Land Forces 2018 brings together over 500 exhibitors and international companies, government officials and science and technology experts to share ideas and challenges. Adelaide will attract more than 13,000 visitors from Australia and the Indo-Asia-Pacific to this leading conference.
It’s my great honour to welcome you to Land Forces 2018.
I thank Industry Defence and Security Australia Limited for the opportunity to open this year’s conference.
It is set to be a great event.
Land Forces 2018 brings together over 500 exhibitors and international companies, government officials and science and technology experts to share ideas and challenges.
We were delighted when Adelaide was selected to host this important conference again after a hugely successful 2016 event, which attracted over 13,000 visitors from Australia and the Indo-Asia-Pacific.
Land Forces 2018 is an excellent opportunity to showcase the state’s defence capabilities, and to connect delegates with local companies.
I hope you will also have some time to enjoy all that Adelaide has to offer, from a thriving restaurant and bar scene, to many historic and cultural attractions.
If you have been able to extend your stay, Adelaide is also the gateway to world-famous wine regions.
New era for Australian defence
This is a great time to be involved in the defence industry in Australia.
The Australian Government is investing an unprecedented 200 billion dollars in our nation’s defence capabilities over the next decade.
Not since World War II have we seen such an investment in our Australian Defence Force.
For the first time this is establishing the certainty that industry needs to invest.
It’s creating 21st century advanced manufacturing, high technology jobs from coast to coast.
It’s opening new pathways for innovation and collaboration in research and development.
South Australia’s defence industry
South Australia has a proud history of delivering some of Australia’s largest and most complex Defence projects.
We have a dynamic and thriving defence industry.
South Australia has over 250 innovative SMEs and companies – along with our universities and research organisations – supporting projects across all Defence sectors.
Thirty-one of them are here at the Land Forces event on the Defence SA stand.
Many are developing game-changing technologies and are already deeply embedded in the global supply chain.
While new companies will continue to enter the supply chain as a consequence of Australia’s defence industry policy.
Renewed focus on innovation
While South Australia has long been known as the Defence State, under my government we are widening our ambitions to become the nation’s Innovation State and home of new ideas.
We are determined to be a place that drives a culture of entrepreneurship and collaboration through a thriving hub of private enterprise, university and research organisations.
We are already home to world-class, globally-connected and growing defence, information communications, technology and space industries.
The ingenuity and creativity required in these high-tech industries make them inextricably linked and mutually supporting.
That is why we are establishing the Lot Fourteen innovation precinct in the heart of our city just along North Terrace from here at the Old Royal Adelaide Hospital site.
In closing, can I say that as well as being the start of Land Forces 2018, today is important to me for another reason.
My Government is introducing to Parliament its first budget since our election in March.
I won’t attempt to pre-empt what the Treasurer has to say this afternoon other than to foreshadow that his budget will confirm our very strong support for the continuing growth of our defence industry.
Let me now wish you all a successful conference and encourage you to visit the South Australia – The Defence State stand and meet with the local companies to talk about future opportunities.
I hope you all enjoy your stay in our wonderful city.