Angus Campbell will be Australia’s Next Chief of Defence, ABC Understands

Angus Campbell, wearing his Army uniform, sits in front of a grey background and Australian flag.

The ABC understands the man who led the Abbott government’s efforts to stop asylum seeker boats reaching Australia will be the nation’s next Defence Chief.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull will today announce Lieutenant General Angus Campbell will replace Air Chief Marshal Mark Binskin in the top defence job in July.

Lieutenant General Campbell was the public face of Operation Sovereign Borders, where he was best known for not commenting on “on-water” or “operational matters”.

He has served as the Chief of Army since 2015.

Lieutenant General Campbell is considered a well-rounded military leader, having spent time as a public servant in the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet.

There he rose to become Deputy National Security Adviser.

The Army Chief edged out Vice Chief of Defence Ray Griggs and current Chief of Joint Operations David Johnston to win the role of Defence Chief.

Vice Admiral Johnston has led Australia’s operations in the Middle East, fighting against Islamic State, and will now replace Vice Admiral Griggs as the Vice Chief of Defence.

Vice Admiral Griggs is expected to retire from the military.

The Chief of Defence commands a military of 59,000 uniformed personnel, oversees an annual $34 billion budget and advises the Government on military strategy.

The position comes with a salary of more than $800,000, which is well over the $527,852 the Prime Minister earns.

There has been no official confirmation of the Defence positions from the Government, but the ABC understands the senior military leadership has been called to Parliament House at 1:00pm ahead of an announcement from the Prime Minister.

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