According to My Business's sister publication Defence Connect, the Andrews Labor government said the $2 million Victorian Defence Industry Supply Chain Program will give businesses across the state the best possible opportunity to secure work in defence and national security.
The government said, in particular, the program will help local businesses gain relevant accreditations, prepare tenders and meet industry specific compliance requirements, which it believes will ensure local defence supply chain companies are locally and internationally competitive and tender-ready.
Minister for Industry and Employment Wade Noonan said the government is hoping to grow the state’s industry and help SMEs play a part in the supply chain of some of the nation’s biggest projects.
“Victoria has a proud history of defence capability and excellence, and we are getting on with the job of growing this important industry,” Minister Noonan says.
“Supply chain businesses play a particularly critical role in delivering the country’s biggest defence projects.
“This program will put these companies in the best possible position to capitalise on future defence contracts.”
The Victorian government is hoping the program will help the state’s SMEs secure work from the federal government’s $195 billion defence capital investment program – including the LAND 400 Phase 2 project and shipbuilding programs.
Victoria is hoping to secure work for the LAND 400 program, for which BAE Systems Australia and Rheinmetall are currently tendering.
Funding is available to Victoria’s small to medium enterprises that are currently supplying to defence or national security related supply chains, as well as those looking to enter the market.
Grants of up to $50,000 are available to businesses under the program, which requires applicants to provide matched funding cash co-contribution.
The Australian Industry & Defence Network (AIDN) welcomed the government support, suggesting it will help local SMEs become more competitive during the tender protest against larger international firms.
“The funding will allow companies to achieve much-needed certification and accreditation standards that are often essential to pre-qualify for involvement in defence work,” the network’s Victoria president Stephen Harvey said in a statement.
“The partnership and involvement of specialist advisors from the federal government’s Centre for Defence Industry Capability will help businesses to know what support they most need.”
The Victorian defence sector contributes up to $8 billion to the state’s economy annually and is made up of more than 300 businesses, employing around 7,000 people.