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About David


David served in the Australian Defence Force for over 22 years. An Army pilot, he flew helicopters and fixed wing aircraft and was the Senior Flying Instructor at the School of Army Aviation in Queensland.

Graduating as an experimental test pilot from the Empire Test Pilots’ School (UK), he finished his full time career in Defence as the Commanding Officer of the RAAF Aircraft Research and Development Unit.

Elected to the House of Representatives as the Member for Wakefield (SA) in 2004, he served in the Parliament until 2007. David continued to fly as a test pilot and ran a small business working in the Defence and Aviation sectors prior to being elected to the Senate in 2010, 2016 and again in 2019.

In the (45th) Parliament, David was sworn as the Assistant Minister for Defence.

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More than 300 days after it announced a “short, sharp” review of Australia’s surface fleet, the Albanese Government has finally delivered what one of Australia’s preeminent national security journalists has described as “a cross between a damp squib and a huge con job”.

Although Defence Minister Richard Marles has recognised that Australia faces the most dangerous strategic circumstances since the Second World War, he has offered almost no new money and no immediate investments in capabilities for the Royal Australian Navy. In fact, the new money committed to the Navy in the forward estimates doesn’t even cover the budget cuts that Defence has already suffered under Labor.It is critical that the Navy has adequate capability before the 2030s, which is why the Coalition committed to vital upgrades for the Anzac-class frigates. It is disappointing to see that these plans have been scrapped and that no new frigates be in the water before the 2030s.The Government has been bullish in previous assurances about naval ship building (see my interaction with Minister Farrell), but now we see that the detail of their announcement is a cut to previously approved programs and more promises about what they may do in the future and have yet to fund. 🎥 Watch my exchange with Minister Don Farrell on Labor’s defence record during Question Time 👉 youtu.be/AFqM4XvjMCw ... See MoreSee Less

More than 300 days after it announced a “short, sharp” review of Australia’s surface fleet, the Albanese Government has finally delivered what one of Australia’s preeminent national security journalists has described as “a cross between a damp squib and a huge con job”.

Although Defence Minister Richard Marles has recognised that Australia faces the most dangerous strategic circumstances since the Second World War, he has offered almost no new money and no immediate investments in capabilities for the Royal Australian Navy. In fact, the new money committed to the Navy in the forward estimates doesn’t even cover the budget cuts that Defence has already suffered under Labor.

It is critical that the Navy has adequate capability before the 2030s, which is why the Coalition committed to vital upgrades for the Anzac-class frigates. It is disappointing to see that these plans have been scrapped and that no new frigates be in the water before the 2030s.

The Government has been bullish in previous assurances about naval ship building (see my interaction with Minister Farrell), but now we see that the detail of their announcement is a cut to previously approved programs and more promises about what they may do in the future and have yet to fund. 

🎥 Watch my exchange with Minister Don Farrell on Labor’s defence record during Question Time 👉 https://youtu.be/AFqM4XvjMCw

2 CommentsComment on Facebook

What's new 😲.

Greg Sheridan.. oh please. The other day he roped recently deceased Navalny into a narrative against Labor. Desperate times for the conservatives.

3 days ago
Senator David Fawcett

This week, I was in Kingston SE to take evidence as a part of the Senate Standing Committee on Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport’s inquiry into Bank Closures in Regional Australia.

There is often a disconnect between what seems fine to executives in east-coast board rooms and the reality for Australians living in regional Australia. The conflicting evidence on the day from community, business and local government versus bank executives clearly reinforced this.x.com/TheRegional_au/status/1760139502604218754?s=20When my Coalition colleagues in the Senate initiatied an inquiry in to regional bank closures, I wanted to make sure the committee held a public hearing in Barker where so many people have been impacted by branch closures. Today I welcomed the committee to Kingston SE to take evidence from the region. There are social and economic consequences of bank closures for regional communities that bank executives in Sydney or Melbourne simply wouldnt understand. At a time of record profitability its about time they did. The committee is accepting submissions until the end of this month and is due to report findings by May. ... See MoreSee Less

This week, I was in Kingston SE to take evidence as a part of the Senate Standing Committee on Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport’s inquiry into Bank Closures in Regional Australia.

There is often a disconnect between what seems fine to executives in east-coast board rooms and the reality for Australians living in regional Australia. The conflicting evidence on the day from community, business and local government versus bank executives clearly reinforced this.

https://x.com/TheRegional_au/status/1760139502604218754?s=20

The Albanese Government is handing the Environmental Defenders Office $8.3 million, despite its record of frustrating business and industry through environmental lawfare, putting jobs and investment at risk and driving up the cost of living for every day Australians.

In contrast, the EDO was defunded by the Coalition Government in 2013. During the Voice debate, I noted that the EDO was responsible for actions resulting in the multi-billion-dollar Santos gas project in the Timor Sea being stalled—costing Santos of millions, which adds cost to the gas that underpins energy for families and Australian businesses.In a media release published after the court decision, the EDO celebrated the fact that this legal action would slow down, if not completely stop, the project, which is one that experts note would increase energy supply to Australians and help to drive down the cost of living.This year, a Federal Court judge over-turned that earlier decision on the Santos project, pointing out serious problems with the evidence presented by the EDO, which has a record of radical and activist environmental lawfare.A future Dutton Coalition Government will again defund the Environmental Defenders Office, supporting Australians who value affordable and reliable energy.#Edo #auspol ... See MoreSee Less

The Albanese Government is handing the Environmental Defenders Office $8.3 million, despite its record of frustrating business and industry through environmental lawfare, putting jobs and investment at risk and driving up the cost of living for every day Australians. 

In contrast, the EDO was defunded by the Coalition Government in 2013. 

During the Voice debate, I noted that the EDO was responsible for actions resulting in the multi-billion-dollar Santos gas project in the Timor Sea being stalled—costing Santos of millions, which adds cost to the gas that underpins energy for families and Australian businesses.

In a media release published after the court decision, the EDO celebrated the fact that this legal action would slow down, if not completely stop, the project, which is one that experts note would increase energy supply to Australians and help to drive down the cost of living.

This year, a Federal Court judge over-turned that earlier decision on the Santos project, pointing out serious problems with the evidence presented by the EDO, which has a record of radical and activist environmental lawfare.

A future Dutton Coalition Government will again defund the Environmental Defenders Office, supporting Australians who value affordable and reliable energy.

#EDO #Auspol

3 CommentsComment on Facebook

Why don't you see the labor party logo on the Australian.

Delivery for perin.

When's The Australian going to start publishing the Liberal Party logo in the top righthand corner of its publications?

7 days ago
Senator David Fawcett

The Salisbury RSL has a commendable practice of holding a service to commemorate the anniversary of the Bombing of Darwin each year. I was pleased to join them at the service this morning (pictured).

On 19 February 1942, Darwin experienced two large-scale Japanese air raids—the first of sixty-four raids on the city that would take place between February 1942 and November 1943. It was the first time mainland Australia experienced a foreign attack—and it remains the largest single attack on Australian soil.As the bombs began to fall, the Australian anti-aircraft gunners stationed in the city began to return fire—including one Wilbert Hudson, who was in the shower when the alarms sounded and rushed out wearing nothing but a tin hat, boots and a bath towel. Hudson was the first gunner to shoot down a Japanese plane. He later became the first Australian serviceman to win a gallantry medal while fighting on Australia’s mainland.While the few defenders fought bravely, they were ill-prepared, poorly equipped and completely outgunned by the 242 bombers and fighters in the first Japanese wave—and the city sustained widespread damage from the relentless bombardment.At the time of the attack, there were only ten fighter planes in Darwin—US Kittyhawks—all of which were destroyed in the onslaught. Eighty-eight American sailors were killed when the US Destroyer U.S.S. Peary was hit and sunk during the attack. Another thirteen sailors were wounded.We pause today to remember the sacrifice of Australian and US military personnel who defended Darwin—as well as the civilians who were killed in the attack. In total, the first two Japanese air raids resulted in the deaths of 252 people in and around Darwin. Hundreds more were wounded, and twenty military aircraft and dozens of ships were destroyed or damaged.The lesson we must take from this part of Australia’s history is that sometimes the unimaginable can happen—and if we are going to effectively defend Australia, we must be willing to invest and prepare in advance.Freedom comes at a cost.Lest We Forget. 🌺👉 Read more on the Bombing of Darwin: www.awm.gov.au/articles/blog/1942-bombing-of-darwin #lestweforget #Darwin #Anzac #WWII #WW2 Ron S Read - Naval Military History Speaker ... See MoreSee Less

The Salisbury RSL has a commendable practice of holding a service to commemorate the anniversary of the Bombing of Darwin each year. I was pleased to join them at the service this morning (pictured).

On 19 February 1942, Darwin experienced two large-scale Japanese air raids—the first of sixty-four raids on the city that would take place between February 1942 and November 1943. It was the first time mainland Australia experienced a foreign attack—and it remains the largest single attack on Australian soil.

As the bombs began to fall, the Australian anti-aircraft gunners stationed in the city began to return fire—including one Wilbert Hudson, who was in the shower when the alarms sounded and rushed out wearing nothing but a tin hat, boots and a bath towel. Hudson was the first gunner to shoot down a Japanese plane. He later became the first Australian serviceman to win a gallantry medal while fighting on Australia’s mainland.

While the few defenders fought bravely, they were ill-prepared, poorly equipped and completely outgunned by the 242 bombers and fighters in the first Japanese wave—and the city sustained widespread damage from the relentless bombardment.

At the time of the attack, there were only ten fighter planes in Darwin—US Kittyhawks—all of which were destroyed in the onslaught. Eighty-eight American sailors were killed when the US Destroyer U.S.S. Peary was hit and sunk during the attack. Another thirteen sailors were wounded.

We pause today to remember the sacrifice of Australian and US military personnel who defended Darwin—as well as the civilians who were killed in the attack. In total, the first two Japanese air raids resulted in the deaths of 252 people in and around Darwin. Hundreds more were wounded, and twenty military aircraft and dozens of ships were destroyed or damaged.

The lesson we must take from this part of Australia’s history is that sometimes the unimaginable can happen—and if we are going to effectively defend Australia, we must be willing to invest and prepare in advance.

Freedom comes at a cost.

Lest We Forget. 🌺

👉 Read more on the Bombing of Darwin: https://www.awm.gov.au/articles/blog/1942-bombing-of-darwin 

#lestweforget #Darwin #Anzac #WWII #WW2 

Ron S Read - Naval Military History SpeakerImage attachment

2 CommentsComment on Facebook

Appreciate you putting the photo up and your remarks about this day.. Nice to see you again Senator.

And we still not prepared today.

1 week ago
Senator David Fawcett

I had the opportunity to attend the official opening of the new Flinders University City Campus, along with Her Excellency the Hon Frances Adamson AC, South Australian Premier the Hon Peter Malinauskas, Opposition Leader the Hon David Spiers, and others, recently.

Higher education institutions like Flinders University play a crucial role in developing critical defence-related skills and expertise in our state, as well as conducting advanced research in the field—strengthening Australia’s sovereign defence industry and encouraging continued innovation, which supports our defence capability and allows the Australian Defence Force to remain at the cutting edge of defence technology. This kind of innovation and training is more important than ever in light of the urgent strategic circumstances identified in the Defence Strategic Update and more recently in the Defence Strategic Review.📷 Pictured with Opposition Leader David Spiers and Andrew Mannix, Executive General Manager of Mission Solutions at Nova Systems. ... See MoreSee Less

I had the opportunity to attend the official opening of the new Flinders University City Campus, along with Her Excellency the Hon Frances Adamson AC, South Australian Premier the Hon Peter Malinauskas, Opposition Leader the Hon David Spiers, and others, recently.

Higher education institutions like Flinders University play a crucial role in developing critical defence-related skills and expertise in our state, as well as conducting advanced research in the field—strengthening Australia’s sovereign defence industry and encouraging continued innovation, which supports our defence capability and allows the Australian Defence Force to remain at the cutting edge of defence technology. 

This kind of innovation and training is more important than ever in light of the urgent strategic circumstances identified in the Defence Strategic Update and more recently in the Defence Strategic Review.

📷 Pictured with Opposition Leader David Spiers and Andrew Mannix, Executive General Manager of Mission Solutions at Nova Systems.Image attachment

Remembering the Fall of Singapore and its Enduring Legacy:

Today, on the 82nd anniversary of the Fall of Singapore, we pause to remember the sacrifices made by thousands of Australians who fought bravely in defence of the island city.When Japanese forces landed on the northwest of the island on the night of 8/9 February 1942, the Australian 22nd and 27th Brigades were the first British Empire Troops to meet the Japanese attack.The Battle was a pivotal moment in the early parts of the Second World War—with significant numbers of Allied troops captured, most of whom went on to endure unimaginable hardships. Approximately a third of the Australians captured did not survive their captivity.For families back home, news of the fall brought anxiety and despair—not knowing the fate of their loved ones trapped on the other side of the world.The impact of the fall continues to this day. At the time, it led to a re-evaluation of Australia’s defence strategy, leading to closer ties with the United States—ties which continue today, expressed in partnerships like the AUKUS agreement.The Japanese campaign in Malaya and Singapore resulted in well over one hundred thousand British and Allied troops being captured, including around 15,000 Australians. By the time Allied troops lay down their arms at 8:30pm on 15 February 1942, about 1,800 Australians had been killed or were listed as missing in action, while another 1,300 were wounded.The Fall of Singapore serves as a stark reminder of the fragility of peace and the enduring cost of freedom.Lest We Forget.📷 Photos: AWM ... See MoreSee Less

Remembering the Fall of Singapore and its Enduring Legacy:

Today, on the 82nd anniversary of the Fall of Singapore, we pause to remember the sacrifices made by thousands of Australians who fought bravely in defence of the island city.

When Japanese forces landed on the northwest of the island on the night of 8/9 February 1942, the Australian 22nd and 27th Brigades were the first British Empire Troops to meet the Japanese attack.

The Battle was a pivotal moment in the early parts of the Second World War—with significant numbers of Allied troops captured, most of whom went on to endure unimaginable hardships. Approximately a third of the Australians captured did not survive their captivity.

For families back home, news of the fall brought anxiety and despair—not knowing the fate of their loved ones trapped on the other side of the world.

The impact of the fall continues to this day. At the time, it led to a re-evaluation of Australia’s defence strategy, leading to closer ties with the United States—ties which continue today, expressed in partnerships like the AUKUS agreement.

The Japanese campaign in Malaya and Singapore resulted in well over one hundred thousand British and Allied troops being captured, including around 15,000 Australians. By the time Allied troops lay down their arms at 8:30pm on 15 February 1942, about 1,800 Australians had been killed or were listed as missing in action, while another 1,300 were wounded.

The Fall of Singapore serves as a stark reminder of the fragility of peace and the enduring cost of freedom.

Lest We Forget.

📷 Photos: AWMImage attachmentImage attachment

2 CommentsComment on Facebook

Lest We Forget..Eternal vigilance..

Yeah - the once impregnable Singapore Garrison gone in just a few days along with more than one quarter of Australia's Army...................

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