On November 24, 2006, The Hon. Dr Brendan Nelson, Australia’s Minister for Defence, delivered a speech to the Australian-British Chamber of Commerce. His subject was “Future Directions in Industry Policy,” which touched on past reviews of defense force structure, the current Defence Capability Plan 2006-2016, procurement reviews and reforms, and the effects of an aging population before getting to its key passage:
“Around 20,000 Australians are employed directly in defence industry. About A$ 2.1 billion [DID: about $1.6 billion] of that money that we spend on defence industry – the A$ 8.7 billion [DID: about $6.8 billion] that comes from the DMO(Australia’s Defence Materiel Organization) – about A$ 2.1 billion finds it way, one way or another, into the 300 or so SMEs that are in defence industry in Australia. At the moment – of the 20,000 that are employed – we’ve got about 5,200 that are in regional parts of Australia.
In going forward, back in May, I called together a representative group of policy analysts – CEOs from the primes and also representatives of Australia’s SMEs in defence industry – to canvass the issues that might surround the development of defence industry policy…”