The COVID-19 crisis has been an important test for Government, Defence and Defence industry to determine how well Australian Defence industry, supply chains and industry policy can stand up to strategic shock and overall, the Government, Defence and defence industry response has been positive.
The recently released 2020 Defence Strategic Update and 2020 Force Structure Review are welcome initiatives to help provide strategic and funding certainty for Defence and the Australian Defence industry.
While the Government and Defence responses to the COVID crisis have been effective, the pandemic has highlighted the fact that we do not have a sufficient understanding of the depth and breadth of our Defence industry supply chains: neither do we understand the source of origin of many component parts.
This is an important time to review both the resilience of supply chains and Australian Defence industry policy. The last policy statement was released in early 2016 in the Defence Industry Policy Statement. It is timely to review this document in light of the strategic changes post pandemic, looking at how we can best balance the concept of self-reliance with what is affordable and what makes sense from an economic perspective.
To progress an update to our Defence industry policy, as well as test and develop strategies for the supply chain, we recommend the following directions:
Head – Defence & Industry Policy