Television interview, Sky News First Edition

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Related ministers and contacts

The Hon Matt Thistlethwaite MP

Assistant Minister for Defence

Assistant Minister for Veterans’ Affairs

Assistant Minister for the Republic

Media contact

Ben Leeson on 0404 648 275

Release content

5 October 2023

SUBJECTS: PM’s Jet; Northern Australia Ministerial Conference

PETER STEFANOVIC, HOST: Live now is the Assistant Defence Minister, Matt Thistlethwaite. Matt, good to see you. First of all, is the Prime Minister's jet compromised here?

MATT THISTLETHWAITE, ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR DEFENCE: G'day, Pete, great to talk to you again. With these matters they're dealt with by 34 Squadron of the RAAF. They provide a fantastic service that meets the highest security standards possible. They don't comment on these matters, of course, but I'm confident that something will be worked out and that the Prime Minister will be able to travel to China later in the year safely. We have seen former sorry, other Ministers travel to China in recent times, the Foreign Minister and the Trade Minister, and they've all been able to travel on RAAF flights. So, I'm sure that the utmost security will be at the forefront of the RAAF with this operation.

STEFANOVIC: Okay, so we shall see. Matt Thistlethwaite, we're just going to persist because the audio is a bit ropey here, but what are you doing in Cairns? It's my old hood.

ASSISTANT MINISTER: Yeah, it's a great part of the world. Pete, I'm up here in Cairns. I'm at HMAS Cairns at the moment. We're here for a Northern Australia Ministerial meeting. So, I'm joining my colleague, Madeleine King, the Resources Minister, and we'll be talking to representatives from the Western Australian, Northern Territory and Queensland governments, local businesses about the opportunities and the cooperation that can occur into the future between the Australian Government and the States and territories in the North End. And my particular focus will be on defence. We saw the Defence Strategic Review that's recently been released has provided a wealth of opportunities for growth here in the north of Australia. We had a recent announcement by the Deputy Prime Minister around the establishment of some new combat battalions up in the north and those opportunities will come for cooperation between the States and the Commonwealth, particularly in the defence space.

STEFANOVIC: Alrighty Matt Thistlethwaite. Thanks. We will talk to you again soon.


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