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Defence Industry and a Strong Australia



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M E D I A RELEASE■ n N M M M B K t . 1 · ' i W B M M M — Ι Μ ίΊ Π ι Π ALEXANDER DOWNER MEMBER FOR MAYO SHADOW MINISTER FOR DEFENCE

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DEFENCE INDUSTRY AND A STRONG AUSTRALIA

Labor has failed to produce a workable defence industry policy.

Alexander Downer, the Shadow Minister for Defence, said in Canberra today Labor's approach to defence industry was very shallow - a lot of general statements about what industry should be aiming to do but little of substance to develop useful co­ operation with industry.

"What defence industry needs is certainty about policy directions to help long-term planning. Under a Coalition Government the Department of Defence will consult with industry to develop long-term strategies which identify and foster industry capabilities to support defence self-reliance.

"Overall the Coalition's economic and industrial relations policies will create a conducive environment for industry to strengthen its domestic base. For the defence industry sector itself, the Coalition's policy set out in A Strong Australia provides for a framework to develop industrial capabilities needed for national security.

"Another stumbling block that defence industry must currently contend with is the Defence bureaucracy. There are too many different areas in the Department of Defence that have to put in their two cents worth on industry matters. A workable industry policy cannot emerge under these conditions. The Coalition will reduce civilian numbers by 150 to do away with non-essential activities and force a greater reliance on the private sector.

"The Coalition will facilitate defence exports to approved countries by re-writing the export guidelines to emphasise clarity for industry and greater transparency of exports.

"On the international scene, there is a growing opportunity for joint ventures with regional companies to develop and market defence equipment.

"The Coalition will encourage joint venture developments for equipment acquisition with our regional friends and allies. The Coalition's defence industry policy together with its policy to further regional security through Co-operative Regional Defence will encourage companies to make maximum use of these opportunities.

(ends) 18 October 1992 More information: Peter Jennings (06) 277 4145 afiSfr\ ititii tea

Parliament House, Canberra, A C T 2600 Telephone (06) 277 4145 Facsimile (06) 277 2143 After Hours Telephone: (08) 339 5152 or (06) 286 1504

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