It is both an honour and a privilege to be appointed by Prime Minister Scott Morrison as Australia’s Minister for Defence.
Having served for over two decades as an Army Officer before my election to the Senate, I know there is no greater constitutional responsibility for any Australian Government than the defence and security of our nation.
My key priority as Minister for Defence is to ensure that our greatest asset – our men and women across Defence – receive the support, training and resources necessary to succeed in their mission to defend Australia and its national interests.
Australia’s security and prosperity continues to be tied directly to the security and stability of our region.
Recognising this, my first visit as Minister for Defence will be to Singapore on 31 May 2019 to 2 June 2019 to take part in the Shangri‑La Dialogue alongside key counterparts and defence officials from over 40 nations.
This will give me an early opportunity to express Australia’s continued commitment to supporting a stable and prosperous Indo-Pacific.
Australia continues to value its strong relationships with regional partners. I will discuss shared security challenges with my counterparts, including maintaining the rules-based global order, upon which the region’s prosperity relies.
While in Singapore, I will conduct a series of bilateral meetings with my counterparts including Singapore’s Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and Minster for Defence Dr Ng Eng Hen.
I will also participate in the annual Australia-Japan-United States Trilateral Defence Ministers’ Meeting with Japanese Minister of Defense Takeshi Iwaya and United States Acting Secretary of Defense Patrick M. Shanahan.
Secretary of Defence, Mr Greg Moriarty, the Chief of the Defence Force, General Angus Campbell, AO, DSC and the Secretary of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Ms Frances Adamson, will also be in attendance at Shangri-La Dialogue.
Further information on the Shangri-La Dialogue can be found at https://www.iiss.org/events/shangri-la-dialogue/shangri-la-dialogue-2019