Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced his new government today.
FILE PHOTO (March 2019): Then Minister for Defence Industry Linda Reynolds talks with WA Governor Kim Beazley and ADF members at a Navy Clearance Diver Trust event in Perth. Photo by Leading Seaman Richard Cordell.
Of interest to the CONTACT audience is that Senator Linda Reynolds has been promoted to Minister for Defence, after spending less than three months in the Defence Industry portfolio.
New Minister for Defence Industry is Melissa Price, who formerly served as Environment Minister. She also served on the Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Parliamentary Committee, and numerous others.
Darren Chester retains responsibility for Veterans and Defence Personnel – however, in a change that probably won’t have much practical impact, he is now officially the Minister for Veterans and Defence Personnel in a single portfolio – as opposed to the duel ministerships of Minister for Veterans’ Affairs and Minister for Defence Personnel. Mr Chester also had a third appointment as Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for the Centenary of ANZAC, now concluded.
Forty-one-year-old Alex Hawke is the new Assistant Minister for Defence in the Lower House. Mr Hawke is an experienced politician, first elected to Parliament in 2007. Defence is his fourth assistant ministerial appointment.
Peter Dutton retains the helm at Home Affairs – and former Defence Minister Marise Payne is still the Minister for Foreign Affairs.
- Linda Reynolds served in the Australian Army for 29 years from 1984 to 2012 in part-time and full-time positions. Following officer training, she became a regional logistical officer as a second lieutenant and made captain in the position. She progressed to training development officer (captain), commanding officer 5th Combat Support Battalion (lieutenant colonel), military instructor at Command and Staff College, senior career manager and Director of Active Standby Staff Group (colonel). She went on to be adjutant general in the Army Reserve as a brigadier, where she was awarded the Conspicuous Service Cross for outstanding achievement as the Director of Army Strategic Reform Program. She was the first woman in the Australian Army Reserve to be promoted to star rank.
- Melissa Price was a lawyer by profession before beginning her career as a politician. She was elected to parliament in 2013. She served on a range of committees, including Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade. She was appointed Minister for the Environment in August last year.