- Rear Admiral (Rtd) Raydon Gates AO CSM to be State's Defence Advocate
- Rear Admiral Gates will work to deliver defence contracts and jobs to Western Australia
- Defence Advocate to take the fight for more defence work to Canberra
Premier Mark McGowan and Defence Issues Minister Paul Papalia have today announced the appointment of a Defence Advocate to champion the interests of Western Australia's local defence industry and create jobs.
Rear Admiral (Rtd) Raydon Gates AO CSM retired from the Royal Australian Navy in 2008, after 37 years of service. He has served in a number of leadership roles including Maritime Commander Australia, Commander of the Australian Defence College and Defence Attaché and Head Australian Defence Staff in Washington, DC.
He was chief executive of major defence contractor Lockheed Martin Australia & New Zealand for more than five years, retiring in January 2017.
Rear Admiral Gates will divide his time between Perth and Canberra and be supported by the Office of Defence West within the Department of Jobs, Tourism, Science and Innovation.
Comments attributed to Premier Mark McGowan:
"The McGowan Government is committed to diversifying the State's economy, and securing a fair share of naval shipbuilding and defence support work is crucial to that task.
"Western Australian shipbuilders have the expertise and capability to build the next generation of Navy vessels. Unfortunately, WA is receiving just $3.5 billion out of the Federal Government's $89 billion spend in naval infrastructure.
"Rear Admiral Gates will advocate for Western Australia's defence industry in the nation's capital, in order to secure more jobs for Western Australians.
"This appointment is the next step in the Western Australian Government's efforts to grow the State's defence sector, following the appointment of a dedicated Minister for Defence Issues and the establishment of the Office of Defence West."
Comments attributed to Defence Issues Minister Paul Papalia:
"Rear Admiral Gates is the ideal person to fill this position, drawing on his extensive experience from within the Royal Australian Navy as well as his time leading the Australian arm of a major defence contractor.
"I look forward to working closely with Rear Admiral Gates to secure a greater share of projects within the six capability streams outlined in the 2016 Defence White Paper and also identify potential export opportunities.
"Rear Admiral Gates will be Western Australia's crucial eyes, ears and voice in the nation's capital."