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Local industry capability in focus at 2022 Hunter Defence Conference

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Local industry capability and readiness will have a national focus at the 2022 Hunter Defence Conference this week.

Small-to-medium enterprises are expected to join forces with leaders in the sector, as well as government and defence agencies, at the Crowne Plaza Newcastle from Wednesday 31 August to Friday 2 September to discuss growth areas and opportunities for the region.

Hunter Defence is a collaborative group that promotes Hunter industry expertise and potential to attract more manufacturing and supply opportunities throughout the area.

It includes key stakeholders across business, industry, government, education and is financially supported by HunterNet, Newcastle Airport, Business Hunter, RDA Hunter, Newcastle Master Builders, the University of Newcastle and the NSW Government.

Hunter Defence Taskforce chair Tim Owen AM said with the federal government announcing the Defence Strategic Review in response to changing strategic circumstances for Australia, the Indo-Pacific region and the associated capabilities required, the Hunter was well-positioned to continue to build on its legacy.

“The Hunter is in the unique position of having existing industry strength in key defence capability areas,” he explained.

“Our air combat capability is clear and there’s already significant skills and investment occurring.

“Because of this, we already have defence primes located here, which means the region can expand into land, cyber and space as well as contributing considerably to the expanding East Coast naval presence.

“Our port and harbour facilities with the associated maritime businesses means there is the infrastructure and expertise locally to support a large naval presence.

“Having sea-based capability within 20 kilometres of an air combat base gives the Hunter a competitive advantage.

“So, these are the types of opportunities we will be exploring in detail at this year’s conference.”

2022 HUNTER DEFENCE CONFERENCE – AGENDA SUMMARY

Day one – Working with Defence and workforce skilling

  • The day one agenda focusses on small-to-medium enterprises working with Defence and subsequent industries. The speakers – which include the Office of Defence Industry Support, 3ME Technology, CGI, Lockheed Martin, Raytheon, BAE Systems, Turner Townsend, Regional Development Australia – Hunter, KPMG, Engineers Australia and Goal Group – and sessions will provide insights into talent attraction, opportunities, support mechanisms along with case studies from local businesses.

Day two – Force structure update and integrated investment plan

  • On day two participants will hear from senior capability development staff from Army, Navy, Air Force and Cyber agencies within Defence and a presentation from a key Australian-based space company.  A keynote address from the Minister for Defence Industry and Shortland MP Pat Conroy will be a highlight of the day. Speaker topics include sovereign defence and aerospace, nuclear submarine, Army, Navy, and Air Force capability, information warfare, Astra Aerolab, space systems, innovation and supply chain.

Day three – The Hunter Region: A spotlight on our major primes

  • Participants will hear from the defence primes located in the Hunter and they will outline the opportunities available for defence industries within the Hunter Region and nationally. There will be speakers from Lockheed Martin, Boeing Defence Australia, Thales, Leo Labs, Hanwha Australia, University of Newcastle, Hunter TAFE, Hunter Defence Support Network.

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