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Ipswich to host second defence summit aimed at supply chain opportunities for local businesses

State Minister Cameron Dick (centre) and Ipswich Interim Administrator Greg Chemello (far right) at 2018's defence summit

Ipswich City Council will host a second defence summit after a highly successful inaugural edition last November.

The Defence Ipswich Supply Chain Opportunities Symposium is scheduled for 8 November 2019 and will continue to position the city as one of the hotspots for defence in the nation.

Federal and State Government politicians, plus key defence stakeholders attended the Queensland Defence Summit: Ipswich 2018 at USQ Springfield Campus last November as council released its Defence Ipswich strategic summary.

General Manager of Economic Development Ben Pole told 300 delegates that council had five strategic goals with the aim to empower Ipswich as a national leader in defence industry activity and opportunity.

“This model will provide opportunities for local industry to access supply and value chains and contribute to the continued evolution of a knowledge-intensive and skilled regional workforce. The Department of Defence is allocating around $195 billion for investment in new and enhanced capabilities, Defence Ipswich positions our region to better link the government’s capability needs with the defence industry’s capacity to deliver,” he said.

Building on that success, council, supported by all levels of government and the Australian Industry and Defence Network (AIDN), will again look to strengthen the local economy and build prosperity for defence related businesses and beyond.

Defence is identified as a priority industry in council’s Economic and Workforce Development Plan, generating annual exports worth $707 million, accounts for 22.2 per cent of Queensland’s total defence export and 17.5 per cent of the state’s defence employment in 2017-18.

In 2017, council established the City of Ipswich Defence Industry Development and Attraction Committee (CIDIDAC) with representatives from Ipswich City Council, Queensland Government, the Australian Defence Force, industry and universities to drive defence collaboration and industry capability opportunities.

In 2018, council endorsed the Defence Ipswich Action Plan 2018-2023, which was developed in consultation with CIDIDAC. Ipswich is the only local government in Australia to have a dedicated and adopted defence industry plan.

“In November 2018, council delivered the Queensland Defence Summit: Ipswich 2018, which brought together over 300 delegates from defence, all levels of government, defence industry, academia and manufacturers,” Mr Pole said.

“This event successfully connected SMEs with defence opportunities and provided avenues for learning and discussion on the future of sustainment and supply chains.

This initiative also created awareness of Ipswich’s aspiration to position the region as Australia’s regional defence leader.

“As a result of the Defence Ipswich Action Plan, council is planning to deliver the 2019 symposium to provide opportunities for SMEs to understand and access defence opportunities.”

Mr Pole said consultation with CIDIDAC and defence industry stakeholders allowed council to focus on delivering a forum which would benefit the region and the business community.

The symposium will attract 150 to 180 people from across Australia, plus international industry participants, including defence contractors, policy, academia and SMEs to participate and exchange information on project opportunities and attend business sessions. It will be held at the Ipswich Civic Centre.

“Council continues to support the significant contribution that defence is making to the region. The Defence Ipswich Supply Chain Opportunities Symposium 2019 will deliver on key actions of the Defence Ipswich Action Plan 2018-2023,” Mr Pole added.

For event details, please contact council’s senior industry development officer Tamanna Monem (

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 >>> Strategic targets for defence in the City of Ipswich

The Defence Ipswich strategic goals are:
• Position and promote Ipswich as a strategic location for defence capability, innovation and growth
• Advocate for and support defence within the Ipswich region and community
• Facilitate and develop the regional defence industry supply chain ecosystem
• Enable defence industry employment and business development pathways
• Enhance defence industry, government, academic and entrepreneurial collaboration and innovation

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