estimated Actual of 75,238 average full-time workforce and 21,189 headcount of Reservists), approximately:

  • 39 per cent are located in Canberra, central Sydney and central Melbourne
  • 28 per cent are located in other capital cities
  • 32 per cent are located in other regional areas.
  • 1 per cent are located overseas.

Defence both employs and serves the local people in our regions. Defence members and their families are an integral part of regional communities, interacting on official duties and at community activities and events. This includes contributing to the spending and services in regional economies. Defence recognises that there are clear benefits to drawing support from local contractors and suppliers, where there is the capacity and capability available in the local market.

Defence also maintains strong links with regional Australia through Reserve units and individuals. Many of Army’s Reserve units are headquartered in regional centres with staff and soldiers based in surrounding districts (Army has approximately 15,500 reservists).

The Defence estate consists of 400 owned properties and approximately 406 leases, including bases (72 major bases), training areas and ranges, research facilities and office accommodation including Defence Force Recruitment Centres. The construction and presence of Defence facilities in regional areas provides considerable economic, social and environmental support to regional communities. Figure 1 depicts the Defence footprint across Australia.

Figure 1: Location of major Defence facilities across Australia

Location of major Defence facilities across Australia

Other Defence support provided to regional, rural and remote Australians includes:

  • The economic activity stimulated through Defence exercises and major training activities, including joint exercises and collective training with our overseas allies and partners in Australia.
  • Defence Assistance to the Civil Community, where Defence provides both emergency support (such as natural disasters) and non-emergency support (such as Public Events of Significance) across Australia.
  • Defence Community Organisation activities to build the capacity of local, urban and regional communities in support of Defence member families.
  • Defence engagement with regional indigenous communities, predominantly through employment.
  • Defence Youth Programs conducted across Australia as an essential element of nation building.
  • Engaging people with disabilities to support regional communities to provide people with intellectual disabilities the opportunity for meaningful work.
  • Defence industry development, through activities undertaken across Australia to support the vital role that the Australian defence industry plays in delivering leading edge technologies and capabilities required to generate and sustain the future force.
  • The economic activity associated with Defence capability and estate projects undertaken in the regions.
  • Defence environmental management and cooperation on heritage issues in regional Australia.

Defence Housing Australia

Defence Housing Australia (DHA) administers Defence housing policy and provides housing and related services for ADF members and their families, including those located in regional areas.

DHA maintains offices in capital cities, major regional centres and on some ADF bases and establishments around Australia, employing 577 employees, with:

  • 37 per cent located in Canberra Head Office
  • 11 per cent located in Sydney CBD Office
  • 37 per cent located in Regional Offices.
  • 15 per cent located in Contact Centres situated in Adelaide, Brisbane, Townsville and the Hunter Valley.

DHA manages properties in capital cities, major regional centres and remote locations of Australia where the ADF has a presence. The majority of properties are integrated throughout the community, close to ADF bases and establishments, and close to a range of amenities and services such as transport, shopping facilities and schools.

To complement its leasing program, DHA acquires property sites throughout Australia to construct suitable accommodation to meet ADF requirements where there is no existing market or stock available. DHA currently has six regional development or construction projects underway which will deliver 872 lots, providing construction work to local communities.

As at 30 June 2020, DHA managed over 18,000 properties which were either owned and leased by DHA, owned by Defence, or annuity properties. In financial year 2019–20, these properties generated over 200,000 maintenance work orders which were performed by local businesses and tradespeople where possible.

New initiatives

Operation Bushfire Assist / Bushfire Response Package

Australia’s intense 2019–20 bushfire season saw fires engulf more than 12.6 million hectares of land and destroyed more than 3,000 homes. Defence’s support began on 6 September 2019 and Operation BUSHFIRE ASSIST 2019–2020 continued until 26 March 2020.

At the operation’s peak, some 6,500 Australian Defence Force (ADF) members provided support to emergency services and authorities in six states and territories. 3,000 Reservists provided support—the first compulsory call out of Reserve forces in Australia’s history. This assistance was augmented by hundreds of Defence public servants, contractors, industry partners and over 400 international service personnel. With its nation-wide infrastructure, unique capabilities and strengths in logistics, planning and personnel support, Defence was called upon to support national relief, response and recovery efforts in various ways. Over the summer, Defence personnel also worked behind bushfire front lines, in the sky and on the sea, and in offices and operational backrooms to support their fellow Australians.

Parts of the Defence estate—like the Albury Wodonga Military Area, Puckapunyal and Simpson Barracks in Victoria; RAAF Base Wagga in New South Wales (NSW); and HMAS Harman, Duntroon, the Australian Defence Force Academy, and the Majura Training Area in the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) — became shelters and joint task force command centres. These facilities provided refuge for evacuated and displaced civilians and their pets, while also accommodating police, firefighters, paramedics, Red Cross workers and RSPCA staff alongside military personnel.

Navy, with Army personnel embarked, directly supported Operation Bushfire Assist by tasking HMAS Choules and ADV Sycamore to assist 4,000 tourists and citizens of Mallacoota unable to leave as bushfires had cut off means of support and evacuation. Medical support, technical assistance and Humanitarian and Disaster Relief stores were provided before embarking in excess of 1,000 evacuees and 100 pets for transfer to Westernport on the Mornington Peninsula. This evolution was the largest domestic amphibious evacuation in Australia’s history.

HMAS Adelaide provided similar assistance to the citizens of Eden also cut off from terrestrial support by the fires. HMAS Albatross provided emergency accommodation to stranded citizens and tourists, delivered sustained ADF flying operations for bushfire reconnaissance and supported foreign military and Rural Fire Service air assets conducting firefighting operations.

Army logistics played a critical role during Operation Bushfire Assist providing life support functions from late 2019. Specifically, the provision of catering and transportation contributed to the success of the initial emergency management response. A total of 15 Australian Army helicopters were deployed in support of the operation, including eight MRH-90 Taipan, six CH-47F Chinook and three S-70 Blackhawks. They collectively flew more than 600 hours in support of search and rescue operations and fire spotting missions. These activities provided a range of support to multiple regions in NSW, Victoria, and South Australia. In addition to crews supporting firebreak construction and debris clearance, Army provided water purification in support of Bega Valley Shire Council, supported state and local authorities to assess fire damage impacts on key routes in the Kempsey and in the Hawksbury region of the Gospers Mountain Ranges, and provided ambulances, crews and familiarisation training for ACT ambulance officers. These fires had a significant impact on wildlife; our teams provided veterinary and general support to Kangaroo Island in South Australia, and various locations across the fire grounds of Victoria and NSW.

Air Force aircraft assisted in moving firefighters, ADF and civilian personnel, stores, supplies (including retardant from the United States of America) and wildlife from state to state and into various fire ground locations. Defence’s airfields and naval bases—like RAAF Base East Sale and HMAS Cerberus in Victoria—provided critical infrastructure from which aerial firefighting efforts and rescue operations were launched. Under the Air Force Search and Rescue contract with Canadian Helicopter Corporation, aircraft were also utilised in evacuation and supply operations, transport of Police, medical and communications personnel, and search and rescue operations.

Legislation has been introduced to enhance the ADF’s capacity to provide assistance in relation to natural disasters and other emergencies by; streamlining the process to call out Reserve members, providing ADF members with similar immunities to state and territory emergency services personnel, and appropriately covering members for superannuation and other benefits.

Protected Mobile Fires Project (LAND 8116)

Following an election commitment by the Australian Government in April 2019, the Government has allocated $1.1 billion for the acquisition of Protected Mobile Fires from 2020-21 to 2027-28, and work is planned to commence in Geelong, Victoria, before the end of 2022-23. The Government agreed to Defence’s first pass submission in August 2020, which approved the planned release of a single supplier limited tender to Hanwha Defense Australia. The outcomes of this approach to market are planned to be considered by Government by Quarter 1 2022. The project will maximise Australian industry participation and support up to 350 Australian jobs, with details to be confirmed through request for tender negotiations. Benefits to Geelong will include warehousing, transport, supply chain participation, maintenance, generation of a skilled Australian workforce and facilities construction.

Tasmanian Defence and Maritime Innovation and Design Precinct

Following an election commitment by the Australian Government in April 2019, an agreement was signed with the University of Tasmania in July 2020 committing $30 million to develop the new Defence and Maritime Innovation and Design Precinct at the University of Tasmania Australian Maritime College campus in Launceston.

The commitment is supporting the implementation of new, updated or modified capabilities at the Australian Maritime College, including fit for purpose laboratories and workshops that can be used for both Defence and the wider Maritime Community, with a focus on the Southern Ocean and Antarctic environments.

An estimated 50 additional jobs are expected to be created during construction and the development will create further employment opportunities as researchers and industry visit the region to use the world class facilities and promote collaboration between Defence, Academia and Industry.

This commitment is to build additional infrastructure over 2021-2024 in the form of a new Engineering Service Centre at the Australian Maritime College. The three year program expands the capability of the Australian Maritime College and other University of Tasmania organisational entities to meet the growing research and development needs of Defence, and its industry supply chains.

Cyber Enhanced Situational Awareness and Response Package

The Australian Government will invest $1.4 billion over the next decade from 2020-21 for the new Cyber Enhanced Situational Awareness and Response (CESAR) package, to enhance the cyber security capabilities and assistance provided to all Australians. The CESAR package will enable ASD to identify more cyber threats, disrupt more foreign cybercriminals, build more partnerships with industry and government and provide a greater level of cyber protection to Australians, including those in regional Australia. This overall CESAR package is one part of the Australian Government’s $15 billion investment in information and cyber warfare capabilities that will form part of the Defence Force Structure Plan to address the rapidly evolving cyber threat landscape. CESAR also forms part of the Government’s $1.7 billion Cyber Security Strategy 2020.

Defence Economic Stimulus package

On the 26 August 2020, the Australian Government announced a $1 billion investment package to boost Australia’s defence industry and support jobs across Australia.

The $1 billion of redirected investment initiatives will provide additional opportunities to Australian defence industry and support an estimated 4,000 Australian jobs, over the 2020-21 and 2021-22 financial years.

Defence is focusing on providing support to sovereign industrial capabilities and regional Defence infrastructure, which will help to support Australian businesses and jobs in a time of considerable economic uncertainty. The package is directed towards nationwide projects and jobs across Australia including:

  • Increasing the employment of Australian Defence Force (ADF) Reservists who have lost their civilian income, with an allocation of up to an extra 210,000 days, and the targeted recruitment of an additional 500 ADF Reservists.
  • Increasing employment opportunities for current and former ADF personnel and their families, and supporting those families with partners who may be out of work due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • A $300 million national estate works program that will help support the construction industry as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, focusing on regional areas (including bushfire affected regions). The $300m will be spent equally across two financial years for 2020-21 and 2021-22.
  • Accelerating the sustainment of ADF platforms and capabilities, including the upgrade of Bushmaster Protected Mobility Vehicles, modernisation of ADF uniforms; and additional C-27J military transport aircraft maintenance, which will engage ex-Qantas and Virgin technicians.
    • C-27J military transport aircraft supplementary maintenance workforce – Aircraft maintenance staff affected by the aviation industry downturn have been engaged through contractors at RAAF bases Amberley and Richmond to provide support to Royal Australian Air Force C-27J aircraft maintenance and technical tasks, totalling approximately $7 million.
  • Increased funding of over $110 million for Defence innovation, industry grants, skilling and micro credentialing and cyber training for defence industry.
  • A $20 million contract with a Canberra-based company DATAPOD (Australia), to provide Defence with portable, containerised data systems which can be rapidly deployed by sea, air or road. This investment will help to protect up to 27 direct and up to 80 supply chain jobs.
  • A $94 million contract with Queanbeyan-based company Electro Optic Systems to supply Defence with 251 Remote Weapon Stations to increase the lethality of the ADF’s protected mobility vehicles. This investment draws upon Australian‑owned intellectual property, with more than 80 per cent of the parts sourced through their Australian supply chain of more than 140 Australian companies
  • Bringing forward approximately $190 million of investment in approved infrastructure projects in the Northern Territory.
  • Accelerating important ADF capability development projects, targeting key manufacturing, construction and high-tech sectors.

These initiatives complement the ongoing modernisation of the Australian Defence Force, proposed under the 2020 Force Structure Plan.

COVID-19 Assist

These are extraordinary times, and the Australian Defence Force is ready to help when asked by the Australian Government. The ADF is providing customised support to state and territory authorities, which has to date included a range of logistical, medical and personnel support.

The scope and scale of Defence support is coordinated through Emergency Management Australia. During Operation COVID-19 ASSIST, around 3200 Defence personnel have been supporting the Government’s response to COVID-19 at any one time.

To support Australians and Australian businesses, Defence has modified existing and future Defence infrastructure suite of contracts to allow for cost and time relief to industry that experience COVID-19 impacts to their obligations.

As part of COVID-19 ASSIST, ADF personnel have been assisting regional communities stay safe and continue to support State and Territory efforts. Defence personnel supported a regional Victorian company - Australia's only producer of surgical face masks - with production, machine operations, training, maintenance, repair and warehousing to boost production capacity from two million surgical face masks per year to up to 50 million per year. As part of an AUSMAT-led Commonwealth response, the ADF deployed 50 personnel to the North West Regional Hospital in Burnie for two weeks to allow staff to return after self-isolation. The team provided essential health services to more than 400 patients. ADF personnel also assisted in protecting our Indigenous communities from exposure by working with local authorities.

Defence is currently working with estate construction prime contractors in assessing and engaging both skilled and unskilled people on a part time basis, for a minimum of six months, through various capital facilities projects. These opportunities are for people made redundant as a result of COVID-19.

Defence is also working with contractors to engage local people who have been made redundant as a result of COVID-19. To date, over 1,150 small to medium regional enterprises have been engaged under this approach, including (for example) a landscaping business in Tasmania, the Snowy Mountain Cookies Company in Jindabyne, Dynamic Catering Solutions in Western Australia and CMJ Catering, a small Indigenous owned catering company in NSW.

Support to COVID-19 impacted personnel in the Civil Airline Industry

Defence and its prime aerospace contractors have sought to encourage those stood-down or redundant personnel to explore work in the defence industry sector, where their skills are readily transferable to Defence related projects in the aerospace domain. Defence identified these contractors as being the key targets for the engagement based on the location of affected civil airlines personnel, the likely skill sets, and the relevant Defence work in the Hunter Valley region. Each of the Defence prime contractors hold significant contracting arrangements with Defence for capability delivery and/or sustainment. Defence has agreed to provide a capped level of financial contribution to the contractors up to $1.1 million to date from 2020-21, in order to cover the costs associated with the engagement. This may relate to industry open days, training seminars or other like activities that encourages and enable workforce transition. Defence hopes that by undertaking these placements, defence industry can create a larger pool of skilled workers it can draw on, while also continuing to deliver important support to the ADF.

New Facilities and Infrastructure Projects delivered in Regional areas in 2020-21

Defence’s Enterprise Estate and Infrastructure Program has 155 active projects (post-First Pass Government Approval) in Australia with an approximate total construction value of $24.3 billion. Following the implementation of Local Industry Capability Plans (LCIP) in January 2018, there has been a steady increase in the rate of local industry participation across the program with around 73 per cent, or 3,286 of all sub‑contracts being awarded to local companies and businesses, and a total sub-contract value of around $3.7 billion across the Portfolio.

This is further broken into total Portfolio and LICP:

Subcontractor Packages
StatePercentage$’ millionLCIP Implementation
ACT 57% $56.3 50%
NSW 78% $740.2 78%
NT 77% $759.1 83%
QLD 64% $698.4 75%
SA 74% $384.7 75%
TAS 89% $2.6 89%
VIC 53% $397.9 64%
WA 89% $639.2 90%

Navy Capability Infrastructure Sub-Program (combining facilities for SEA 1654 Phase 3 Maritime Operational Support Capability, SEA 5000 Phase 1 Future Frigates, and SEA 1180 Phase 1 Offshore Patrol Vessels Project)

This $2.1 billion Navy Capability Infrastructure Sub (NCIS) Program will provide new and upgraded facilities and infrastructure around Australia to support the introduction into services and sustainment of new Frigate, Offshore Patrol and Maritime Operational Support vessels. There are multiple contracts awarded or planned under the NCIS Program with the Local Industry Capability Participation Plan targets. Procurements for NCIS-4B Stirling, NCIS-6A RAAF Darwin, NCIS-7A St Kilda SA, and NCIS-8A Cairns are occurring in Q3 2020 and Q4 2020. LICP targets will be confirmed as part of contract negotiations. The program achieved Parliamentary approval on 5 December 2019 and is scheduled for completion by early 2027.

RAAF Base Tindal Redevelopment Stage 6 and United States Force Posture Initiatives RAAF Base Tindal Airfield Works and Associated Infrastructure

This $1.1 billion project will provide critical base infrastructure, trunk-engineering services (power, water, sewage) and some living-in-accommodation to ensure reliability of essential base services at RAAF Base Tindal, Northern Territory. The project will deliver airfield improvements, including lengthening the runway, constructing a new air movements terminal, aircraft apron and aviation fuel farm. The primary contractor Lendlease’s Local Industry Capability Plan is targeting 70 per cent to be awarded to local industry. This project achieved Parliamentary approval on 14 May 2020 and the whole program is scheduled for completion by late 2027.

Armoured Fighting Vehicles Facilities Program: Stage One

This $235.1 million project will provide facilities and infrastructure upgrades to support the Australian Army’s armoured fighting vehicles capability. The proposed scope includes upgrading facilities and training areas at various sites around Australia. The primary contract is yet to be awarded, with a Local Industry Capability Plan forming part of the contract. This project achieved Parliamentary approval on 18 June 2020 and is scheduled for completion by late 2023.

Point Wilson Waterside Infrastructure Remediation

This $218.9 million project will provide remediation to the Point Wilson Explosives Area waterside infrastructure in order to enable the recommencement of bulk explosive ordnance importation operations. The primary contractor CPB Pty Ltd’s Local Industry Capability Plan is targeting 95 per cent to be awarded to local industry. This project achieved Parliamentary approval on 19 September 2019 and is scheduled for completion by late 2022.

AIR555 Airborne Intelligence Surveillance Reconnaissance Warfare Capability Facilities Works

This $293.6 million project will provide fit for purpose facilities and infrastructure to support the introduction into services of the MC-35 Peregrine Airborne Intelligence Reconnaissance Warfare Capability at RAAF Base Edinburgh, South Australia; RAAF Darwin, Northern Territory; RAAF Townsville, Queensland; and Cocos Islands, Indian Ocean Territory. The primary contract is yet to be awarded, with a Local Industry Capability Plan forming part of the contract. This project achieved Parliamentary approval on 31 August 2020 and is scheduled for completion by mid-2024.

LAND 121 Phase 5B Unit Sustainment Facilities

This $183.3 million project will provide facilities and infrastructure upgrades to support the ADF’s LAND 121 sustainment and the associated capability at various sites around Australia. The scope of work includes workshops and storage facilities, fuel and wash points, loading ramps and weighbridges, vehicle shelters and hardstand. The primary contract is yet to be awarded, with a Local Industry Capability Plan forming part of the contract. This project achieved Parliamentary approval on 18 June 2020 and is scheduled for completion by mid-2024.

Shoalwater Bay Training Area Remediation Project

This $135.4 million project is remediating the Shoalwater Bay Training Area, Queensland, to support the introduction of amphibious capability, and ensure sustainability into the future through airfield, road and creek crossing upgrades; and new camp, field hospital infrastructure, and training facilities. The primary contractor’s, joint venture of Downer EDI Works Pty Ltd and FK Gardner and Sons Pty Ltd, Local Industry Capability Plan is targeting 80 per cent to be awarded to local industry. This Project achieved Parliamentary approval on 5 December 2019 and is scheduled for completion by late 2021.

Singleton Mid-Term Refresh

This $42.2 million project is remediating trunk infrastructure, and delivering new and refurbished buildings for base support and logistics in the Singleton Military Area, New South Wales. The primary contractor WATPAC’s Local Industry Capability Plan is targeting 58 per cent to be awarded to local industry. This project achieved approval through a Public Works Committee Medium Works Notification on 19 September 2019 and is scheduled for completion by late 2021.

Facilities to support SEA 1442 Phase 6 Protected Satellite Communications

This $24.4 million project is providing infrastructure works, namely footings and slabs; supporting services connections; and perimeter fencing at HMAS Harman, Australian Capital Territory, and HMAS Stirling, Western Australia. The primary contractor St Hilliers’ Local Industry Capability Plan is targeting 80 per cent to be awarded to local industry. This project achieved approval through a Public Works Committee Medium Works Notification on 19 September 2019 and is scheduled for completion by December 2020.

Defence Technology Acceleration Collab Fit-Out Project

This $7 million project will provide a facility to support Defence to explore possibilities in artificial intelligence and emerging technology. The facility will be an unclassified, agile space located at Fairbairn, Australian Capital Territory, that will enable Defence to collaborate across different areas of Defence, as well as engaging directly with industry leaders and academia. This project achieved approval through a Public Works Committee Medium Works Notification on 19 September 2019 and is scheduled for completion by the end of 2020.

Facilities to Support the LAND 154 Phase 2 Weapons Technical Intelligence Capability

This $5.9 million project is providing infrastructure, including hardstands, services, amenities and security fencing, to support new capability at Gallipoli Barracks, Queensland, and Edinburgh Defence Precinct, South Australia. Whilst a Local Industry Capability Plan was not applicable to the procurement (under required Budget threshold), the primary contractor St Hilliers’ is targeting 100 per cent to be awarded to local industry. This project achieved approval through a Public Works Committee Medium Works Notification on 28 November 2019 and is scheduled for completion by early 2021.

Mulwala Decommissioning and Demolition Project

This $47.3 million project will decommission and demolish 116 aged and contaminated redundant factory buildings at the Mulwala Propellant and Explosives Facility, New South Wales. This project achieved approval through a Public Works Committee Medium Works Notification on 28 November 2019 and is scheduled for completion by mid-2022.

LAND 555 Phase 6 Force Level Electronic Warfare, Signals Intelligence and Vehicles

This $29.6 million project will provide vehicle storage, workshop extension, heavy vehicle weighbridge, access gate automation, and remediation of vacated facilities to accept training modules at Borneo Barracks, Queensland to support deployable electronic warfare capabilities. The primary contractor St Hilliers’ Local Industry Capability Plan is targeting 70 per cent to be awarded to local industry. This project achieved approval through a Public Works Committee Medium Works Notification on 28 November 2019 and is scheduled for completion by late 2021.

Puckapunyal Health and Wellbeing Centre

This $39.8 million project will replace obsolete, unsafe and non-compliant training facilities with a new fit for purpose health and wellbeing centre at the Puckapunyal Military Area, Victoria. The primary contract is yet to be awarded, with a Local Industry Capability Plan forming part of the contract. This project achieved approval through a Public Works Committee Medium Works Notification on 18 May 2020 and is scheduled for completion in mid-2022.

Oakey Mid-Term Refresh

This $31.3 million project will upgrade engineering services and demolish redundant buildings at Swartz Barracks, Queensland. The primary contract is yet to be awarded, with a Local Industry Capability Plan forming part of the contract. This project achieved approval through a Public Works Committee Medium Works Notification on 14 May 2020 and is scheduled for completion in mid-2023.

New Major Capital Equipment Projects delivered in Regional areas in 2020-21

SEA 2400 – Hydrographic Data Collection Capability

Project SEA 2400 – Hydrographic Data Collection Capability includes the HydroScheme Industry Partnership Program (HIPP). The HIPP is a partnership with industry for delivery of the national hydrographic survey requirement to meet Defence's legislated responsibilities for the provision of hydrographic services within the Australian Exclusive Economic Zone. The HIPP was approved by the Australian Government in December 2019, with initial funding of approximately $150 million over five years from 2019-20. The first HIPP survey commenced in May 2020, and two hydrographic surveys are complete. The HIPP will have 12 hydrographic surveys under contract by December 2020 through the Program.  COVID-19 travel restrictions have impacted the HIPP with additional survey areas being released to compensate and mitigate interstate mobilisation risk. As of September 2020, the majority of higher priority national hydrographic tasking is in the coastal waters off Australia’s North and North West.

Evolutionary Digital Ground Environment (EDGE)

In June 2020, the Australian Army invested $3.85 million in the first phase of a four phase defence communications proof-of-concept, which reinforces the Government’s commitment in the 2020 Force Structure Plan to build a resilient and internationally competitive defence sovereign industrial base. The seventeen sovereign Australian companies involved in the project will design and manufacture a prototype mobile tactical communications system, informing future options for Defence projects. If all four phases are completed by the end of 2021, up to 47 technical and engineering jobs may be created across six states and the Australian Capital Territory over 18 months from June 2020.

Strategic Domestic Munitions Manufacturing (SDMM)

Thales Australia and the Australian Government have signed a 10-year Strategic Domestic Munitions Manufacturing contract for $1.1 billion commencing on 1 July 2020. The contract is for the continued management and operation of Australia’s munition factories in Benalla, Victoria, and Mulwala, New South Wales providing job certainty for more than 650 highly skilled workers. The agreement provides surety of supply of key munitions and components for the ADF, and guarantees the Australian manufacture and supply of strategic munitions to the ADF. Thales continues to build long-term relationships with hundreds of Australian suppliers, building Australia’s self-reliance and the capability of the broader Australian manufacturing sector.

New Information Communication Technology delivered in Regional areas in 2020-21

Information communication technology (ICT) in Defence is delivered through a number of large contracts supporting Defence capability, which includes the provision of localised ICT services and support at Defence bases and sites throughout Australia as listed at Figure 1. Delivery of localised ICT services through these contracts is provided through a locally engaged workforce across capital cities, regional and remote locations in Australia.

DEF799 Phase 1 Geospatial Intelligence Satellite capability-enhanced Commercial Access

DEF799 Phase 1 capability sustainment and facilities management is delivered through a number of contracts throughout regional and remote locations in Australia. Contracts totalling approximately $4 million are expected to be awarded in 2020-21 for provision of localised services at DEF799 Phase 1 facilities located on Defence bases and other sites. Delivery of localised services through these contracts is provisioned by locally engaged workforce across capital cities, regional and remote locations in Australia.