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Govt boosts spending on local defence equipme -

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Govt boosts spending on local defence equipment

Sabra Lane reported this story on Wednesday, July 1, 2009 12:30:00

PETER CAVE: The new Defence Minister, John Faulkner, has launched the Defence Capability plan in
Adelaide this morning.

It's considered a vital blueprint for the defence industry, spelling out priorities, allowing
businesses to plan their production and staffing needs accordingly.

The Government has cut back on the timeframe for the plan from 10 years to 4 years. It's promising
to provide more details and transparency.

Sabra Lane is in Adelaide, she joins us now. Sabra, tell us about what Defence Minister has exactly

SABRA LANE: Well Peter, as it was rumoured over the last couple of weeks the Government has cut
back the time frame from 10 years to 4 years, and to blunt the criticism that it was expecting over
this, it says that this program outlining $110-billion worth of programs over the next four years
will deliver more jobs and it will deliver them more certainty so they are able to plan their
programs accordingly.

And also to dispel the criticism, John Faulkner compared this Defence Capability Statement with the
last statement delivered in 2006. He says that program developed about the same amount of projects,
132 programs costing $57-billion, he says there's not much... the shorter plan will deliver about the

He says that it's important; it's spelt out what the country will do for example in planning its
future submarine fleet.

For example, that was pointed out in the White Paper, it sort of spells out, gives short details as
to how that will happen, the targets that contractors must meet and so forth.

He also announced that he and Greg Combat, the Defence Minister, the Minister for Defence Materiel,
has initiated two major initiatives today to improve the capability planning for contractors in the
industry to improve their transparency. Let's listen now to how John Faulkner made that

JOHN FAULKNER: A project to re-examine the way we provide planning information to industry,
including the value, the nature, and the content of the public DCP (Defence Capability Plan).

Given the importance of the DCP for industry, it is right and appropriate for us to reassess the
DCP and consider how it can be enhanced as a tool for industry, in the context of the new approach
involving five yearly White Papers.

PETER CAVE: The Defence Minister, John Faulkner.

He's only been in the job for less than four weeks, it's a fairly major ask to deliver a speech
like this isn't it Sabra?

SABRA LANE: Oh it is indeed, and he even acknowledged that while he spoke to the conference today.
He said given that he'd only been in the job for 3.5 weeks, he'd really placed all his attention
and focus on this paper and looking at priority; and he wanted to really give assurance to the
captains of industry that he was on top of it, that this he says is a crucial industry.

And he said he knows there are no ticker-tape parades for the 29,000 people who work in these
industries at the moment, but he also pointedly released the prior (phonetic) industry capabilities
for the nation, and that's never been done before.

They've indicated what particular industries, like the electronic warfare and anti-tampering
capabilities for Defence Force, but the Government now is prepared to intervene in to make sure
that the industries remain viable and healthy in Australia.

But he also said that he's going to review his own Defence portfolio, he said there are a number of
matters that were a concern to him, and he's basically indicated to the whole Defence Department,
despite the fact that they've been a number of reviews already, that he's going to go through every
particular line and department to make sure that it's as efficient as it can be.

PETER CAVE: Sabra Lane reporting there.