Dutton reveals shadow defence industry portfolio shake-up

30 Mar 2024

Opposition Leader Peter Dutton has announced a reshuffle in the Defence team that will lead the Coalition ahead of next year’s federal election.

Luke Howarth, Member for Petrie, has been dropped from the Coalition’s defence industry shadow portfolio in a reshuffle announced by Opposition Leader Peter Dutton.

The move makes way for expanded responsibilities for Andrew Hastie, who will step into the position as shadow minister for defence industry and defence personnel, in addition to his role as shadow minister for defence.

Hastie will be supported by Phillip Thompson OAM, who has also seen a broadened remit. Thompson will likewise serve as shadow assistant minister for defence industry and defence personnel, in addition to his role as assistant minister for defence.

Dutton explained that the appointments were necessary amid accusations of conflict between Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Defence Richard Marles and the Department of Defence.

“With the Deputy Prime Minister at war with the Department of Defence, and failing to boost the capability and lethality of our Australian Defence Force (ADF) and losing the crucial battles in the Expenditure Review Committee and the National Security Committee, I am pleased that Andrew and Phil will lead our strong shadow ministerial team in the crucial Defence portfolios to hold the government to account and to get better outcomes for our men and women in uniform,” Dutton outlined.

Former shadow defence industry minister Luke Howarth will remain in the Coalition’s shadow ministry as the shadow assistant treasurer and shadow minister for financial services.

Shadow home affairs and cyber security minister Senator James Paterson will also serve as the shadow cabinet secretary.

Dutton added that the new appointments are crucial to address Australia’s priorities.

“These appointments are excellent additions to the Coalition’s stable and united team. I can assure all Australians that the Coalition under my leadership will continue focusing on the policy issues that matter.

“The Coalition, on the other hand, will continue to deliver the positive plans and policies for the future of our country in the lead-up to the next election.”

Source: Defence Connect