Federal Defence Minister Kevin Andrews announcement that head office jobs in defence procurement will be cut is a step in the right direction according to South Australian Defence Industries Minister Martin Hamilton-Smith.

Mr Hamilton-Smith said defence industry leaders and all those engaged in defence manufacturing had been frustrated for years at cumbersome and lethargic decision making in defence procurement.

“Reforming the Defence Materiel Organisation (DMO) and transforming the way business is done in defence procurement is long overdue,” he said.

“What industry needs is quick decision making.

“Billions of dollars worth of Australian business enterprise and tens of thousands of jobs hinge on decisions about submarines, surface ships, aircraft and land combat vehicles and other projects, many of which have been delayed and bungled over these years.”

Mr Hamilton-Smith said the State Government agreed with the findings of the First Principles Review that there had been proliferation of structures, processes and systems with unclear accountabilities, along with institutionalised waste, delayed decisions and flawed decision

“The First Principles Review group, made up of Chairman David Peever, Peter Leahy, Jim McDowell, former Defence Minister Robert Hill and Lindsay Tanner, are to be congratulated for their work,” he said.

“The important thing now is that whatever new structures are forged fixes the problems of the past and result in the right decisions being made in a timely fashion to ensure our defence needs are met as well as those of industry and Australian workers.

“This efficiency measure will result in public service and resources being redirected to other priorities which are good for the nation.

We agree with the Australian Industry Group’s John O’Callaghan and Defence Teaming Centre’s Chris Burns that these DMO reforms are necessary and we commend Defence Minister Kevin Andrews for the reform.”

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