Local small business owners learned how they can win a contract as part of the Federal Government’s $200 billion Integrated Investment Program, during a Defence Industry Forum hosted yesterday by Federal Member for Bonner, Ross Vasta MP.

“The Government has allocated $200 billion over the next 10 years to build up our Defence Force capability and grow our local defence industry,” Mr Vasta said.

“This is a great opportunity for small and medium businesses to enter the defence market and help create more jobs and grow our local economy.”

Mr Rodney Love, business adviser from the Centre for Defence Industry Capability (CDIC), shared advice for business owners looking to start out in defence, and the services available to help them in the process.

“You need to be able to provide a service or product that can meet the Defence Department’s current or future needs. You must also make sure your company fully complies with the Department’s standards and tender process,” Mr Love said.

Mr Love encouraged interested business owners to contact the CDIC for further information. 

“The CDIC provides frank and fearless advice about whether expanding into defence would be appropriate for you, and the best defence opportunities available to you,” Mr Love said.

Mr David Briggs, Chief Risk Officer from NIOA, and Mr Terry Waterson, Operations Manager from BMD Constructions, shared their advice on winning a contract with Defence.

“You have to offer the best product for the best value. Most importantly, you have to be prepared to lose a tender,” Mr Briggs said.

“The CDIC will let you know straight up if your product is suitable for Defence, or how you can alter it to suit Defence’s needs.”

Mr Waterson said businesses should do their research on what work Defence is doing or has coming up.

“Find out about opportunities early on and pre-prepare. Don’t start the application process when a tender opens—know about the tender beforehand so you have more time to put forward the best application possible,” Mr Waterson said.

For more information on working with Defence and current opportunities available, visit the CDIC website.

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