New $2b Australian ground-to-air defence system opens up supply chain

THE Australian Defence Force’s planned $2 billion development of a new Short Range Ground Based Air Defence system by Raytheon Australia, to improve protection for deployed personnel, is being opened up to a wider Australian manufacturing supply chain.

Minister for Defence Industry, Christopher Pyne said the project would seek to maximise Australian industry content to ensure defence expenditure also helped “deliver local jobs and economic growth”

“Through a Risk Mitigation Contract, the government will ensure there are opportunities for Australian industry participation, with direct access to Raytheon Australia for local businesses to showcase their abilities,” Mr Pyne said.  

“As part of this contract Raytheon will hold workshops across the country to engage with local industry, giving them an opportunity to be part of the supply chain for this project worth up to $2 billion.

“Defence will collaborate with Raytheon Australia and Canberra-based CEA Technologies to look at integrating the Canberra-based firm’s radar into an upgraded NASAMS,” Mr Pyne said.

“CEA Technologies’ ground breaking phased array radar system has already been incorporated into Australia’s ANZAC class frigates and this project will trial the technology in a land-based role.”

Mr Pyne said through the risk mitigation activity, Defence and Raytheon would also investigate using Thales Australia’s ‘Hawkei’ protected mobility vehicle, manufactured in Bendigo, Victoria, as a potential platform for the system’s missile launchers.

Defence Minister Senator Marise Payne said the project was the first step in the development of the Australian Army’s contribution to the Australian Defence Force’s Integrated Air and Missile Defence Program announced in the 2016 Defence White Paper

She said the government would invest up to $2 billion in the system “which will provide the inner most layer of Australia’s enhanced integrated air and missile capability”.

The system will be operated by the Army’s 16th Air Land Regiment.

“A modern and integrated ground-based air defence system is needed to protect our deployed forces from increasingly sophisticated air threats, both globally and within our region,” Ms Payne said.

“Australia’s current short-range capability is 30 years old and due to be retired early next decade. The replacement system will provide improved protection for our deployed servicemen and women.”

A Single Supplier Limited Request for Tender will be released to Raytheon Australia in the first half of 2017 to develop its highly successful National Advanced Surface to Air Missile System (NASAMS) for the Australian Defence Force (ADF).

The ADF will complete a detailed analysis prior to returning to government for final consideration in 2019.




EEC guide helps industry take control of energy costs

THE Energy Efficiency Council (EEC) has launched a new guide to help Australia’s manufacturers and commercial building owners take control of their energy costs.

EEC CEO, Luke Menzel said the new Quick Reference Guide to Energy Auditing would give businesses the information they need to work with energy efficiency experts to find ways of slashing their gas and electricity bills.

“Businesses are grappling with massive energy price hikes, reliability issues, and huge volatility in gas and electricity markets,” Mr Menzel said.

“These price shocks pose an existential threat to energy intensive industries, and the market needs to be fixed. But in the meantime, taking advantage of cost effective energy productivity opportunities can give energy users some breathing space.”

The Guide, launched at the Energy Users Association of Australia National Conference in Brisbane recently, was developed in partnership with the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage. It is the first guide to step energy users though Australia's new energy audit standard, released by Standards Australia in 2014.

“Businesses understand that getting more out of every unit of energy behind the meter is a way of reducing their exposure to the craziness playing out on the other side,” Mr Menzel said.

“The Quick Reference Guide to Energy Auditing will help them get the information they need to assess and invest in measures that quickly cut energy costs, and mitigate the risk of future price rises.” 

The EEC is Australia’s peak body for energy efficiency, cogeneration and demand management, formed in 2009 as a not-for-profit membership association which exists, Mr Menzel said, “to make sensible, cost effective energy efficiency measures standard practice across the Australian economy”.

“We work on behalf of our members to promote stable government policy, provide clear information to energy users and drive the quality of energy efficiency products and services,” he said.

The EEC’s full suite of policy recommendations for promoting smart energy use across the Australian economy are set out in its Australian Energy Efficiency Policy Handbook.

The Quick Reference Guide to energy auditing is available at:




Kord Defence develops units for US Marines

AUSTRALIAN design and manufacturing company, Kord Defence, has won a significant contract to develop innovative products for the United States Marine Corps.

Kord Defence was awarded a contract worth US$2.25 million over 18 months for the US Marines that would see up to an additional four staff employed, including two engineers, under the United States Foreign Comparative Testing (FCT) program.

“Kord Defence is an innovative company with technology that fundamentally improves the capacity of the soldier in the battlefield,” Defence Industry Minister Christopher Pyne said at the official contract signing ceremony.

“Kord Defence will develop a Rifle Accessory Control Unit for soldiers to mount on the front of their rifles.”

The contract is for the design, programming, production and subsequent trial of a Rifle Accessory Control Unit (RACU), fitted to the M27 and M4 rifles, and the Infantry Assault Weapons used by US Marines.

The universal controller allows the soldier to take control of all electronic devices from one location, without taking their eyes away from the target or hands from the weapon.                                                                 

“This contract reflects the innovative technologies emerging from Australian defence industry being imbedded into partner countries,” Mr Pyne said.

“Australian capability is cutting-edge and globally competitive. We are seeing increased attention on what Australia has to offer.”

The Minister said the US FCT program only invited tenders from overseas companies who were at the forefront of innovative technologies in their respective fields.



Bulla’s products are all CoOL​

​BULLA Dairy Foods (Bulla) plans to adopt Australia’s new Country of Origin Labelling (CoOL) changes early, including voluntarily adopting them on ice cream products.

Bulla CEO, Allan Hood said he wanted to increase labelling reform for greater transparency for all consumers. 

“As one of Australia's largest family owned dairy companies, we are proud to be leading the way to the new CoOL reforms in our category, transitioning our ‘chilled products’ to the new labelling one year ahead of the mandatory timeline,” Mr Hood said.

“In support of transparency across the dairy and wider packaged food industry, we have also voluntarily implemented these changes for our ice cream, with our flagship product, Creamy Classics Vanilla the first to transition in September 2017.

“As an iconic Australian brand, we’re committed to ensuring there is greater transparency for our consumers about where the products they choose to buy come from and will continue to deliver the best quality dairy products using real fresh milk and cream.”

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, Barnaby Joyce, recently visited the Bulla factory with Member for Corangamite, Sarah Henderson, to welcome the move. He said the CoOL system would give consumers “the extra level of information they are seeking” around where their food was grown, made or packed, and how much was sourced from Australian farmers.

“The Coalition Government welcomes Bulla's commitment to deliver the Government’s new CoOL reforms one year ahead of time on all their chilled dairy products, including ice cream, which is not mandatory under the changes," Mr Joyce said.

“It is clear that Bulla is proud to be an Australian company and wants to use the labels to show consumers where their food comes from, and that the milk they use is proudly all Australian, supporting Australian dairy farmers,” Mr Joyce said.

“It is encouraging to see Bulla is also making a concerted effort to source more ingredients from Australian farmers, where possible, as it embraces the CoOL changes and the information it displays.”