Assistant Minister for Defence headlines Ipswich summit

Newly appointed Assistant Minister for Defence David Fawcett will be guest speaker at Ipswich City Council’s inaugural Defence Ipswich 2018 summit on 20 November.

The one-day Integrated Logistics and Sustainment summit, to be hosted by council at the USQ Springfield Central campus, will bring together all levels of government and industry to engage on defence industry strategies, projects and opportunities.

This inaugural Defence industry event will focus on sustainment, integrated logistics, exports, innovative technologies, research and partnerships.

Senator Fawcett, who has served in the House of Representatives and the Australian Senate in Canberra, became the Assistant Minister for Defence with the instalment of the Morrison Government in late August.

He brings a wealth of experience to the role, having served in the Australian Army from 1982 to 2004 before entering Federal Parliament. He was educated at Royal Military College, Duntroon, and became a helicopter pilot for the 1st Aviation Regiment, involved in operations in Australia and Papua New Guinea.

Senator Fawcett has been an experimental test pilot serving with the Royal Australian Air Force, culminating in his final appointment as Commanding Officer, responsible for flight test programs across the Australian Defence Force. He reached the rank of Lieutenant Colonel before leaving the ADF to enter politics.

Before being elevated to the ministry, he was Chair of the Joint Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade.

“Across Australia, businesses are responding with enthusiasm to the opportunities provided by the Australian Government’s more than $200 billion investment in defence capability,” he said.

“The inaugural Defence Ipswich summit is a great example of this and I am sure the summit will provide an opportunity for the region to build on Ipswich’s already strong contribution to Defence capabilities, including to operations at RAAF Base Amberley.

“I look forward to discussing the Australian Government’s Defence industry policy agenda and how Ipswich can utilise the government’s industry support mechanisms to contribute to the successful delivery of our investment program.”

Defence industries in Ipswich are worth about $800 million in sales, $600 million in exports and accounts for 20 per cent of Queensland’s total defence employment.

The Defence Ipswich summit – supported by council and the Australia Industry and Defence Network (AIDN) – is expected to attract between 250 and 300 delegates, and features key Defence industry speakers and decision-makers.

Council’s Chief Operating Officer for Economic Development and Marketing Ben Pole said the summit was a major achievement for the City of Ipswich and attracting speakers of the quality of the new Assistant Minister for Defence would ensure its success.

“David Fawcett will provide a valuable insight into the Defence visions of the Coalition Government and exactly how Ipswich businesses can tap into the Defence industry in order to grow investment and jobs in our region. We look forward to having him here in November,” Mr Pole said.

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