It has been a great honour to serve as Australia’s Minister for Defence.
The safety and security of the people of Australia is the first priority of government.
During the last nine months, there have been significant achievements in Defence. The fragile trust between Defence and Government was restored.
The Government’s flagship achievement in this time has been the commitment to implement a continuous build of surface warships in Australia. This enduring decision provides certainty for Navy, the Australian Defence Force and defence industry.
In addition to this, I have:
- Initiated a Competitive Evaluation Process for Australia’s Future Submarine Program, providing a clear acquisition strategy and pathway for Australian industry to maximise its involvement in the program, whilst not compromising capability, cost, program schedule or risk.
- Brought forward the build of the Future Frigate by three years and the Offshore Patrol Vessels by two years.
- Remediated the Air Warfare Destroyer (AWD) program, investing an additional $1.2 billion and inserting key advisers to get the project back on track, delivering the second AWD earlier this year.
- Brought forward the Pacific Patrol Boat tender (for 21 boats) that will provide replacement patrol boats for Pacific nations and invest around $2 billion in Australian defence industry.
In this time also, the Government has increased the wage offer for ADF personnel to two per cent per annum in recognition of the unique and crucial work they perform.
The last defence budget restored funding to Defence and put it on a strong trajectory to get Defence spending back on track to 2 per cent of GDP within a decade.
The Defence White Paper is finalised and ready for release.
The First Principles Review of Defence is being implemented with the majority of recommendations expected to be in place by 2017.
These are just some of the achievements during the last nine months. I am proud of what has been achieved.
As I have already been preselected as the Liberal Party candidate for Menzies ahead of the next federal election, I look forward to standing for election again at that time. I look forward to serving the people for Menzies with renewed vigour and enthusiasm into the future.