Page 104 - Australian Defence Magazine Dec 2018 - Jan 2019
P. 104

Continued from page 103
strategic position in terms of having the re- gionally superior submarine. We have a re- gionally superior submarine now and when the Future Submarine Program comes on stream, we’ll have a next generation region- ally superior submarine then. We can’t has- ten the drumbeat. The start date is already pretty tight. There’s a lot of work to be done between now and 2022- 2023.
The drumbeat is designed to ensure we have a continuous naval ship build pro- gram and as we make decisions to build more ships, of course, that might be able to be hastened. I recently announced the hy- drographic vessel to replace two smaller to be built in Henderson.
The tender’s just been opened for that and in the Pacific Pivot that we announced a few months ago saw the announcement
ABOVE: Commanding Officer No. 292 Squadron, Wing Commander Mick Durant (left), shows the Minister Pyne; SA senator Lucy Gichuhi; and Head
of Aerospace Systems Division, AVM Cath Roberts training capabilities at
the Squadron’s Integrated Training Centre at RAAF Base Edinburgh.
LEFT: Minister Pyne
at the opening of the Thales Australia World Trade Centre Offices in Melbourne using a VR training device as part of the OneSky ATM program.
that we’d build a large hulled humanitar- ian and disaster relief vessel, and we expect that will be built in Australia as well.
ADM: Are there any plans to aim for more bipartisan support on major com- plex programs, like the national ship- building plan?
PYNE: There is bipartisan support. It’s a difficult question – what does bipartisan support for major projects mean? I mean we’re not going to include the Labor Party in our decision making process; they’re not in government.
ADM: Given the history of some of the major shipbuilding programs in particu- lar, for example the Collins Class, have suf- fered from being used as a political foot- ball. Is there an agreement between the two parties not to let that happen again?
PYNE: No, because we’re an adversarial political system and governments need to be held to account by good oppositions. So no, there’s no “club” between Labor and Liberal on Defence projects and there are no plans for such a club.
ADM: How has ASD becoming a statu- tory authority changed the intelligence community, and Defence’s role in it? PYNE: ASD’s capabilities have been ex- panded. They have received significant new resources and, of course, we have structurally put in place the new Austra- lian Cyber Security Centre within ASD. The difference, of course, is that the ASD now provides services and support to agen- cies and other arms of the government outside Defence but their primary respon- sibility is still Defence.
Their role is to support our capability and to ensure that, our service men and women, can win in any theatres in which they might be involved and that we’re safe at home from any kind of threat. We are now working more closely with Home Af- fairs and providing them with support.
The other arm of these changes is work- ing with the community and with industry to support their cyber capabilities. That’s particularly being done through the Aus- tralian Cyber Security Centre and they have now opened Cyber Security Centres in every capital city except Hobart. AustCyber is also set up with the Cyber Security Centre in Ad- elaide, the last of the centres opened in 2018.
They’ve got an outreach now to industry that they didn’t have previously to support their cyber capabilities and I think that is important; it’s going to become increasingly important and I often say that cyber is really the fourth domain of our defences now.
ADM: Your predecessor described De- fence IT as “retro”. Are you happy with the progression of Defence ICT pro- grams given the lack of movement on large programs like ERP?
PYNE: We’ve certainly made a lot of prog- ress in the last couple of years and Marise (former Defence Minister Marise Payne, now Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade) put a lot of effort into the ICT side of the Department in terms of our processes and systems and making them all work together in a way they hadn’t done before. There has been a lot of progress on that front.
Some examples of things we’ve done in the last couple of years include upgrading our payroll system in mid-2018 and im-
104 | December 2018 – January 2019 |

   102   103   104   105   106