Minister for Defence
Senator the Hon David Johnston
Opening Senate Budget Estimates
2 June 2014
I wish to note this will be the last Senate Estimates Hearing for General David Hurley, AC, DSC, who completes his tenure as the Chief of the Defence Force on 3 July 2014.
General Hurley is an exceptional officer, who has earned the greatest respect from all those he has worked with, in Australia and overseas, including his time as the exchange officer with the 1st Battalion Irish Guards (British Army), and attendance at the United States Army War College.
As the Minister for Defence, he has guided me through the transition of government, and made the job a lot easier than it would have otherwise been. General Hurley saw active service in Somalia, commanding the 1st Battalion Royal Australian Regiment in 1993 during Operation SOLACE, for which he was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross.
As the Chief of the Defence Force, he has led the Australian Defence Force to the end of operations in Uruzgan province, Timor-Leste, and the Solomon Islands. Additionally, he has overseen significant capability development.
General Hurley's efforts to drive cultural reform in the Australian Defence Force, accepting the responsibility to address past mistreatment, and addressing continuing challenges through the Pathway to Change, will leave a lasting legacy for which he should be justifiably proud.
His leadership and dedication, including his tenure as Vice Chief, and then as Chief of the Defence Force, has been fundamental in shaping the Australian Defence Force of today. Chief, thank you, not only for your efforts as Chief of the Defence Force, but indeed for your more than 40 years service as a member of our military.