US Trade Mission eyes Tassie's Defence
Thursday, 5 December 2019

Article by Blair Richards

extracted from The Mercury: US Trade Mission eyes Tassie's Defence

A US trade delegation is on a mission in Hobart to discover more about Tasmania’s defence industry capabilities.

In what’s believed to be the first US trade delegation to Tasmania, US Consul General Michael Kleine and the American Chamber of Commerce have brought a group of companies operating in the defence space to Hobart.

“As far as we can tell this is the first ever US trade mission to Tasmania and it’s focused on the defence sector because we think there’s a lot of potential here to link up more strongly,” Mr Kleine said.

“There are things going on but there could be so much more. And with the economy down here the fastest growing in Australia, there’s no reason the supply chain for the defence sector couldn’t be higher.”

“We were invited by the Premier and we jumped at the invitation because there is so much possibility in this area.”

Mr Kleine said the partnership between the Australian Maritime College and the US Office of Naval Research was an example of Tasmania’s sought-after expertise.

“Tasmanian maritime expertise is a natural thing to explore … a lot of these companies (on trade trip) have been in Australia for a long time, up to 100 years, we want to make sure they fully recognise and take advantage of the potential that you have here in Tasmania” he said.

The delegation will attend a forum in Hobart today, with businesses from a range of industries, before the visiting companies are introduced to small to medium Tasmanian businesses in the defence area.

The delegation includes aerospace and defence technology company Northrop Grumman, 3M Australia, Broadspectrum, GE Australia and New Zealand, Pacific Aerospace Consulting, Sikorsky Aircraft Australia Ltd, Leidos Australia and the University of Technology Sydney.

In October, NASA announced it would use Hobart as the base for an Australian-first mission to map Antarctica’s east coast. NASA recently completed the project, which involved about 30 people and six weeks of daily flights.

The US Government also supports Dark Mofo and Mona Foma by sponsoring participating US artists as part of its cultural program.