USE THIS ONEA wide-ranging review into the Centre for Defence Industry Capability (CDIC) has recommended a series of changes aimed at boosting support for Australian defence businesses. The review recommended strengthening of the alignment between Defence, defence industry and the CDIC by relocating it to the Department of Defence. The review received strong industry feedback on how the CDIC’s services and operations could be improved, with more than 140 submissions and more than 50 interviews taken into consideration.

Minister for Defence Linda Reynolds. (PHOTO: Government Photo)

Minister for Defence Linda Reynolds said a genuine partnership between Defence and industry was critical to ensuring Australia’s industrial base effectively supports Australia’s national security, as reinforced in the Defence Strategic Update 2020. “Making it easier for industry to work with Defence to access opportunities in the defence sector, such as through the work of the CDIC, is essential in this endeavour,” Reynolds said. “This government has faith in Australian businesses to help provide the technological advances and superior capability that Defence needs to protect Australia’s national interests.”

Among the key recommendations to be implemented is a scrapping of the 200-employee limit on businesses being able to access the CDIC’s services, with the change set to increase opportunities for small businesses to win Defence work. Businesses in regional Australia will also be given greater opportunities through an outreach program, while indigenous and veteran-owned small businesses will become a focus of the CDIC.

Hon Melissa Price MP
Minister for Defence Industry Melissa Price.

Minister for Defence Industry Melissa Price said the review had provided an ideal opportunity to strengthen the CDIC at a time when businesses were dealing with the economic fallout out of the COVID-19 pandemic. “Given the challenges thrown up by the COVID pandemic, it is more important than ever that we continue to develop new ways to support Australian defence industry,” Price said. “The CDIC has a valuable role to play in supporting small and medium sized businesses access Defence work and the review has identified a continuing need for the services provided by the CDIC. After almost four years in operation, the CDIC has shown its value in helping more small and medium sized businesses access opportunities in the defence sector. Implementing the review’s recommendations will ensure that the Centre continues connecting Defence and small business in a simpler, more cost-effective and outcomes-orientated way. In particular, aligning the CDIC more closely with Defence will build stronger stakeholder relationships that serve to maximise its value for building Defence capability.”

The ministers confirmed they have accepted the key recommendations regarding the relocation of the CDIC and scrapping the employee limit to boost access to services. This will provide more clarity for planning and support for industry. One recommendation regarding representation on the CDIC Advisory Board will not be supported. The remaining recommendations have been accepted in principle. The Department of Defence will examine the recommendations to provide formal advice to government on their implementation. Both Defence and the Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources provided support for the review of the CDIC’s role and future operating model. Over the next six months, both departments will work through the review’s recommendations and implementation.

The review is available here.


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