Another Peever review for Defence

By Tom Ravlic

Monday September 13, 2021

Peever will take a deep dive into whether Australia’s defence forces are getting the best bang for our buck in innovation, science, and technology.
Peever will take a deep dive into whether Australia’s defence forces are getting the best bang for our buck in innovation, science, and technology. (AAP Image/Lukas Coch)

The former managing director of Rio Tinto, David Peever, has been appointed for a second time to conduct a review related to the Australian Defence Force.

Peever was contracted by the federal government in 2015 to do a review of the Defence First Principles, and now he has been tasked almost six years after that deep dive to have a look at whether Australia’s defence force is getting the best bang for the buck in innovation, science, and technology.

Melissa Price, the minister for defence industry, said that the review with Peever at the helm will look at how the defence department can get more locally based solutions for the defence forces.

Price said a key objective of the Peever review will be to ensure that the defence organisation was commercially driven and “outcomes focused in order to give the ADF access to world leading technologies and capabilities”.

Three explicit objectives for the review were set out in Price’s announcement of the review.

Strengthening links between the university sector and industry to solve defence challenges, streamlining contractual processes to speed up acquisitions and developments, and examining how Defence-funded research can be used to give Defence a more unique capability edge are areas Peever has been tasked to consider.

“We must ensure that we are taking full advantage of Australian innovations to maintain Defence’s capability edge while ensuring innovative businesses are given every chance of commercial success,”  Price said.

“We need a Defence organisation that can capitalise on the knowledge and skills of Australian industry and academia to develop mission-focused technology that can solve Defence’s unique capability challenges.

“Now, more than ever, we are looking to drive fit-for-purpose innovation where Australian industry and academia are partners in this critical mission.

“The innovation is being jointly developed with taxpayers’ funds and Australians need to know we are investing their money wisely.”


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