Minister for Defence Christopher Pyne and Minister for Defence Industry Steven Ciobo have confirmed that they are retiring from federal politics, following widespread reports that circulated last week.
Minister Pyne will stay in his Defence role until the election, whilst Minister Ciobo has resigned from his portfolio, effective immediately, and has been replaced by Senator Linda Reynolds.
"It’s time to retire while people are asking me to stay, rather than continue and end up later with people telling me to go!" Minister Pyne said.
"Twenty seven years ago I was preselected as the Liberal candidate on a platform of renewal – in 2019, it is time to renew again.
"As Minister for Defence and before that Defence Industry, I’ve been responsible for delivering the $200 billion build-up of Australia’s military capability, the largest in Australia’s peacetime history, which at the same time we have used to fundamentally reshape our strategic industrial base.
"These roles have included implementing the largest navy, air, and army projects in seventy-five years and creating the Pacific Step Up to support Australia’s strategic position in the South Pacific."
"When I was preselected on 19th May 2001 at 26 years of age it was a big decision to commit myself and wife Astra to this vocation," Minister Ciobo said. "Now, over 17 years later at age 44 and with two children, it has been an even bigger decision for me to not recontest the forthcoming election.
"It has always been my view that politics is a means to an end. I have never sought to be a ‘time server’. My contribution is made."
"Having spent most of my adult life serving in our Army Reserves, I understand what we ask our men and women in uniform to do on our behalf," Senator Reynolds said. "As a government, we must ensure that they are as safe and as best equipped as we can make them."
Ministers Pyne and Ciobo reportedly intend to enter the private sector after leaving politics.
"Well I’ll go into the private sector and try and create a business, I had two years as a lawyer, some would say I was pretending to be a lawyer while I was campaigning for politics," Minister Pyne said. "I think there’s some truth to that, but I intend to go into the business world and see where that takes me."