Rear Admiral Steve Gilmore will lead the fight for increased defence manufacturing opportunities in the state, following his appointment to a new Defence Advocate role.
Rear Admiral Gilmore has more than 40 years of experience as a naval officer and is the former Commander of the Australian Fleet.
He is set to use his experience, contacts, and background to advance the state’s contributions to Australia’s billion-dollar defence spend.
Tasmania has been overlooked for large, federal defence manufacturing contracts and tenders in the past, including for multi-million-dollar ship-building bids in recent years.
But Rear Admiral Gilmore will work to further attract defence opportunities to the state, including to better match Tasmania’s industry with defence needs and to share advice and information with potential contractors.
He said that already, he had been impressed by the world-leading capability that already existed in the state.
“There’s always opportunities to do more and part of the role that I have is to look for those opportunities to help industry focus and to be further successful,” Rear Admiral Gilmore said.
“It’s all about applying the experience, the things that I’ve learned and the people that I’ve worked with along the way.
“I’ll be mentoring and assisting those here who are already doing a great job.”
State Growth Minister Matthew Groom said he was hopeful the new role would lead to future successes in Tasmania’s bid to contribute to Australia’s defence needs.
“While it’s true to say we’ve been unsuccessful in past attempts, we’ve also had ongoing successes here in Tasmania and we need to celebrate them,” Mr Groom said.
“We do recognise that it’s highly competitive and what we need is an advocate.
“This role will be invaluable in assisting government and industry stakeholders in navigating the defence processes and practices in order to be at the forefront of future contributions and participation.”