In recent years, Insight Economics’ directors have undertaken significant work in the defence arena.

The relationship between the defence establishment and Australian companies that supply goods and services to it can be a difficult one. On the one hand, government wants to source high quality equipment for the Australian Defence Force from the cheapest supplier and consistently have the benefit of competitive tendering to assist in achieving this. On the other hand, companies need to satisfy commercial criteria if they are to work in the defence sector in the longer term and this often means that they need to work in a very different way from the ADF itself. While both sides frequently talk about the benefits of a partnership between defence and industry, in practice this is often difficult to achieve because of these differences in outlook and experience.

Insight Economics has directed some significant defence-related assignments in recent years. Clients have included the Defence Materiel Organisation (DMO), a number of State governments and a variety of companies. In addition to working on DMO’s strategic plan for the aerospace industry sector, they jhave delivered major reports for the Victorian government on the acquisition of three air warfare destroyers and for three State governments on building the large LHD ships. In the future, the Rudd government’s major acquisition program opens many opportunities for Australian industry but it also contains many risks.