Call for greater collaboration to strengthen Australian security

CANBERRA – A Kokoda Foundation report, Getting it right: the challenges for Australia in integrating the intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) enterprise, to be released today says that modern threats demand more than inter-agency cooperation; greater collaboration and information sharing is required.

ISR functions provide the situational awareness and intelligence required to synchronise and integrate plans and operations involving platforms, sensors, data and people. Recent events, such as the search for Malaysian Airlines flight MH370, demonstrate the increasingly complicated and diverse nature of ISR challenges.

Authored by strategic consultant Dr Gary Waters, the report argues that in today’s challenging environment and in future, closer collaboration across all levels of Government will improve situational awareness and predictive intelligence, necessary for strategic decision-making.

“ISR must be treated as an integrated process, moving beyond the current model of inter-agency cooperation to one of close collaboration across the nation. This is essential for effective ISR operations spanning military, border protection and law enforcement activities,” said Dr Waters.

“Collaboration must be the order of the day,” he said.The report contains new ideas for a future Australian ISR Enterprise. In the immediate future, Dr Waters identifies that Australia’s military and law enforcement organisations will need to demonstrate how they can achieve more with existing capabilities and organisations. Recommendations to drive further improvements include:

  • Extending the Whole-of-Government approach and better accommodating Industry into the National ISR infrastructure to exploit ISR technology
  • Engaging the public to better understand how Australia’s military and law-enforcement organisations meet expectations of effectiveness, responsiveness and accountability
  • Accelerating the data-to-decision cycle – move faster from data collection to analysis to decision via greater exploitation of Big Data and analytics
  • Synchronising ISR capabilities by aligning vision, governance, infrastructure, data and workforce across the ISR Enterprise; better coordinating the workflow of people, resources and materials

According to BAE Systems Strategic Development Manager, Peter Cantwell, innovation and system integration will be increasingly important for effective ISR capability in the future.

“Changing technology along with the variety and increasing volume of data can make it difficult to forward plan. Effective ISR will rely on well-integrated systems that can deal with complexity and highly-capable people who constantly find new and innovative uses for technology,” said Peter.

For more information
Nicole Quinn on mobile: 0488 033 327

About the Kokoda Foundation
The Kokoda Foundation has been established as an independent, not-for-profit think tank to research, and foster innovative thinking on, Australia’s future security challenges. For further information visit or contact Nicole Quinn on mobile: 0488 033 327.

BAE Systems Australia and Northrop Grumman are sponsors of the ISR Report.