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PM announces new look Defence portfolio appointments

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has officially revealed his new look cabinet and ministerial team, with the Defence portfolio playing a major role in the returned Coalition government.

Defence Connect can today confirm the appointment of senator Linda Reynolds, CSC, as Australia's Minister for Defence succeeding Christopher Pyne, with Melissa Price as the Minister for Defence Industry and Alex Hawke becoming the Assistant Minister for Defence in the new look Coalition cabinet. 

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Minister Reynolds comes to the role following a brief stint as the minister for defence industry. She was elected to the Senate in 2014 following more than 20 years’ experience at the national political level working for ministers, members of Parliament and the Liberal Party of Australia. 

Minister Reynolds served for 29 years in the Australian Army as a Reserve Officer in a wide range of part and full-time appointments. Minister Reynolds combines a wealth of political, academic and professional corporate experience, including:

  • Chief of Staff to the Minister for Justice and Customs;
  • Project Director with Raytheon Australia;
  • Deputy Federal Director of the Liberal Party of Australia;
  • Commanding Officer of a Combat Service Support Battalion; and
  • Adjutant General of Army, the Chief of Army’s key governance advisor.

Minister Reynolds was the first woman in the Australian Army Reserves to be promoted to the rank of Brigadier and was awarded the Conspicuous Service Cross, she has completed a Master of Arts (Strategic Studies).

The new Minister for Defence Industry, Melissa Price, has an extensive professional career including working for leading Australian law firm Clayton Utz. She also has more than 20 years' experience in the private sector, working in the mining and grain industry in a variety of commercial and legal roles, including iron ore company Crosslands Resources, which is owned by Mitsubishi Corporation.

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Minister Price was elected to Parliament in 2013 and joined the joint standing committee on agriculture and industry, indigenous affairs, and infrastructure and communications, and the joint select committee on northern Australia, to represent the electorate of Durack on a range of important issues.

Prior to stepping into the Defence Industry portfolio, Minister Price was elevated to her first outer ministerial appointment in the role of assistant minister for the environment. In 2018, Minister Price was sworn in as minister for the environment in the Morrison government.

New Assistant Minister for Defence Alex Hawke was elected at the 2007 election as the federal member for Mitchell, an electorate centred on the Hills Shire in north-west Sydney. Minister Hawke will also be responsible for the International Development and the Pacific, which has been re-elevated to a full ministry position. 

In September 2015, Minister Hawke was appointed as the assistant minister to the treasurer. Following the 2016 federal election, he was appointed the assistant minister for immigration and border protection. Due to the establishment of the Home Affairs Portfolio in late 2017, Minister Hawke was appointed the assistant minister for home affairs. On 27 August 2018, he was officially sworn in as the special minister of state in the first Morrison government.

Minister Hawke’s previous parliamentary positions included service as member, speakers panel and committee roles as chair of the joint standing committee on electoral matters and chair of the House standing committee on the environment.

Minister Hawke holds a master's of government and public affairs and a bachelor of arts degree from Sydney University. He has also served as an Army Reserve Officer. 

The new ministry is expected to be sworn in Wednesday, 29 May at a ceremony at Government House in Canberra.  

More to come. 

PM announces new look Defence portfolio appointments
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