I am grateful for the trust and confidence of the Prime Minister to be Australia’s fifty-first Minister for Defence.
Since being appointed Shadow Minister for Defence in 2008, I have diligently gone about serving my party and its leadership.
I thank the men and women of the Australian Defence Force for their commitment to protect and defend our great nation, for their service and their sacrifice.
I thank my dedicated staff for their tireless work and commitment to me personally.
Over the past fifteen months, a number of significant reforms have commenced. Some of these include:
· Restoring the Defence Budget
· Acquiring another 58 Joint Strike Fighter aircraft
· Acquiring the Triton Broad Area Maritime Unmanned Aerial Vehicles
· Acquiring the P8 Poseidon Maritime Patrol aircraft
· Bringing forward preliminary engineering and design work necessary to keep open the option of building the future frigate in Australia.
· Bringing forward the Pacific Patrol boat program
· Remediating the AWD program – brought in advisers
· New Special Forces vehicles
· Re-starting the ADF Gap Year program
· Indexing military superannuation
· Providing free basic health care to all ADF family members
· White Paper team established, Issues paper published
· First Principles Review team established and given terms of reference
· Defence cooperation agreement signed with Japan
· Restoring relationship with Indonesia
· Excising part of Woomera to the local indigenous owners
I was privileged to steer Defence through deployments into Europe following the loss of MH17 and MH370 and into Iraq to combat ISIL.
I look forward to making an ongoing contribution as part of Tony Abbott’s team.
It had been a great privilege to serve in this role.
Brad Rowswell (Minister Johnston’s Office) 0417 917 796