Australia’s defence industry is growing with over 4,000 businesses employing approximately 30,000 staff. An additional 11,000 Australian companies directly benefit from Defence investment and, when further downstream suppliers are included, the benefits flow to approximately 70,000 workers.
But the Australian part of Australia’s defence industry is small and getting smaller.
My analysis of contracts listed on the government’s Austender website shows that while the proportion of defence department contracts awarded to Australian operated firms is usually well above 60%, the proportion awarded to firms that are both Australian operated and owned is much lower, presently 11%.
- ^ A$270 billion (www.defence.gov.au)
- ^ side benefit (www.pm.gov.au)
- ^ hastened to add (www.pm.gov.au)
- ^ Austender (www.tenders.gov.au)
- ^ Australian Defence Magazine (www.australiandefence.com.au)
- ^ top 40 (www.australiandefence.com.au)
- ^ Naval Group Australia (naval-group.com.au)
- ^ Future Submarine program (gateway.icn.org.au)
- ^ Raytheon (www.raytheon.com)
- ^ Scott Morrison pivots Australian Defence Force to meet more threatening regional outlook (theconversation.com)
- ^ Defence update: in an increasingly dangerous neighbourhood, Australia needs a stronger security system (theconversation.com)
Authors: Graeme Dunk, PhD Candidate, Australian National University