©2018 by polity.

  • Alex Wok

Defense Export Support Scheme


  • The Turnbull government has recently announced a new $3.8 billion loan scheme to offer financial support for Australian companies involved in exporting defence/military equipment to overseas markets, particularly focusing on those that have been denied funding from private financiers

  • These strategic outcomes include promoting regional stability and a rules-based international order at a time when violent conflict causes “80% of humanitarian needs […] straining international responses”. Encouraging defence exporters to expand to international markets may undermine these strategic outcomes.

  • In financial year 2015-16, Australia’s defence exports industry was worth $4.2 billion. EFIC, the government body that provides finance to exporters has a history of helping defence exporters secure funding. Shipbuilding company Austal has received $1.234 billion for export contracts since 1994.


What should the government’s role

be in assisting defence manufacturers

to export to foreign markets?


  1. Reuters, ‘Australia to spend $3.1 billion to increase stake in global arms exports'

  2. Australian Government, ‘Foreign Policy White Paper 2017’, a) pg. 53, b) pg. 1-27

  3. The Guardian, ‘Australian government underwriting arms exports is 'baffling', expert says

  4. The Australian, ‘Coalition’s $3.8n bid to drive defence exports'

  5. Department of Defence, ‘Export Control Policy'

  6. Australian Customs Service & Department of Defence, ‘Export controls for defence and strategic goods

  7. Department of Defence, ‘Defence Export Strategy’ p.61

  8. ABC, ‘Federal Government accused of contributing to global arms race with defence exports push'

  9. The Lowy Institute, ‘Defence export strategy revives old ethical dilemmas'

  10. Australian Policy Handbook, Althaus, C, Bridgman, P & Davis, G, Allen & Unwin, Sydney, pp.56

  11. Brisbane Times, ‘Obscure agency handed $3.b boost to fund Australian arms exports'