By Matt Keogh MP

15 July 2020

For every defence industry grant dollar, the Morrison Government is spending an additional dollar on administration. So much for an efficient spend to get the best bang for our defence buck!

It’s been revealed in Defence answers to the Senate that the Centre for Defence Industry Capability (CDIC) has spent the same amount of money on operating expenses, as it has on defence industry grants.

At a time when we need to be heavily investing in our Australian Defence Industry, and milking every cent for what it’s worth, it’s astonishing to see that the cost of running the CDIC - $23 million – is in fact the same value of the grants they administer each year.

This Government claims they are investing $270 billion dollars on defence procurement over the next decade, the question must now be asked, how much of that money is reaching Australian defence industry businesses, and how much is simply going to general administration?

The CDIC is supposed to “work with industry and Defence to build a world-class, globally competitive and sustainable Australian industry as a Fundamental Input to Defence Capability”. Instead, the value of Australian Defence Industry contracts is decreasing, while more of the defence budget is being spent offshore.

The Australian Defence Industry has been crying out for support from this Federal Government but it seems for every dollar it is spending on industry, a matching dollar is failing local industry.

We must be investing in Australia’s sovereign defence capability, developing our local businesses and providing sustainable jobs, not offshoring work as the current Minister for French Submarines seems content with.

Exclusive story in the Australian Financial Review