Veterans Named in Coalition’s Shadow Defence Portfolio

Federal opposition leader Peter Dutton has announced appointments across the shadow defence, defence industry, veterans’ affairs, foreign affairs, intelligence and cyber security portfolios.

SAS veteran Andrew Hastie has been named as the Coalition’s shadow minister for defence.

Hastie served as assistant minister for defence from December 2020 to May 2022 in the former Morrison government, reporting to both defence ministers Linda Reynolds and Peter Dutton.

He entered Parliament in September 2015 after 14 years with the Australian Defence Force, serving with the 2nd Calvary Regiment and the SAS Regiment across deployments in the Middle East and Papua New Guinea.

Joining Hastie in the shadow ministry is fellow Army veteran Phillip Thompson OAM, who has been named as shadow assistant minister for defence.

Before securing a seat in the House of Representatives in May 2019, Thompson served with the Australian Army’s 1st Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment.

During his six years with the Army from 2006 to 2012, Thompson was deployed to East Timor and Afghanistan. While deployed in the Middle East, Thompson sustained severe injuries after an improvised explosive device was detonated.

Thompson worked for mental health and suicide prevention organisations after leaving the Army and was later recognised for his contribution with a Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM).

Luke Howarth has been elevated to the role of shadow minister for defence industry and shadow minister for defence personnel.

Howarth previously served as assistant minister for youth and employment services and assistant minister for community housing, homelessness, and community services under the Morrison government.

Meanwhile, former deputy prime minister Barnaby Joyce has been named as the shadow minister for veterans’ affairs.

Prior to the Coalition’s election defeat, Joyce served as minister for infrastructure, transport, and regional development.

The unveiling of the Coalition’s shadow ministry comes just a week after the Albanese government formed its ministry.