The Perth USAsia Centre on 12 August 2019 successfully convened the second annual Western Australian Indo-Pacific Defence Conference, on behalf of Defence West and the State Government.
Hosted at Crown Towers, the full day program united over 500 defence and defence industry leaders and across government and industry, with 35 VIP speakers hailing from all corners of the the Indo Pacific region.
Both sides and both levels of Australian politics contributed to the Conference, including Minister for Defence Linda Reynolds and Minister for Defence Industry Melissa Price; Shadow Ministers for Defence and Defence Industry Richard Marles and Matt Keogh respectively; and WA Premier Mark McGowan and Defence Issues Minister Paul Papalia.
The Conference opened with the State Government’s renewing its bid to move the Full Cycle Docking of the Collins Class Submarines to Western Australia’s AMC Complex at Henderson
Designed to showcase WA’s capacity to contribute to the defence industry across the Indo-Pacific, this year’s program focused on the capacity and availability of small to medium enterprises across the State – ready, willing and able to serve as defence suppliers to global primes.
The key themes of the day included:
The evolving strategic landscape in the Indo-Pacific
The Western Australian perspective on the Indo-Pacific
- There are serious challenges facing the international rules-based order, both with regards to the adequacy of the rules in the modern environment and regarding global compliance
- Strategic competition between the US and China is driving regional uncertainty, informing the strategic and economic outlook and policies of Australia and other Indo-Pacific nations
Australia’s strategic policy opportunities
- Western Australia is Australia’s Indian Ocean State, and looks to India, Indonesia and Africa
- Western Australia is home to strategic and defence assets that are nationally unique, including HMAS Stirling, Campbell Barracks and the Australian Marine Complex at Henderson
Australia’s defence industry and defence industry policy
- Australia is continuing to build strategic relationships with regional allies and partner across domains - economic, international law, defence and military partnerships, cyber etc.
- Australia must work to take advantage of the national and regional defence investments and capability programs to grow Australia’s sovereign defence industry
- There is a need for all government and industry sectors to work in a coordinated and cooperative manner, domestically and with international partners
Premier Mark McGowan articulated that WA is strategically located in the Indo-Pacific region, and the State Government recognises the Indo-Pacific as a major economic and trade zone.
The Conference program was complemented by an exhibition showcasing businesses from around the nation to display their defence industry products and services.
For photos and videos from the day, including full speaker presentations, please click here.
To read the post-event media release Indo Pacific Influencers Gather for Defence Conference