MEDIA RELEASE | Thursday 25 February 2016
Today’s Defence White Paper failed to address the ongoing loss of engineering and scientific experience and expertise across the Defence portfolio. Professionals Australia says in-house technical knowledge and expertise will be the key to securing Australia’s modern defence capabilities.
“Engineering and Scientific expertise is essential to delivering the best-quality defence capabilities at the best cost,” said Chris Walton, CEO of Professionals Australia. “It is projected the Department will spend a trillion dollars on capability and operations over the next two decades, but the White Paper does not commit to retaining the in-house engineering skills and expertise.
“To implement the ambitious targets outlined in the White Paper efficiently, we will need an expert in-house engineering capacity. “Billions of taxpayer dollars on purchasing and maintaining new defence capability in the coming years.
“The White Paper puts a $50 billion price tag on building a new fleet of submarines alone, yet provides very little detail on how Defence plans to attract and retain technical staff to oversee proper procurement and project roll-out. “Professionals Australia welcomes Defence’s aspiration to become an ‘employer of choice’ as stated in the White Paper. The first thing Defence could do is guarantee job security for existing engineering and science employees. Retaining skilled staff improves efficiency across the board.
“There is very little in the White Paper to suggest that the Government is investing in the intellectual infrastructure required to ensure Defence procurement and maintenance decisions are based on concern for both the wellbeing of, and value for the community. “Our engineering and science capabilities are essential to building a successful defence force. We must strengthen our expert civilian workforce if we are to maintain national security,” said
Last year, Professionals Australia made a detailed submission to the Defence White Paper advocating for the rebuilding of engineering expertise and capacity across Defence.
See submission here.
Media contact: Jessica Kendall 0414 679 857