Image: An Arafura-class offshore patrol vessel (OPV) at the Osborne Naval Shipyards in Adelaide.
- Defence capability assurance and risk management– a case for change – Senator David Fawcett
- AUKUS is about collaboration, not captivity | The Strategist
- Defence exports in Australia’s national and economic interests | The Strategist
- Australia’s long-term benefits from submarine development | The Australian
- Some things should be above politics | The Strategist
- David Fawcett: Land 400 project will create opportunities for Australian defence industry companies | The Advertiser
- Australia’s long-term benefits from submarine development | The Australian
- Industry as a FIC | Australian Defence Magazine
- Principles and Practice in Defence Procurement | Australian Defence Magazine
- Redefining the Defence and Industry relationship | Australian Defence Magazine
- Ending the deadly stop-start spending in our defence industries | Australian Financial Review
- Sold the dummy on the Defence budget? | The Strategist
- Minister, mandarins and the military | The Strategist
- Covid-19 shows Australia needs a national sovereignty strategy | The Strategist
- After Covid-19 Volume 3: Voices from Federal Parliament.pdf | Australian Strategic Policy Institute
- Low fuel reserves endanger Australia’s security | The Australian
- David Fawcett: Retention of metadata stopped a grand final win turning into a terrorist atrocity | The Advertiser
- Taipan helicopters: Ukraine expressed ‘great interest’ in aircraft before controversial disposal plan – Nine News
- Australia Rejects Ukraine’s Request For Grounded Helicopters – The Project
- ‘Bone-headed’: Labor’s decision to bury Taipan helicopters slammed – The Bolt Report
- Opposition demands explanation over Taipan scrapping – Australian Aviation
- Australian government was informed of Ukraine’s interest in Taipan during October – Asia-Pacific Defence Reporter
- Senator Fawcett grills bureaucrats and governments on defence procurement – Australian Manufacturing Forum
- Defence Teaming Centre’s Defence Leaders eSeries Podcast
- RAAF Townsville Chinook facility expansion and Australia-Singapore Military Training Initiative Greenvale contract – 7News Townsville
- Your Money with Ticky Fullerton – 25th March
- FlowFM – 15th May – Senator David Fawcett
- Sky News PM Agenda – Defence Export Strategy, Foreign Interference
- The University of Adelaide’s Stretton Institute Interview with Professor Joanne Wallis
- Defence Connect’s INSIGHT Podcast: Implications of the COVID-19 pandemic on foreign affairs, defence and trade
- Defence Connect’s INSIGHT Podcast: COVID-19 implications on national sovereignty
- The Australian Defence Magazine Podcast – Episode 4
- Also, AUKUS is about more than just nuclear subs — it’s about defending the global rules-based order
- Defence policy should be above politics
- Also, What is the Labor Government doing on Defence? Question Time
- The Truth About Labor and the Coalition on Defence — Rhetoric vs Reality — Take Note of Answers
- Also, Bureaucracy, Accountability and Effectiveness — National Security and the Australian Defence Force
Budget Estimates exchanges:
- Also, Defence Industry: Impact of reviews and delays
- Australian Defence Industry Policy Review — Budget Estimates
- Defence Capability Procurement Reform following the Defence Strategic Review — Budget Estimates
- Defence Strategic Review, delays and reduced funding: Impact on Defence capability acquisitions
- Also, Defence contractors and a competent ADF workforce
- Defence didn’t spend their entire allocated budget — Questioning the Department [Budget Estimates] – YouTube
- MQ-4C Triton Unmanned Aircraft System acquisition
- National Security Committee confidentiality under the Albanese Government
Parliamentary and Executive Service:
- Assistant Minister for Defence (45th Parliament)
- Joint Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade (JSCFADT): Chair (2016-2018; 2019-2022); Deputy Chair (2022-present); Member (various times between 2011 and 2022)
- Senate Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade (SSCFADT) (legislative): member (2011-2016; 2016-2018; 2019-present)
- Senate Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade (SSCFADT) (references): member (2011-2016; 2016-2018; 2022-present)
“[Senator Fawcett] is one of the most experienced and knowledge[able] Parliamentarians when it comes to military matters, especially regarding helicopters. He is a former Army test pilot and has flown many rotary-winged aircraft. Senator Fawcett has a reputation for thoroughness and integrity, a consequence of which is that he is held in high regard by all sides of politics. He was also the former Assistant Defence Minister in the Morrison government.”
Kym Bergmann, Asia-Pacific Defence Reporter, 21 January 2024
Defence Capability and Supply Chain Resilience:
- In 2023, I introduced a private senator’s bill—the Defence Capability Assurance and Oversight Bill 2023—to establish an independent statutory body and related oversight bodies to conduct risk assessment to help ensure the speed, cost-effectiveness and reliability of defence acquisitions. That bill passed the Senate in February 2024 and has now moved to the House of Representatives.
- During the COVID pandemic, I led an inquiry into the impact of COVID-19 on Australia’s Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade policies, including industry and supply chain resilience.
- The report identified a need for a systemic approach to identifying and managing risk to ensure that Australia has resilience across key enablers such as our health, transport, food and defence sectors.
- Since the release of the report, I have engaged with a wide range of stakeholders—including international counterparts—to raise awareness and support for changes that would strengthen our national resilience, as detailed by the report.
- I have worked to promote a sovereign, continuous naval shipbuilding capacity in Australia—ensuring that we can both construct and maintain our own military vessels (including major warships and submarines) domestically and sustain a domestic industry with the relevant industry and technical skills.
- In 2018, the Coalition Government announced that the Royal Australian Navy’s future Hunter-class frigates would be built at the Osborne Naval Shipyard in Adelaide—at the time, the biggest investment in peacetime by an Australian Government in defence capability and the most significant modernisation of our navy since the Second World War.
Defence Industry Advocacy:
I have consistently argued that defence industry must be treated as a fundamental input to defence capability.
“Occasionally a Senator provides a powerful demonstration of the value of Senate Estimates hearings to lay bare the inconsistencies and contradictions that prevent governments from achieving their aims. Last week we witnessed just such a seminal performance by South Australian Liberal Senator David Fawcett who calmly and methodically uncovered the gulf between government intentions to build Australian defence industry and the reality of procurement policy which acts against just that.
It is difficult to distill 25 minutes of meticulous argument in a short article. So I would recommend that those interested watch Fawcett’s questioning of Stephen Moore, First Assistant Secretary Defence Industry Policy, Chris Deeble, Deputy Secretary Capability Acquisition and Sustainment Group (CASG) and Secretary of the Department of Finance, Greg Moriarty here.”
Peter Roberts, Australian Manufacturing Forum, 5 June 2023
- Not only do I work closely with departmental and industry stakeholders to facilitate such an approach, as the Deputy Chair of the JSCFADT, I also lead key reports into defence industry and defence exports as a core defence responsibility.
- One such report into defence exports, by the defence subcommittee of the JSCFADT, contributed to the Coalition Government’s ambitious plan to boost Australian defence exports and drive industry, investment and job creation through the Defence Export Strategy.
- I have been privileged to represent Australia in a range of defence and defence industry-related contexts both at home and abroad—for example, the Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) exercises, which were held between June and August 2018 in Hawaii and hosted by the United States Pacific Fleet. You can find out more about the exercises here: ADF successfully completes Exercise RIMPAC 2018 | Defence Ministers.
Bipartisan Defence Agreement:
- In 2017, I tasked the defence sub-committee of the JSCFADT to inquire into the benefits and risks of a bipartisan Australian defence agreement as a basis for planning for, and funding of, Australian defence capability. The issue of bipartisanship on defence policy is one on which I have advocated for some time—proposing a model for Australia to improve the level of assurance to commanders that military equipment with be capable of doing what we expect and need it to do.
- In 2023, the final report from the JSCFADT defence subcommittee’s inquiry into international armed conflict decision-making was released—recommending, among other things, the establishment a Joint Statutory Committee on Defence (similar to the model I had proposed). Later that same year, the Government accepted that recommendation.