Additional comments from Coalition Senators

Additional comments from Coalition Senators

1.1Coalition senators note the deep concern from the Australian Defence industry small and medium enterprise (SME) sector at what they regard as an increased administrative burden, increased criminal penalties for non-compliance—despite best efforts at compliance—and the potential to limit exports to countries outside of the AUKUS partnership, particularly where technology draws on an intellectual property base that has been developed around civil applications, and then extended to a military product or service.

1.2Defence assurances that there would be suitable exemptions as part of regulations supporting this legislation only provide partial comfort, given that witnesses to the enquiry have not seen even draft copies of proposed regulations which are due to be released in April this year.

1.3Coalition senators welcome the adoption of a recommendation in the committee report to explicitly mandate that the working groups established by Defence will be for the purposes of co-design as well as transition and implementation.

1.4Coalition senators also welcome the adoption of the recommendation to expand the membership of the working group to include additional Australian owned SMEs to ensure that the regulations are designed to respond to the range of considerations that impact Australian companies. This includes the impact of any unnecessary compliance burden, and the ability for Australian SMEs to compete for Australian defence contracts as well as those in the United States and United Kingdom whilst retaining or developing markets in other like-minded nations.

1.5Coalition senators also welcome the adoption of a recommendation that this legislation will be subject to a review within three years.

Senator Claire ChandlerSenator the Hon David Fawcett

Deputy ChairMember

Liberal Senator for Tasmania