Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has made some big changes in an end-of-year Cabinet reshuffle.
Of significant note for Defence is the creation of a new Department of Home Affairs and the appointment of a new Minister for Veterans’ Affairs.
Michael McCormack of the Nationals Party, and Member for Riverina, will be appointed Minister for Veterans’ Affairs and Defence Personnel and will assist the PM in the final year of the ANZAC centenary.
Mr McCormack served as Minister for Small Business last year and before that was Assistant Minister for Defence for a brief period.
Before politics, Mr McCormack was a journalist and editor.
His web site says. “During his career at the newspaper, Michael was a champion of many community issues. He is most proud of the significant part he played in helping to save Wagga Wagga’s Royal Australian Air Force base from closure in 1997, which not only resulted in the retention of the base but the expansion of its role.”
Mr McCormack will also become Deputy Leader of the House.
Outgoing Vet Affairs minister Dan Tehan gets a promotion, joining Cabinet as Minister for Social Services.
The new ‘super department’ of Home Affairs will encompass ASIO, the Australian Federal Police, the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission, AUSTRAC and Australian Border Force – to which the Royal Australian Navy contributes significantly.
Peter Dutton will be the new Minister for Home Affairs.
The new appointees will be sworn in by Governor General Sir Peter Cosgrove tomorrow, 20 December, at 11.30am.