Shadow Ministry Acceptance

Friday, 17 June 2022

Australia’s reality is Ukraine today could be East Asia Tomorrow

When a Chinese military fighter jet intercepted a RAAF plane in international airspace over the South China Sea last month setting off flares and releasing a load of aluminium chaff, threatening the safety of its Australian crew, they defied international law and conventions.

And we should heed Japanese Prime Minister Kishida’s warning that what we are seeing play out in Europe today in Ukraine, upsetting the balance of world order, could be East Asia tomorrow.

Authoritarian governments around the world are destabilising our longest-ever period of relative global peace.

Most of us have not lived through a more treacherous period in history and as such, I am honoured to be appointed as Shadow Minister for Defence Industries.

I partner with my colleagues Andrew Hastie as Minister for Defence, Phillip Thompson OAM as Assistant Minister for Defence, and Barnaby Joyce as Minister for Veterans Affairs to uphold the strategic vision laid out by the Coalition government led by Peter Dutton for Australia’s national security.

I am proud to have been a part of the Coalition government that addressed the biggest issues impacting our national security and Australian Defence Force (ADF) personnel as part of that strategic vision:

  • Commissioning the Afghanistan Inquiry Report to preserve Defence’s proud and respected reputation earned by professional and ethical personnel over decades
  • Lifting ADF funding to 2% GDP addressing the budgetary cuts by previous Labor governments
  • And making the difficult, but economically and militarily responsible decision to replace the French submarine deal with the nuclear submarine capability that comes with the trilateral security pact with the United Kingdom and United States (AUKUS).

We must accept the reality we have entered a dangerous new era in foreign relations, and I will challenge the current Labor government to have realistic conversations on how to best secure the peace going forward for Australia with an acceptance that Beijing will never recede and will not back off.

With Beijing’s increased militarisation, aggression in the South China Sea, economic coercion with Pacific Island neighbours and $20 billion in Australian trade sanctions, there has never been a more crucial time for liberal democracies around the world to deepen and strengthen ties to counteract the aggression.

A strong Australia is only possible with responsible government and our Shadow Defence Ministers will be closely monitoring this Labor government to ensure it acts in the interests of Australia.


Media contacts:

Kimberley Washington – – 07 32848008