A NSW Government website

Sovereign Defence and Aerospace: Made in NSW

There has never been a better time to establish and grow your defence and aerospace business in NSW. 

The NSW Government has established the defence and aerospace industry as a priority sector and is committed to growing jobs, supporting investment, and delivering innovation across the state.  

Key facts

Defence expenditure in NSW exceeds $12.5 billion annually

NSW is home to over 80 defence facilities, including 21 defence bases and training areas

NSW accounts for 29% of Australia’s $2 billion aircraft manufacturing and repair services exports

Space industries and agencies in NSW generate up to 75% of Australia's space-related revenue generation

NSW is Australia's leader for space innovation and entrepreneurship, with 38% of all Australian space startups based in the state

41% of Australia's space businesses are based in NSW


NSW has the strongest defence presence and the most sophisticated defence and aerospace related industrial base and research institutions of any state in Australia.

The NSW defence and aerospace sector is underpinned by a strong industrial base, end-to-end supply chain capability and capacity

Supplementing the supply chain is the depth of capability in adjacent sectors such as advanced manufacturing and cybersecurity. This ensures that sector requirements can be fulfilled without relying solely on Defence contracts and programs, with the added benefit of developing dual-use technologies

Case studies

Watch the first video in the Making it in NSW series featuring GME, a leading radio communications manufacturer expanding into the defence sector.

In this series, the Modern Manufacturing Commissioner Lisa Emerson opens a window into NSW’s modern manufacturing sector.

Read the transcript of the 'GME' video

[Making it in NSW with Lisa Emerson GME video script:]

Lisa Emerson, Modern Manufacturing Commissioner, Investment NSW GME makes CB radios and emergency beacons, they’re a unique local manufacturer, I'm really excited to be here today to have a look at all their innovations. Hi, Stephen, Lisa.

Stephen Millar, Chief Executive Officer, GME Hi Lisa, pleasure to meet you. Welcome to GME.

Lisa Emerson, Modern Manufacturing Commissioner, Investment NSW Thank you.

Stephen Millar, Chief Executive Officer, GME We looked at our business and said, what do we do that can make it better for our operators and help us be more productive? And we essentially took processes that were discrete operator stations and put them into a continuous assembly line.

Lisa Emerson, Modern Manufacturing Commissioner, Investment NSW And this is a little conveyor belt.

Stephen Millar, Chief Executive Officer, GME Correct. So it’s like a big sushi train. A big part of what we're wanting to do here was about, you know, operator comfort, avoiding RSI, injuries and those sorts of things. From our perspective, that's where the productivity improvement is.

Lisa Emerson, Modern Manufacturing Commissioner, Investment NSW And then at the end we have a very special operator I can see here.

Stephen Millar, Chief Executive Officer, GME At the end we have Archie. So Archie's the robot. Archie's the mechanical part of the process, but what's really happening here is an automated testing system, which is what these jigs are.

Lisa Emerson, Modern Manufacturing Commissioner, Investment NSW What happened to the employee that used to be doing this job?

Stephen Millar, Chief Executive Officer, GME So the employees that used to be in this job are doing these jobs at the same time as we've been introducing this. Our total headcount has gone up. So they're employing more people.

Greg Adams, Process Worker/tester, GME With the new machines that we have now. We can basically punch out triple, triple the quantity, the output.

Stephen Millar, Chief Executive Officer, GME That’s an EPIRB from 1984.

Lisa Emerson, Modern Manufacturing Commissioner, Investment NSW And then from that, essentially, I know this is a personal one, to that.

Stephen Millar, Chief Executive Officer, GME It has the same capability. In fact, it has more because this is a GPS unit as well. But 100% Australian owned and has been for the entire 63 years.

Lisa Emerson, Modern Manufacturing Commissioner, Investment NSW And why NSW?

Stephen Millar, Chief Executive Officer, GME Well, that's a great question. We wouldn't want to move. You know, we've got a great labour force. The environment is very supportive to us. We've had a good association with Investment NSW as we've deliberately branched out into the defence community. So we've been with them on a number of the defence exhibitions and shows that have been around the last few years.

Lisa Emerson, Modern Manufacturing Commissioner, Investment NSW How important is modern manufacturing to GME?

Stephen Millar, Chief Executive Officer, GME Yes, look, it's been really important for us. It's enabled us to take our core asset which is people and make them more efficient, you know, make their jobs safer, make them more comfortable. So, you know, it's sort of a win win for us.


The NSW Government is investing over $40 million to support our defence and aerospace network, through a range of targeted industry programs and financial incentives alongside the establishment of future-oriented innovation, technology, and advanced manufacturing precincts. 

Funded Programs

National Space Industry Hub

Physical space, resources, mentoring, and connection for the emerging space venture and researchers in Australia.

NSW Node of the SmartSat CRC

Supporting industry and research collaboration to solve valuable industry problems via the commercialisation of space related technologies.

Space Qualification Mission

Launching Australis’s 1st rides-share satellite.

Space Research Network

Enhancing space industry capability through collaboration between the NSW Government and universities

Defence Innovation Network

Bringing together industry, universities, State Government and Defence to address Australia’s defence needs

Australian Satellite Manufacturing Hub

Australia’s first Satellite Manufacturing Hub for larger Earth Observation satellites

Regional Defence Networks

Key services to grow local defence supply chains

Funded Events

NSW supports and create co-exhibitor opportunities for the NSW Defence and Aerospace businesses to attend conferences.


NSW sponsors programs to achieve strategic outcomes for NSW and Australia.

Working with you

We are committed to driving investment, building talent pipelines and supporting the creation of highly skilled and sustainable jobs. 

Investment NSW:

  • supports access for NSW companies to procurement and supply chain opportunities both locally and internationally
  • is responsible for industry attraction and expansion in NSW
  • promotes the state’s industry and research capabilities.

Get personalised help

Investment NSW provides businesses with free:

  • advice on NSW Government programs and approval processes 
  • connections with government and local business contacts 
  • identification of investment locations and potential partners 
  • facilitation of familiarisation visits.  

Contact Investment NSW for free, personalised support to grow your defence company's footprint in NSW.