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Government of South Australia - Department of Industry, Innovation and Science

    Defence and Space

    A competitive advantage sector for manufacturing in South Australia

    The development of defence and space technologies is major driver of Australian innovation and employment, with South Australia in particular set to benefit from the global focus on these growth sectors.

    Within South Australia’s space ecosystem are over 100 space-related organisations, headquarters of the Australian Space Agency, collaborative space technologies research body SmartSat CRC, and a $20 million State Government commitment to build a common-user manufacturing facility for the space industry at innovation district, Lot Fourteen.

    The defence industry contributed almost $1.2 billion to the state’s economy in 2020-21 and experienced an 11 percent growth in the same time period – the highest growth of any mainland state. Seven of the world’s top 10 defence companies have a presence in South Australia, and there are almost 15,000 South Australians working in the defence sector.

    The opportunity in South Australia

    It is anticipated more than 10,000 jobs across all domains will be added to the defence industry pipeline, plus thousands more in adjacent industries, over the next two decades.

    Significant investment by the South Australian and Australian governments, industry and education providers to prepare the state’s workforce to deliver on major defence projects – like the construction of SSN-AUKUS conventionally-armed, nuclear-powered submarine fleet – is set to benefit the state’s broader manufacturing capabilities.

    This future workforce will be equipped with the necessary skills through education at new technical colleges, higher education defence scholarships, subsidised apprenticeships, traineeships and short courses, and tailored defence industry pathways for school students.