ASIO has just released a new awareness campaign called Think Before You Link (TBYL) 

 

The aim of the campaign is to raise awareness of this threat, as well as to provide advice on how to reduce risk and respond to suspicious approaches.

The campaign is primarily directed at Australians who have access to sensitive information, particularly those working in government, defence industry or academia.

But the campaign has a broader public safety message to alert all Australians to the threat.  It provides practical tips on how Australians can protect themselves and report suspicious online approaches.

 

The ASIO website (asio.gov.au) hosts a Think Before You Link page with the following resources:

  • the Director-General’s introductory video clip;
  • an animation;
  • four printable booklets/flyers—Guide for organisations (booklet), Online networking guide (booklet), Case study (booklet), Online networking guide (flyer);
  • two printable briefing packs—Senior managers and security manager/adviser briefing pack, Staff briefing pack;
  • eight posters; and
  • a wallet card.

Please visit our website (here) to explore these resources, which have been developed for both individuals and organisations to use, and feel free to share our message with colleagues, friends and family.”

Friday, 13 November 2020 02:51

New Payment Times Reporting Scheme

The government is introducing the Payment Times Reporting Scheme (PTRS) to improve payment outcomes for small businesses commencing 1 January 2021. The PTRS will create transparency around the payment practices of large business entities.

The scheme requires large businesses (>$100 million turnover) to report twice per year on their payment terms and practices for their small business suppliers.

 

The PTRS affects:

  • large businesses and large government enterprises with a total annual income of over $100 million

  • controlling corporations where the combined total annual income for all members is more than $100 million

  • businesses with a total annual income of at least $10 million that are part of a group headed by a controlling corporation with a collective income greater than $100 million.

    If your business falls into one of these categories, you will be required to report on the payment terms and practices for your small business suppliers.

 

There is more information here

 

Reporting and identifying your small business suppliers

You will need to submit a Payment Times Report with the payment information for your business. Reports will be submitted twice a year in line with your financial year reporting.

We’re developing an online reporting system to assist you to meet the PTRS reporting requirements.

This will include a Small Business Identification Tool. This tool will enable you to identify the small business suppliers you will need to report on. In identifying small business suppliers, the PTRS will draw on a taxation legislation definition of small business as those entities with an annual turnover of less than $10 million.

The Regulator

The Australian Government is establishing the Payment Times Reporting Regulator. The Regulator will administer the PTRS and publish the submitted reports on an online public register.

The Regulator will focus on raising awareness and assisting businesses to transition into the PTRS during the first year. Following a transition period, the Regulator will exercise monitoring and investigation powers and will be able to enforce compliance with the reporting requirements.

The Regulator must register payment times reports on a publicly available register- the Payment Times Reports Register. If the Regulator is satisfied that a reporting entity has failed to comply with the Act, the Regulator may publish the identity of the entity, or details of the entity’s non- compliance, on the register. Significant civil penalties apply to reporting entities that fail to report or give the Regulator a false or misleading report. The civil penalty regime does not apply in the first 12 months of the Scheme to allow entities time to adjust to the requirements of the PTRS.

 

Key dates

Key implementation dates of the PTRS and the first reporting timeframe:

  • November 2020
  • December 2020
  • 1 January 2021
  • 1 July - 31 September 2021

 

Preparing to report

Businesses create a profile for the reporting system Small Business Identification Tool released
PTRS reporting period begins
Businesses submit first reports

To prepare to report under the PTRS, please complete the attached online form.

This will create your entity profile for the reporting system. Once we have your profile details in the reporting system, we will update you on the status of the system, streamline the process for logging in for the first time and remind you when you need to act.

Please complete this form by 30 November 2020.

All information collected via this form will be used solely for the government’s administration of PTRS and will not be disclosed to any third party, in accordance with the department’s Privacy Policy. We have data protection measures in place to protect all information provided to us under the PTRS. www.industry.gov.au 

 

Contact us

Further information on the PTRS is available here

You can contact us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or business.gov.au on 13 28 46 (select option 1 government grants, programs and services).

While the onus is on businesses to comply with the legislative requirements of the PTRS we are able to support you in your compliance. If you believe your business is not required to report under the PTRS and has been identified in error, then we encourage you to provide us with evidence in support of this so that we can update our records.

If the evidence is clear that you are outside the scheme then we will update our system records accordingly. This would mean you would not be contacted further in relation to obligations under the PTRS unless our view changes. This will not affect your obligation to report if your status changes. Given the civil penalty regime that accompanies the PTRS and the onus on business to comply we would also encourage you to obtain independent professional advice.

We look forward to working with you to assist you to meet the reporting requirements under PTRS. We also look forward to working together to improve payment times for small businesses and to support them to thrive. This is particularly important in these challenging times.

Yours sincerely

Peter Cully

Head of Division

Small and Family Business

 

This publication is designed to provide accurate and authoritative information in relation to the subject matter covered. It is provided with the understanding that the publisher is not engaged in rendering any form of professional or other advice or services. No person should rely on the contents of this publication without first obtaining advice from a qualified professional.

The Australian Government is firmly committed to keeping Australians safe while protecting our country’s interests in a changing global environment. Being a credible and effective military power in the midst of the most consequential strategic realignment since World War II is a complex task in our nation’s strategic circumstances. Around 300 submarines will be operating in the Indo-Pacific by 2030, so Australia must continue to have credible defence capabilities that can contribute to regional and global security. Integrating multiple capabilities, such as submarines, frigates, helicopters and intelligence systems, into an undersea war-fighting system will give the ADF the necessary depth and resilience to prosecute antisubmarine operations. Our current fleet of Collins-class submarines and their crews are serving our nation with distinction.

Submarines are a vital element of our defence strategy and are essential in protecting those interests. Their substantial firepower, stealth, endurance and sustained presence give Australia a unique advantage: to strike without warning and inflict significant damage to adversaries. The Collins class is the world’s most capable conventionally powered submarine, achieving significant operational results of which Australians can be proud.

To further advance regional security and the prosperity that we have today, a larger, stronger and more formidable undersea force is needed in the future. To be able to operate far forward with a sustained presence in the Indo-Pacific and to deliver assured access and sea control, we must invest in a more substantial denial capability. The government’s decision to build 12 regionally superior Attack-class submarines in Australia is ambitious but necessary.

 

Senator the Hon Linda Reynolds CSC Minister for Defence

I commend Peter Jennings and Marcus Hellyer for assembling the team of authors who produced this ASPI Special Report, "Submarines: Your questions answered"

This is a plain-English guide to the complexities of Australia’s submarine program. While the government doesn’t endorse all of the contributions aired in this study, it’s important that critical nation-building programs such as our submarine program are subjected to robust and broad analysis. ASPI provides many different perspectives on the submarine program in this report. I trust that the report will generate further public interest in and awareness of this vital capability. 

 

Full report is available for download below

 

The Commonwealth Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources (DISER) COVID Response Taskforce has developed a PPE Buyers Guide to assist organisations when purchasing PPE for COVID-19.

The guide has been designed to address the uncertainty which has been seen from consumers when buying PPE and build their confidence to purchase PPE from local suppliers. Your assistance with passing on this guide to your networks would be greatly appreciated.

The four-page guide covers key information consumers need to know when purchasing PPE, including;

  • Information on how PPE is regulated
  • Information on common types of PPE and how they are used
  • Tips to avoid fraud
  • Information on consumer rights
  • Information on WHS duties

 

View the DISER website here

 

A copy of the guide is available for download below

Tuesday, 10 November 2020 03:00

Hanwha setting up in Geelong

 

 

THE big Defence programs for which Geelong is in the running will generate additional sustainment activities worth tens of billions of dollars.

Already in prime position to be the base for a $1bn self-propelled howitzer program, which may be extended by a couple of billion dollars before the end of the decade, Geelong is also a 50:50 chance to become home to an infantry fighting vehicle program that has soared in estimated cost to $18bn-$27bn. On top of that, the company pursuing the programs, Hanwha Defense Australia, is planning to make its future Geelong facility an alternative sustainment and supply chain base for it global family of K9 howitzers.

Victorian Defence Industry Advocate John O’Callaghan said if Hanwha was successful in being awarded the programs, the supply chain opportunities would likely see existing Defence industry suppliers grow into significantly larger players. Mr O’Callaghan said that as a general guide, sustainment of a Defence program was about 2-3 times the value of the initial acquisition. “You are talking about two or three decades of activity by those platforms, which requires substantial maintenance and including ongoing upgrades,” he said.

Hanwha is assessing sites in and around Geelong, including the former Ford factory, to house the Land 8116 Protected Mobile Fires program for which it has been announced as the preferred tenderer for its K9 howitzer variant, called the AS9 Huntsman.

 

Read more in the full article from the Geelong Advertiser attached below.

 

Simon Stuart, MAJGEN Head Land Capability, has written to formally advise of Army's decision to postpone the conduct of a Land Environment Working Group (LEWG) until second quarter, 2021.

This decision has been informed by ongoing COVID-19 restrictions which limit physical attendance, and feedback received from some elements of Industry on the relative value of virtual engagements. In the interim, I am pleased to inform you that the Chief of Army has released Edition Two of Army's Contribution to Defence Strategy (ACDS), available online at www.army.gov.au

ACDS Edition Two aims to create a shared understanding of how Army contributes to the Australian Defence Force and to Australia's national security. ACDS is informed by the Defence Strategic Update and Force Structure Plan 2020 and will help guide Army concepts, workforce and training to generate greater capacity and capability.

Please see attached letter from MAJGEN Simon Stuart, Head Land Capability, on the scheduling of the next Land Environment Working Group, and release of Army’s Contribution to Defence Strategy Edition 2.

 

The important work of our Defence Force can only succeed with the help of the thousands of Australian workers and Australian businesses in our defence industry.

The primary job of the Australian Government is to keep Australians safe and the Morrison Government is committed to doing exactly that.

It is why the Government is investing $270 billion in Australia’s defence capability over the next decade and building a stronger defence industry.

 

The Minister for Defence Industry has released the attached document which contains grant, contract, support and funding information, along with details on measures included in the 20/21 federal budget which is of benefit to members.

Wednesday, 07 October 2020 22:12

Navy RAS + AI Strategy 2040 - Released

One of the many new strategies released this year by Defence, and a leap towards the future of Artificial Intelligence and Robotics leading the way.

 

The Visions

A 5th Generation Navy enabling the Joint Force to fight and win at, and from, the sea

 

The purpose of any RAS Strategy is to set the path to realising a RAS enabled future capability that can rapidly deploy, concentrate at a point of effort and disperse to survive – through a robust and resilient network, leveraging superior decision-making to win in future conflict that can utilise game changing technology.

 

Please find the downloadable document below.

 

From the moment it was established, the Defence Industry portfolio had a crystal clear focus.

It was to deliver world-class capability for our Defence Force, export our Aussie ingenuity abroad, broaden the horizons of Australia’s small and medium businesses – and create thousands of Australian jobs in the process.

In June 2019 I was honoured to be asked to take the reins to ensure our Defence programs were delivering for the Australian defence industry.

It has been an extremely rewarding experience and has made me very proud knowing my primary responsibility is to not only deliver for Australian industry, but to ensure the men and women of the Australian Defence Force have what they need to keep Australians safe.

Soon after taking on the role, I embarked on what I called my “100-Day Review”.

This was about identifying the areas in the Defence Industry portfolio that our Government needed to address to deliver on our long-term plan to create a truly sovereign defence industry.

Most in industry would know that my unwavering focus has been to deliver greater support for small business, both in Defence and in industry.

We must also recognise, though, that we need international prime contractors in our defence industry and must develop partnerships with them to deliver major Defence programs.

This is so the men and women of the Australian Defence Force, who are entrusted to protect Australia and Australians, have the best capability on offer. This cannot be compromised.

We also need to strike the right balance to ensure these large companies comply with the rules set by our Government and deliver on contractual obligations to help us deliver a stronger defence industry.

This means transferring intellectual property from overseas to Australia, investing in the Australian economy, creating new Australian jobs, opening long-term opportunities for Australia’s small and medium businesses and developing new Aussie-know-how and know-why for our workforce.

Over the decade ahead and through the Morrison Government’s ambitious $270 billion investment in Defence capability, we will achieve a truly sovereign defence industry.

This has all culminated in a new ‘five pillars’ approach to supporting defence industry:

  1. A new and enhanced Australian Industry Capability (AIC) contractual framework
  2. An independent AIC Plan Audit Program
  3. Commonwealth Procurement Rules (CPR) guidelines update
  4. Centre for Defence Industry Capability (CDIC) Review and its implementation
  5. Australian Standard for Defence Contracting (ASDEFCON) Review

These five pillars encapsulate my vision and approach to changing the way we support and do business with defence industry.

The first pillar, the creation of the new and enhanced AIC contractual framework, involves strengthening core AIC commitments and significantly expanding AIC provisions in contracts.

The second pillar, the establishment of the Independent AIC Plan Audit Program, is to provide guaranteed protections for the Australian taxpayer and our small and medium businesses in defence industry.

The audit program is a targeted program and the tool we will use to ensure major Defence companies are meeting their AIC obligations.

The third pillar was the significant update to the CPR guidelines aimed at better supporting Australian businesses.

For procurements above $4 million, the guidelines now define AIC and sovereign capability as an economic benefit to be assessed as part of the value for money consideration in the CPRs.

Defence has started to roll out more effective guidance to its tender evaluators with respect to AIC.

It will amend its procurement templates to strengthen the application of our Government’s AIC policy and will develop AIC-specific training for Defence tender evaluators.

The fourth pillar, the review of the CDIC, will now turn to ensuring we implement its recommendations to provide more tailored and enhanced support to Australian businesses.

Given the challenges thrown up by the COVID-19 pandemic, it is more important than ever that we continue to develop new ways to support the Australian defence industry.

After almost four years in operation, the CDIC has shown its value in helping more small and medium sized businesses access opportunities in the defence sector.

Implementing the review’s recommendations will ensure that the CDIC continues to connect Defence and small business in a simpler, more cost-effective and more outcomes-oriented way.

The fifth and final pillar is the overhaul and review into ASDEFCON.

I will oversee this review, which will aim to simplify and streamline contracting and subcontracting templates and remove unnecessary complexities that put unnecessary pressures on Australian businesses.

The Terms of Reference to remove the barriers within ASDEFCON, and the consultation process, will be finalised and released in November.

These five pillars are the culmination of a substantial change to how we do business with industry.

We are placing small business front and centre of Defence decision-making.

We are going to provide enhanced and more tailored support to Australian businesses.

And we will cut red-tape, processing times and costs to businesses who contract with Defence.

I am here to support Australian businesses, deliver a sovereign defence industry and ensure the men and women of the ADF have what they need to keep Australians safe.

Our Government will continue to deliver on this commitment.

 

Strengthening how Defence does business with Australian industry

  
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