Original Article by  | Nov 27, 2018 |

Ipswich aims to be the preferred location for Defence and the defence industry in Australia, a region-wide model with an exceptional reputation for defence capability, innovation and success.

Nearly 10 per cent of all employment in Ipswich is in the defence industry and associated supply chain and the defence industry generates over $1.3 billion in export value for the local economy.

For more than 75 years, Ipswich has been home to RAAF Base Amberley, now Australia’s largest military air base.

The Defence Ipswich strategy recognises the importance of defence to the region’s community and economic prosperity.

Ipswich City Council has developed this strategy in cooperation with the Queensland Government and the Australian Defence Force to ensure its relevance and success.

Economic Development and Marketing Chief Operating Officer Ben Pole, releasing the Defence Ipswich strategic summary, said council had five strategic goals with the aim to empower Ipswich as a national leader in defence industry activity and opportunity.

“This model will provide opportunities for local industry to access supply and value chains and contribute to the continued evolution of a knowledge-intensive and skilled regional workforce,” he told 300 delegates attending the Queensland Defence Summit: Ipswich 2018 at the USQ Springfield Central campus on Tuesday.

“The Department of Defence is allocating around $195 billion for investment in new and enhanced capabilities, Defence Ipswich positions our region to better link the Government’s capability needs with the defence industry’s capacity to deliver.”

The Defence Ipswich strategic goals are:

  • Position and promote Ipswich as a strategic location for defence capability, innovation and growth.
  • Advocate for and support defence within the Ipswich region and community.
  • Facilitate and develop the regional defence industry supply chain ecosystem.
  • Enable defence industry employment and business development pathways.
  • Enhance defence industry, government, academic and entrepreneurial collaboration and innovation.

Mr Pole said the ongoing capability development, growth and sustainment of Defence and the defence industry is critical to maintaining Australia’s national security.

“As Australia moves towards building an innovative and resilient defence industry, key defence regions such as Ipswich will have a larger role to play in contributing to the national interest. Resilient and innovative defence industry growth requires participation from businesses and an integrated ecosystem close to defence assets, including the bases,” he said.

“Ipswich holds the assets and the vision required to play a significant role in supporting the development of a dynamic and innovative defence industry both domestically and globally. This will be done by championing defence, developing partnerships and adopting a Triple Helix Model of collaboration between industry, academia and government.

“Creating a culture of collaboration and partnership across industry, institutions, state and federal governments and global value chains is critical to the Defence Ipswich vision of maximising the economic benefits derived from defence investment in the region.

“The benefits of an industry-driven strategy mirror the expectations of business and community and enables resilience and global connection.

“The Defence Ipswich strategic summary provides the platform and guidance for a targeted approach to growing the economic contribution of the Ipswich defence sector and related industries.”

Mr Pole said it will be supported by an action plan detailing the initiatives aligned with the strategic goals as set out in the Defence Ipswich strategy document.

City of Ipswich Defence Industry Advisory Committee (CIDIAC) Deputy Chair Jim Varghese said the strategy had already achieved its first deliverable of positioning the Western Corridor as the Defence meeting place in Queensland by hosting the Defence Summit.

“The summit was an astounding success and received tremendous positive feedback,” Mr Varghese said.

“CIDIAC’s unique consortium of local government, industry and universities has already succeeded in growing the defence Industry cake instead of competing for a very small slice of it.

“The summit’s selected themes of manufacturing, logistics and the supply sustainment value chain are already opening up opportunities for SMEs to work with the defence primes across Ipswich and in attracting significant defence industry growth and investment.”