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Air Marshal Mark Binskin confirmed as new Defence Force chief to replace General David Hurley

Air Marshal Mark Binskin has been confirmed as Australia’s new chief of defence.

Prime Minister Tony Abbott announced the successor to General David Hurley in Canberra on Friday, along with several other changes, including the introduction of four-year appointments for top military rankings, instead of the previous three-year terms.

“Three years is a relatively short period of time," Mr Abbott said.

"For instance, in government they say it takes 12 months to learn the ropes and then you've got 12 months to do something and then you've got 12 months thinking at the next election and I guess with a three-year term at the top of the Defence Force there are similar problems of short-termism."

Air Marshall Binskin, who had been serving as Australia’s Vice-Chief of Defence Force, begins his appointment in July.

Navy Chief Vice Admiral Ray Griggs will become the new Vice Chief of the Defence Force.


General Hurley said the new appointments would continue “the pathway to change” for military chiefs trying to tackle cultural problems within the Australian Defence Force.

“I think this team and this line up gives everybody assurance that we are deadly serious about taking on that issue and driving it forward,” he said.

Air Marshal Binskin said he was honoured very proud to have been selected to take over as Chief of Defence Force.

“I know that I'll take command of the ADF at a time of military significance as we go into the centenary of Anzac commemorations,” he said.

“It's a time of transformation for the ADF and it's a time for continued reform for the ADF.

Mr Abbott also announced the government would develop a Defence White Paper to be released next year, which would ''underpin a costed, affordable plan to achieve Australia’s defence and national security objectives''.

He said that the White Paper would help develop a costed acquisition programme and a 10-year Defence Capability Plan and an updated Defence Industry Policy Statement as the government worked towards its commitment to returning

Defence spending to 2 per cent of Australia’s Gross Domestic Product in the next decade based on the Commission of Audit.

The Defence White Paper will also consider the merits of an enhanced Defence presence in northern Australia.

In developing the White Paper, the Department of Defence will consult with industry, the public, Australia’s allies and regional partners.

The White Paper’s development will be supported by the Expert Panel announced previously by the Minister for Defence.

This Panel will provide input at all stages of the process, to challenge any key assumptions and ensure strong public consultation during the development of the White Paper.

The Government is committed to building a strong, capable and sustainable Australian Defence Force that will ensure our security and support our strategic interests into the future.

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