Taskforce to promote Hunter region defence capabilities

ICN NSW has joined a number of industry stakeholders on the Hunter Defence collaborative taskforce, with ICN Manger NSW Defence Industry Dusko Bajic as advisor to the group.

The high-level advocacy and action group will promote the Hunter’s defence industry capability and drive more defence contracts and investment to the region.

As part of the taskforce ICN NSW, in collaboration with NSW Defence, AIDN and Hunter Defence,

has delivered two Gateway Profile Improvement workshops for defence SMEs in Sydney and Newcastle

“ICN has access to number of defence opportunities listed nationally and a validated data base of defence SMEs. This will provide the basis for development of a Regional Defence Industry Capability Statement to measure the success of the Group,” Dusko said.

Chair and former Air Force Commander, Tim Owen said the taskforce would “seek to align local industry capabilities and capacities with coming opportunities and demonstrate the region’s supply chain capability”.

“We have firms with excellent capability in the Hunter but that is only part of the equation; winning contracts is a competitive business that requires deep industry insight and high visibility with primes, defence stakeholders and government at all levels,” Tim said.

 “We also want to encourage more SMEs to acquire advanced defence capability by facilitating education, training and advice.

“The Hunter already has strong expertise in advanced high-value, high-skills manufacturing and R&D, so there is great potential for locally based firms to diversify into defence or, for those who already have a toehold in the industry, to increase their market share.”

The taskforce will meet each monthly to discuss progress and will provide ‘a strong voice’ promoting Hunter defence industry capability and help position regional firms to take advantage of upcoming opportunities.

The group hosted an inaugural business lunch in Newcastle earlier this year and was involved in the 10th anniversary Hunter Defence Conference in August 2019. They are also integral in the creation of the Defence Training Program for SMEs, primarily for the Hunter-based SMEs but is expected to be rolled out across NSW.

Apart from ICN NSW, key stakeholders involved in the task force include:

  • RDA Hunter
  • HunterNet
  • Hunter Business Chamber
  • Australian Industry Group
  • TAFE NSW – Hunter and Central Coast
  • Australian Industry Defence Network 
  • Hunter Defence Support Network
  • University of Newcastle 

If you would like further information please call ICN NSW on 02 9927 3100.