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Veterans named in Coalition’s shadow defence portfolio

Federal opposition leader Peter Dutton has announced appointments across the shadow defence, defence industry, veterans’ affairs, foreign affairs, intelligence and cyber security portfolios.

Federal opposition leader Peter Dutton has announced appointments across the shadow defence, defence industry, veterans’ affairs, foreign affairs, intelligence and cyber security portfolios.

SAS veteran Andrew Hastie has been named as the Coalition’s shadow minister for defence.

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Hastie served as assistant minister for defence from December 2020 to May 2022 in the former Morrison government, reporting to both defence ministers Linda Reynolds and Peter Dutton.

He entered Parliament in September 2015 after 14 years with the Australian Defence Force, serving with the 2nd Calvary Regiment and the SAS Regiment across deployments in the Middle East and Papua New Guinea.

Joining Hastie in the shadow ministry is fellow Army veteran Phillip Thompson OAM, who has been named as shadow assistant minister for defence.

Before securing a seat in the House of Representatives in May 2019, Thompson served with the Australian Army’s 1st Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment.

During his six years with the Army from 2006 to 2012, Thompson was deployed to East Timor and Afghanistan.

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While deployed in the Middle East, Thompson sustained severe injuries after an improvised explosive device was detonated.

Thompson worked for mental health and suicide prevention organisations after leaving the Army and was later recognised for his contribution with a Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM).

Luke Howarth has been elevated to the role of shadow minister for defence industry and shadow minister for defence personnel.

Howarth previously served as assistant minister for youth and employment services and assistant minister for community housing, homelessness, and community services under the Morrison government.

Meanwhile, former deputy prime minister Barnaby Joyce has been named as the shadow minister for veterans’ affairs

Prior to the Coalition’s election defeat, Joyce served as minister for infrastructure, transport, and regional development.

Other key appointments include:

  • Simon Birmingham, former minister for finance, has been appointed shadow minister for foreign affairs;
  • former home affairs minister Karen Andrews retains the portfolio in opposition; and
  • Senator James Paterson, former chair of the parliamentary joint committee on intelligence and security, has been appointed shadow minister for cyber security and shadow minister for countering foreign interference.

The unveiling of the Coalition’s shadow ministry comes just a week after the Albanese government formed its ministry.

Deputy Prime Minister Richard Marles was named as the new minister for defence.

Minister Marles had served as shadow minister for defence for a stint in opposition but was replaced prior to the election by Brendan O’Connor after being elevated to deputy leader of the Labor Party.

Brendan O'Connor has left the defence portfolio and assumed the role as the minister for skills and training.

Other key ministerial appointments across the defence and national security portfolios include:

  • Pat Conroy is the minister for defence industry and the minister for international development and the Pacific;
  • Clare O'Neil is the minister for home affairs and cyber security;
  • Matt Keogh, who served as shadow minister for defence industry, is the minister for veterans’ affairs and the minister for defence personnel;
  • Ed Husic is the minister for industry and science; and
  • Matt Thistlethwaite is the assistant minister for defence and the assistant minister for veterans’ affairs.

Other senior ministerial appointments were announced shortly after the federal election, with Penny Wong named as foreign minister, Jim Chalmers as treasurer, and Katy Gallagher as finance minister.

[Related: New defence minister named ]

Charbel Kadib

Charbel Kadib

News Editor – Defence and Security, Momentum Media

Prior to joining the defence and aerospace team in 2020, Charbel was news editor of The Adviser and Mortgage Business, where he covered developments in the banking and financial services sector for three years. Charbel has a keen interest in geopolitics and international relations, graduating from the University of Notre Dame with a double major in politics and journalism. Charbel has also completed internships with The Australian Department of Communications and the Arts and public relations agency Fifty Acres.

Veterans named in Coalition’s shadow defence portfolio
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