Defence-related exports require the Department of Defence (Defence) to walk a fine line between two contrasting objectives.
The first is to prevent trade and collaboration that unwittingly advances the military capabilities of potential adversaries. The Defence Trade Controls Act of 2012 (‘the Act), and its implementation by the Defence Export Controls Office, is the primarily means of pursuing this objective.
The second is to achieve greater export success to build a stronger, more sustainable and more globally competitive Australian defence industry to support Australia’s defence capability needs. The Defence Export Strategy released in January 2018 is the primary means of pursuing this.
Defence may be able to better facilitate defence trade in the operation of the Act while not compromising on its trade control obligations.