Chief of Navy Speeches: Address to the Maritime Environment Working Group - Priorities and Expectations

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24 July 2018

Address to the Maritime Environment Working Group
Chief of Navy’s Priorities and Expectations
ADFA, Adams Auditorium


Ladies and Gentlemen, Distinguished Guests, Good Morning

Having assumed command almost two and a half weeks ago, I welcome the opportunity to be here today because Maritime Industry, and particularly the relationship between Defence and the Maritime Industry, is one of the most critical drivers for the future success of the National Naval Enterprise, and our Navy.

This is a very important time for our Navy and our Industry partners. With the majority of capability decisions now made, we must shift our focus to successful delivery and sustainment of our current and future force - the eyes of Government and the Australian Taxpayers will clearly be set on watching how we do this.

While we will be working together to deliver a fundamental national objective of security above, on and under the sea, we have an obligation to the Australian people to deliver cost effective outcomes.

So, for all of us to be successful, Navy needs Partners in the Maritime Industry - and I stress the word “Partners” - that will not only deliver against Navy’s levels of required readiness and capability, but will also bring innovation and expertise that will translate cost effectiveness into enhanced readiness and the next generation capabilities that the men and women of our Navy will sailing upon and flying in and using our Maritime domain.

I recognise that Partnership is a two way street. To best support Navy, we need to help you, the men and women of industry, to understand where we are going and what we are thinking in relation to future operating environments and the technology growth paths that will enable us to fight in those future environments.

And that is not a ‘set and forget’ activity. It requires active management and communication to keep all stakeholders aligned and to create the type of relationship that will be required to transform our Navy from a customer of industrial output to a partner in high-tech manufacturing. That means maintaining an open and ongoing dialogue between Industry and Navy - and continual alignment and collaborative engagement.

If we can do it - and we must - then I am confident that, together, we will not only deliver platforms, but we will deliver a mechanism to ensure that our Navy platforms are built and sustained in a way that will ensure their ongoing preparedness. It will deliver an agile, resilient and lethal fighting force, ready and able to execute complex operations in a dynamic region when called upon by our Government to do so.

So over the next four years, we - Defence and Maritime Industry, working in a collaborative partnership - must shift our focus to successful delivery and sustainment of our current and future force.

In parallel, we must continue to deliver on our contract with Government and with the Australian people during a period of increasing uncertainty and unpredictability, both globally and regionally.

During my tenure as Chief of Navy, I am committed to ensuring that Navy will work closely with Government and the men and women of Australian Maritime Industry to mature the design, production and delivery of our future systems.

We will work to develop agility in our risk based decision making framework to support the numerous and wide range of decisions that will inevitably be required as continuous Navy shipbuilding enterprise develops and matures.

From the Maritime Industry, I would ask that you not only work with us, but that you work together, proactively, as a professional team to achieve these very outcomes. Look for better ways to do business and build innovation, evolution and continuous improvement into everything you do and everything that you deliver.

We must not settle for the status quo. We need new and innovative ways to fight and to defend ourselves in all domains, and we absolutely need new and innovative operating models that contribute to a downward pressure on resourcing.

In short, we must strive to be better, every day, in everything we do. We must be worthy of the trust and responsibility that the Government and the people of Australian have bestowed upon us.

Thank you for being here today and thank you for supporting me, and my team. I welcome any questions, and I look forward to working with you all over the next four years.