Dutton vows to repair poor defence morale

·1-min read

Peter Dutton has vowed to repair poor morale across the Australian Defence Force following a damning report into war crimes in Afghanistan.

The freshly appointed defence minister said his department's response to the Brereton report would continue, but insisted the government "had the back" of the country's service men and women.

Mr Dutton has spent several days meeting defence personnel in Queensland after taking over the portfolio last week.

"I think morale has been down and I think there is good reason now for it to be rebuilt," he told The Australian.

"The commitment the government has got to the Australian Defence Force, not only financially but morally, is very important."

Mr Dutton said he would not rush the response to the Brereton report, which was released nearly five months ago and found up to 19 soldiers had murdered 39 civilians and prisoners in Afghanistan.

He has told the chief of defence and the secretary of his department to provide all available support to troops and get major procurements back on track.

"There are priorities that we will focus on which will make it very clear to our troops that the government has their back," Mr Dutton said.