We speak with Christopher Pyne, Chairman of Pyne & Partners, who served as the 54th Australian Defence Minister, and was responsible for delivering the $200 billion build-up of Australia’s military capability, the largest in Australia’s peacetime history.
We discuss the opportunities and strengths of the Australian space sector and why Australia, the United States and the United Kingdom should work together, through AUKUS, to bolster their space capabilities using economies of scale and technology sharing.
Serving previously as Minister for Defence Industry, Christopher assisted in developing the 2016 Defence White Paper and implementing the Integrated Investment Program.
Christopher also worked to ensure the growth and sustainment of Australia’s Defence Industry, and thus implemented Australia’s Defence Export Strategy, Defence Industrial Capability Plan, and the Naval Shipbuilding Plan. He also created the Defence Cooperative Research Centre, the Centre for Defence Industry Capability (since renamed the Office of Defence Industry Support), the Defence Innovation Hub, and the Next Generation Technology Fund.
He helped create the Pacific Step Up to strengthen Australia’s strategic role in the South Pacific and the Australia France Initiative to take advantage of the close relationship with France through the Attack Class Submarine Project. He settled Defence Memoranda of Understanding with Israel, China, and Switzerland, and initiated Memoranda of Understanding with the United Arab Emirates and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
Christopher was also one of the driving forces behind the establishment of the Australian Space Agency.