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About Us

Shoalhaven Defence Industry Group

The Shoalhaven Defence Industry Group (SDIG) seeks to promote the defence industry capabilities of the Shoalhaven to attract business, investment and jobs. The Group represents an alliance between the local defence industry, Shoalhaven City Council, NSW Department of Premier & Cabinet and the Shoalhaven Business Chamber working together to achieve these outcomes. Our services include assistance with key local introductions, site selection, decision support material, networking opportunities and advice on government regulations, policies and incentives.

Download the Shoalhaven Defence Advantage brochure

Shoalhaven Defence Advantage

The Shoalhaven has many advantages as place to do business, invest and live for defence industries. These include;

  • Australia’s centre for naval aviation
  • Extensive business support services
  • Modern, reliable infrastructure
  • Significant defence industry capabilities
  • Strategic location between Sydney and Canberra
  • Supportive business environment
  • Competitive business costs
  • Skilled, stable workforce
  • Attractive, affordable coastal lifestyle

Learn about how the Shoalhaven Defence Advantage can translate into your business Advantage;

Australia's Centre for Naval Aviation

HMAS Albatross at Nowra is home of the RAN helicopter fleet consisting of three squadrons of the Fleet Air Arm;

Significant capabilities have been developed in the Shoalhaven to service the operational needs of the RAN helicopter fleet. The Navy's Fleet Air Arm (FAA) is also based at HMAS Albatross which coordinates all of the RAN's aviation activities. Albatross also has a number of lodger units located on-base including the Naval Weather and Oceanographic Centre, Training Authority – Aviation, Naval Aviation Systems Program Office, Australian Joint Acoustic Analysis Centre, RAN Tactical Electronic Warfare Support Section, Aircraft Maintenance and Flight Trials Unit and the Army Parachute Training School.

Extensive Business Support Services

Businesses operating in Shoalhaven are supported by a broad array of related business services including leading legal, financial, accounting, human resources, market research, information technology and other professional services. They provide important support services to several major corporations that are already part of the Shoalhaven business landscape such as Manildra.

Modern, Reliable Infrastructure

Albatross Aviation Technology Park (AATP) is situated adjacent to HMAS Albatross, with direct access to the base and its runways. The park is being jointly developed by Shoalhaven City Council and the NSW Government to give technology companies operating in the aviation domain the opportunity to locate near one of Australia’s major military aviation bases. Defence industry primes BAE Systems, Raytheon and Lockheed Martin are already located at the park. A limited supply of quality AATP greenfield sites with runway access are available. The Flinders Industrial Estate in Nowra offers a large selection of serviced land and leasing opportunities for existing facilities.

The Shoalhaven offers business high speed broadband options and cost competitive and reliable electricity, gas and water services. For international and interstate distribution, road and rail networks connect easily to Sydney and the Hume Highway corridor and to Port Kembla and Port Botany for sea freight options.

Significant Industry Capability

The Shoalhaven has a long and proud history of supplying innovative defence technology and services to the Australian and global defence industries. It has developed a strong industry base with extensive capabilities. These capabilities cover a broad spectrum and include; design, manufacture and in-service support of mechanical and electronic systems, test regimes, simulation and training services, technical consultancy services and infrastructure design and construction. Defence companies with a significant presence in the Shoalhaven include BAE Systems, Raytheon Australia, CAE Australia, Lockheed Martin, Boeing and Thales.  The Shoalhaven Defence Industry Directory showcases this diverse range of defence industry capabilities across air, land, sea and joint domains. It is available at: shoalhavendefence.com/capabilities.

Strategic Location

The Shoalhaven is strategically located between Sydney and Canberra on the South Coast of NSW. The regional centre of Nowra is an easy two hour drive from Sydney (160 kms) and 2.5 hours from Canberra (225 kms). Wollongong, with its world-class university, major port and large manufacturing base, is one hour north (80kms). Shoalhaven’s close proximity to Sydney, Canberra and Wollongong means your business has easy access to these important markets. The Shoalhaven offers superb connectivity to both major national and international markets. Sydney International Airport – Australia’s international gateway is less than 2 hours drive away.

Supportive Business Environment

The Shoalhaven region of NSW offers a supportive business environment in which to operate. The region has a rich Defence heritage. The RAN Training College at HMAS Creswell on Jervis Bay and HMAS Albatross both continue to play key roles in Australia’s strategic defence capabilities, and are cornerstones of the regional economy. Just as importantly, Shoalhaven City Council and the wider Shoalhaven community understand the value of defence-related industries and support their continued presence.

The Shoalhaven has strong business networks. These include the Shoalhaven Business Chamber which holds regular networking functions and events including the annual Shoalhaven Business Awards. The Shoalhaven Defence Industry Group holds regular networking events and industry briefings to keep people informed and to help create a more collaborative and supportive business environment.

Competitive Business Costs

The Shoalhaven has highly competitive business costs, with consistently lower land and building prices compared to the capital cities. Importantly, defence-related businesses report that their Shoalhaven operations have relatively low staff turnover rates – providing considerable savings on training, recruitment and re-settlement costs.

Skilled, Stable Workforce

More than 600 Shoalhaven people work in defence-related industries in a variety of fields, including high technology aircraft operational systems, equipment and flight simulator maintenance, engineering and technical support, software and hardware design, garrison support and professional services. The University of Wollongong (UOW) and TAFE NSW have campuses in the Shoalhaven, and provide strong vocational education programs involving local high schools and industry.

Attractive, Affordable Coastal Lifestyle

The Shoalhaven offers a superb coastal lifestyle, with the choice of living at one of the region’s many coastal villages, in the picturesque rural hinterland or in the thriving regional centre of Nowra. As a bonus, housing prices are considerably lower than in the capital cities. The Shoalhaven contains many popular destinations, including the quaint heritage town of Berry, the glorious white sands and Marine National Park of Jervis Bay, the surf beaches of Mollymook and Ulladulla and the spectacular rural beauty of Kangaroo Valley.

The Shoalhaven Wine Coast produces excellent wines, while the region is also famous for its oysters and seafood.

The Shoalhaven offers superb cultural facilities, like the Shoalhaven Entertainment Centre and the historic Bundanon Trust properties, gifted to the nation by renowned artist Arthur Boyd. Recreational facilities include many fine golf courses and national parks. The Shoalhaven has many excellent state and private primary and secondary schools. TAFE NSW Illawarra Institute also provides a wide range of vocational training courses at its Shoalhaven campuses. The world-ranked University of Wollongong has a campus at West Nowra, offering courses ranging from commerce and accounting to medicine. UOW’s main campus is also only an easy hour’s drive from Nowra.