The ASI has welcomed new procurement provisions announced on 10 November by the Australian Minister for Defence Materiel, Hon Jason Clare MP to make levels of commitment to local industry more transparent.

The new provisions will make it mandatory for details of Australian Industry Capability Plans (AICPs) for all future Defence acquisition projects worth over $20 million to be made public, currently applicable only to those valued over $50 million.

The reforms follow the Prime Minister’s announcement at the Jobs Summit on 6 October of similar measures to strengthen opportunities for Australian industry to compete for work across Government which was strongly supported by the ASI.

That involves making major Federal grants of $20 million or more, including grants to the States and Territories, contingent on maximising opportunities for Australian businesses and introducing more onus on major project proponents to disclose fuller details of local industry engagement through the use of Australian Industry Participation Plans (AIPPs).

“It is encouraging that following the Prime Minister recently acknowledging the local steel sector as an industry of strategic national importance that another arm of the Australian Government has further reinforced the spirit of reform in the national interest,” ASI Chief Executive, Don McDonald said.

“The Australian steel industry has a solid track record in supplying major Defence projects such as on the current redevelopment of Lavarack Barracks in Townsville and the manufacture of Bushmaster armoured vehicles that have also found a receptive export market.

“It stands to reason that these key reforms should be followed by introducing a similar policy direction for managing Australia’s non-renewable resources and infrastructure projects.”

The ASI has presented a proposal to both major political parties in Canberra centering on more accountable and transparent use of AIPPs for all major resource and infrastructure projects.