As at 30 June 2020, the Defence portfolio has four ministers:
- Senator the Hon Linda Reynolds CSC, Minister for Defence
- the Hon Darren Chester MP, Minister for Veterans’ Affairs and Minister for Defence Personnel
- the Hon Alex Hawke MP, Assistant Defence Minister and Minister for International Development and the Pacific
- the Hon Melissa Price MP, Minister for Defence Industry.
Defence is established as a Department of State under the Administrative Arrangements Order. Defence operates under the Public Service Act 1999 and is a non-corporate Commonwealth entity under the PGPA Act. The ADF is constituted through the Defence Act 1903.
In addition to the Department of Defence and the ADF, the Defence portfolio contains other entities, including Defence Housing Australia; the Australian Defence Force Cadets; and a number of statutory offices, canteens, trusts and companies. Legislation that establishes these entities includes the Defence Housing Australia Act 1987, the Defence Act 1903, the Army and Air Force (Canteen) Regulation 2016, the Navy (Canteen) Regulation 2016, the Services Trust Funds Act 1947, the Royal Australian Air Force Veterans’ Residences Act 1953 and the Corporations Act 2001.
The portfolio also contains the Australian Signals Directorate, designated under the Intelligence Services Act 2001, and the Department of Veterans’ Affairs and associated bodies as designated in the Administrative Arrangements Order.