It has been an honour and a privilege to serve as our nation’s Defence Minister since the 2019 election.
I came to this portfolio acutely aware of the changing strategic circumstances in which our nation finds itself. I am very proud of what the Government, led by our Prime Minister, has achieved in that time, the more so because they have been delivered against the back-drop of a global pandemic and the Black Summer Bushfires.
In July last year, I delivered the most consequential update to Defence’s policy settings in decades – the 2020 Defence Strategic Update. This Update defined and shaped Australia’s strategic decision‑making.
That it, and the supporting Force Structure Plan, were required at all speaks volumes about the pace of change in our region and globally and I leave this vital portfolio knowing that the Defence Force is well poised to meet the challenges ahead.
The Morrison Government has restored the Defence Force’s budget after years of neglect by Labor, committing a record $270 billion of Defence investment over the next decade.
This, too, is a great source of pride.
But above all, I am proud of our defence personnel, both civilian and military. They serve our nation with honour, as they have always done. Through the Black Summer Bushfires and Operation COVID-Assist Australians have seen first-hand the qualities I have seen every day for over 30 years – humility, courage and a fierce commitment to the service of their nation. This service would not be possible without the families who support them in their work, and I thank them too.
I extend my sincere gratitude to my staff for their dedication, hard work and commitment.
I sincerely thank the Prime Minister for appointing me as the Minister for Government Services and Minister for the National Disability Insurance Scheme. I am privileged to continue to serve our nation in this important portfolio. I thank my predecessor Stuart Robert for his enthusiasm, dedication and hard work. It is a portfolio I know well and I bring great passion and commitment to both roles.
Finally, my warmest congratulations to my friend and colleague Peter Dutton on his appointment as the new Defence Minister.
I know our nation’s defence is in very safe hands.