Jobs dominate new vision for South Australian Defence Industry

Jobs are at the heart of South Australia’s new Defence Sector Plan 2030, launched by Premier Steven Marshall today.

Between now and 2030, the state’s key naval shipbuilding projects are set to create more than 4000 direct shipbuilding jobs in South Australia, with thousands more in adjacent and support industries.

Information warfare is also a key pillar of the strategy, which will push South Australia forward as the nation’s information warfare centre point.

Premier Steven Marshall said the comprehensive plan clearly lays out how South Australia will rise to the challenge of supporting as many defence jobs as it can, while also capitalising on defence capability, investment in the state, and supply chain opportunities for the next decade, and beyond.

“The $90 billion investment from the Federal Government is creating an unprecedented pipeline of jobs, and business opportunities right here in South Australia for decades to come.

“South Australia has state-of-the art local capabilities and skills across the defence and space sectors and we are leaving no stone unturned in delivering the skilled workforce required to ensure the ongoing success of the defence industry in SA.

“We are committed to working hand in glove with industry to make sure we meet the needs of the defence sector, and take full advantage of this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity – which is exactly what this strategy sets out,” Premier Marshall said.

Extensive consultation identified eight defence industry priority areas across the next decade to ensure South Australia’s defence industry is primed to support the nation’s sovereign capability, as well as the state’s economy:

  1. Naval Shipbuilding
  2. Information Warfare
  3. Business Climate
  4. Trade
  5. Investment
  6. Workforce and Skills
  7. Research, Development and Innovation
  8. Infrastructure

Minister for Trade and Investment Stephen Patterson said South Australia is leading the way in innovation and future defence requirements, home to a growing cyber workforce and world-class industry capable of solving complex problems.

“To support this position, the Marshall Liberal Government is working to identify export opportunities for local industry within specific market requirements and in global supply chains,” Minister Patterson said.

“As a state, we must continue to work hard to ensure South Australia remains the most attractive and cost-competitive location for defence business development.

Defence SA Chief Executive Richard Price said with ship and boat manufacturing currently representing 22% of the defence sector’s composition and contribution to GSP, the shipbuilding industry is driving investment and playing a major role in South Australia’s economic transformation.

“The Attack class submarine and Hunter class frigate programs are the most complex projects in Australia’s shipbuilding history and they’re being built right here in South Australia, at the most advanced naval shipbuilding facility in the world,” he said.

“As a state we are home to a critical mass of world-class industry but making sure future warship and submarine design and engineering centres are located here in South Australia is a crucial action.”

“Through partnerships with organisations like the national Naval Shipbuilding College headquartered at Osborne, we are well on track to achieving and sustaining this skilled, agile workforce across the next decade.”

The Defence State Sector Plan was today launched on site at world-class South Australian advanced mobility and autonomous systems producer, Supashock.

The company, which increased its staff from 20 in 2017 to almost 80 in 2020 marking a 65% year-on-year growth, is a major player in South Australia’s defence industry with 80% of its supply chain based locally. Workforce growth is expected to continue at this rate until 2025.

Supashock founder and Chief Executive Officer Oscar Fiorinotto said the company will continue to diversify into the defence sector, which he says is a key strategic pillar for the business.

“Our work in the defence sector already contributes to 55% of our revenue, and with the defence and space sectors both representing emerging, technologically-driven industries, it’s crucial our business also evolves,” he said.

“This includes artificial intelligence-enabled technology, which we are currently testing as part of our mobility and motion systems for use in defence and other projects.”

A copy of the Defence State Sector Plan can be accessed on the Government of South Australia’s Growth State website at

/Public News. View in full here.