Former Defence Minister and WA Liberal Senator Linda Reynolds has announced her decision to retire from politics in the upcoming election. For the first time in her political career, she has the opportunity to choose the time and circumstances of her departure, and after considerable reflection, she has decided to not seek pre-selection for another term with the Liberal Party beyond June 2025. Reynolds has proudly served her nation for 40 years, including in the Army, the Liberal Party, the defense industry, Parliament, and Government. She expressed pride in her achievements, particularly as Minister for Defence and Minister for Government Services and the NDIS. She believes this to be the right time for her and the WA Liberal Party to provide her successor with the same opportunities it has given her.
Reynolds was criticized for her response to rape allegations by former staff member Brittany Higgins in her ministerial office in 2019, with journalist Lisa Wilkinson stating that she thought Reynolds “covered up” the alleged incident. Reynolds denies any involvement in covering up the rape allegations and states that she has faced unjust criticism and abuse since the scandal emerged. She has also sued Ms. Higgins and her partner for defamation over their social media posts about the allegations. Despite the controversy, Senate Opposition Leader Simon Birmingham commended her multifaceted career, acknowledging her more than 35 years of experience in the Australian Army and her role as a “steadfast champion” for the nation’s defense, national security, and the advancement of Australia. He praised her legislative initiatives and tireless advocacy, mentioning that her policies will endure for years to come.