"The recent Russian-Ukrainian conflict has profound implications for the global security order, including Australia's own national security. The deteriorating situation has become a wake-up call for an urgent update of our national security settings, resourcing decisions and our procurement processes," Innes Willox, Chief Executive of the national employer association Ai Group said today.
"Concerning developments in our own region adds further ballast to the need to act strategically and swiftly.
"The Ai Group Defence Industry Policy pre-election statement released today considers these growing and unpredictable threats and what the national response should be. It discusses the delivery of a new national security strategy matched with measures to lift value for money and an updated investment program for Australian Defence Force capabilities.
"The COVID-19 pandemic has illustrated two critical fundamentals for future planning: in times of crisis, countries will generally act in their national self-interest; and supply chains underpinning defence capability are vulnerable to disruption.
"A revitalised Defence procurement process is therefore needed for speed and agility to respond to evolving threats within our limited warning time. While the strategic circumstances have changed with a growing sense of urgency, Australia has not yet adequately mobilised itself to respond to these threats.
"In order to support a strengthened national security position, Ai Group recommends a review of strategy and resourcing for Defence and national security purposes, as well as the development of a Government procurement system that can match the urgency of a worsening security situation.
"Ai Group recommends focussing on three key areas:
1) Development of a new national security strategy matched with an updated investment program for Australian Defence Force capabilities to meet the growing threats.
2) Reform of the Defence capability development, acquisition and sustainment system, including:
3) A new approach to expand and protect our defence sovereign industrial base and supply chains. This activity would involve:
"Ai Group encourages all political parties to endorse and adopt these strategic proposals, which have been informed by our industry consultations," Mr Willox said.
The full Ai Group pre-election Defence Industry Policy Statement is available here.