December 21, 2014
New Defence Minister Kevin Andrews
Today Australia's Abbott Government announced that (as expected) Defence Minister David Johnston has been demoted to the backbench - without portfolio.
Unexpectedly Johnston has been replaced by Kevin Andrews MP, who has been the cabinet level Minister for Social Services. Andrews' appointment to Defence Minister comes as a surprise to many who were expecting Immigration and Border Protection Minister Morrison to take the portfolio given Morrison's militarisation of the immigration portfolio.
In past years Andrews has held roles as Workplace Relations Minister and Immigration Minister. Unlike Johnston Andrews is considered a "safe pair of hands". Andrews brings to the Defence portfolio long experience in higher decision-making and economic matters but not in military technical matters.
Now that Andrews has been appointed it is possible he will make a future submarine selection update before Christmas.
See details of all today's appointments in the Abbott ministry.
Posted by Peter Coates