Prime Minister Scott Morrison has announced Peter Dutton will move from his current portfolio as Home Affairs Minister and will be Australia’s new Defence Minister.
The move comes as part of a larger cabinet reshuffle following current Defence Minister Senator Linda Reynolds taking medical leave for a heart condition. Foreign Minister Senator Marise Payne has been Acting Defence Minister during Senator Reynolds’ absence.
The move continues a period of leadership instability in the Defence portfolio, with Mr Dutton becoming the sixth minister to serve in the role in less than eight years. He follows David Johnston (2013-2014), Kevin Andrews (2014-2015), Marise Payne (2015-2018), Christopher Pyne (2018-2019), and Linda Reynolds (2019-2021).
The minor Defence ministerial roles remain as before, with Alex Hawke continuing as Assistant Defence Minister, Melissa Price as Defence Industry Minister, and Darren Chester in the Veterans’ Affairs and Defence Personnel roles.