Richard Marles has been announced as Australia's new Minister for Defence, and Pat Conroy as Minister for Defence Industry.
The pair take over from outgoing Defence Minister Peter Dutton (now Leader of the Opposition) and Minister for Defence Industry Melissa Price respectively. Price held the Defence Industry portfolio for a number of years and most recently spoke to ADM in December 2021.
Marles, who is the Deputy Prime Minister, returns to the Defence ministry after previously holding it as a shadow minister when Labor was in opposition. Brendan O'Connor then took the Shadow Defence Minister role, but has now been announced as Minister for Skills and Training.
Meanwhile, Matt Keogh was previously Shadow Minister for Defence Industry but has now been moved to Minister for Veterans' Affairs and Minister for Defence Personnel, while Conroy takes over as Minister for Defence Industry and Minister for International Development and the Pacific.
As Shadow Minister for Defence, Marles addressed the annual ADM Congress in 2019 and stated that the Labor Party was “completely committed” to the development, sustainment and the fostering of an Australian defence industry.
“Central to the idea of having a sustainable defence industry in this country is that defence industry is engaged in the act of export. I’m not sure that it makes sense to say that we have a defence industry in this country unless it is engaged in export,” he said. “A defence industry is actually a really deep decision of a nation, it speaks to who we are as a people, it speaks to what our country is about and what it seeks to do in the world.”