Andrew Hastie (politician)

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Andrew Hastie

Andrew Hastie Orignal.jpg
Member of the Australian Parliament
for Canning
Assumed office
19 September 2015
Preceded byDon Randall
Chair of the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security
Assumed office
15 February 2017
DeputyHon Anthony Byrne, MP
Preceded byHon Michael Sukkar, MP
Personal details
Andrew William Hastie

(1982-09-30) 30 September 1982 (age 36)
Wangaratta, Victoria, Australia
Political partyLiberal Party of Australia
Spouse(s)Ruth Hastie
ProfessionMember of Parliament (MP)
Military service
Branch/serviceAustralian Army
Years of service2001–2015
Unit2nd Cavalry Regiment (2007–2009)
Special Air Service Regiment (2010–2015)
Battles/warsWar in Afghanistan
Military intervention against ISIL

Andrew William Hastie (born 30 September 1982) is an Australian politician who serves as Chair of the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security and as the Federal MP for Canning, WA in the Australian House of Representatives. He was first elected in the 2015 Canning by-election and re-elected in 2016 and 2019.[1]

Hastie was born in Wangaratta, Victoria before moving to Sydney in 1987. He attended The Scots College from 1993-2000 before completing his Bachelor of Arts (Hons) in History, Politics & Philosophy through the University of New South Wales (UNSW) in conjunction with the Australian Defence Force Academy. He was later recruited into the Special Air Service Regiment (SAS) where he served in Papua New Guinea, Jordan, and multiple deployments to Afghanistan as Captain and Troop Commander. He featured in SBS Documentary SAS – The Search For Warriors as "Candidate 10".[2]


Hastie's forebears were migrants to Australia from Scotland, England, and Ireland.[3] Both Hastie's father and paternal grandfather were raised in the Sydney suburb of Vaucluse and were educated at Sydney Grammar School.[4] Hastie's paternal grandfather served as an officer with the Royal Australian Air Force and was severely wounded by gunfire when covering the air-sea rescue of two downed Australian airmen during the Pacific War for which he was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross. Hastie's grandmother Rose was a nurse and looked after Hastie's grandfather until he died.[5]

Early years and education[edit]

Hastie's parents moved the family to Wangaratta, Victoria in 1979 to establish Wangaratta Presbyterian Church where they ministered to the local community for seven years. Hastie was born there 30 September 1982. The family then moved to Ashfield, NSW in 1987 where Hastie's father became Minister of Ashfield Presbyterian Church. From age five to ten, Hastie attended Ashbury Public School. In 1993, Hastie began studying at The Scots College in Sydney where he graduated in the year 2000.

Hastie holds a Bachelor of Arts Honours degree (B.A., Hons.) in History, Politics, & Philosophy from the University of New South Wales in Sydney and UNSW Canberra at ADFA. After receiving his undergraduate degree in 2005, Hastie went on to officer training at Royal Military College, Duntroon in 2006 and Armoured Corps Officer training at Puckapunyal Military Area thereafter. In 2007, Hastie completed the George Washington University Elliott School of International Affairs's U.S. Foreign Policy Summer Program in Washington, D.C.

Military career (2001–2015)[edit]

Hastie was appointed an Officer Cadet in the Australian Army Reserves following the September 11 terrorist attacks in 2001 allegedly by Islamic terrorist group al-Qaeda who killed 2,996 people including 10 Australians. Initially he served with the University of New South Wales Regiment while he conducted officer training.[6] Hastie completed his UNSW Bachelor of Arts degree at the Australian Defence Force Academy before completing officer training at Royal Military College, Duntroon. Hastie then completed Armoured Corps Officer training at Puckapunyal before being posted to the 2nd Cavalry Regiment. The regiment is the second most senior regiment in the Royal Australian Armoured Corps, and is attached to the 1st Brigade, based in Darwin, Northern Territory.[7]

Hastie first deployed to Afghanistan as Cavalry Troop Commander of the 2nd Mentoring & Reconstruction Task Force in 2009–2010, commanding a troop of Australian Light Armoured Vehicles on patrols in Uruzgan province.[8] In 2012, he deployed to Port Moresby to support the Papuan New Guinea National Election then returned to Afghanistan with Special Operations Task Group 18. He returned to Afghanistan again in 2013 as Troop Commander of the Special Operations Task Group 19 SASR Troop that conducted counter-leadership operations in support of Australian Defence Force mentoring efforts. Hastie's final deployment to Afghanistan was as Operations Officer for Operation Gallant Phoenix to support intelligence efforts to understand the ISIS social media campaign.

Hastie completed selection for the Special Air Service Regiment (SAS) in 2010 and was subsequently posted to 1 SAS Squadron in 2012 following completion of his reinforcement training. He deployed with the Australian Special Operations Task Group Rotation XIX in 2013, commanding B Troop who were fighting Taliban in southern Afghanistan.

In 2013, a soldier in Hastie's command severed the hands of several alleged Taliban fighters, reportedly as a 'tactical necessity' to conduct laboratory testing for explosive residues.[9] Arriving on the scene after the incident, Hastie "could see bodies and hands off and I say, woa, what's going on? I was told this is a biometric procedure, that is what we've been taught.'"[10] In a later report Hastie is quoted as saying, “My gut instinct was okay, that’s a strange practice.” Hastie ordered his men not to sever any more hands and reported the incident to his commanding officer.[11]

The incident sparked controversy within the Australian Defence Force. [11] A report later revealed that training conducted by the Australian Defence Force Investigative Service (ADFIS) several days prior to the incident had confused the situation.[9] In previous operations fingerprints of agricultural workers were often worn and inkpads frequently smudged in evidence bags, rendering results inconclusive. Advice was requested by operators on best practice.[10] A defence scientist who was present at the training — described in the report as “possibly the most independent person at the training” — characterised the advice given by the experts as, “Here are a range of techniques that can be used to gather evidence from a scene. It’s up to those guys, under the tactical situation that they’re experiencing, to determine what is the most appropriate technique to use.”[11] Captain Hastie later commented that 'The guy giving instructions conflated site exploitation of a suicide bomber with that of biometric testing.'[10] The SASR corporal who severed the hands later conceded he was guilty of an error of judgement in not first checking with his patrol commander.

Hastie deployed in late-2014 and 2015 to a Middle East-based role countering ISIL.[12] He resigned his commission in August 2015 after announcing his candidature.[13]

In Afghanistan, Hastie and his fellow troops were a part of operations that saw the successful removal of enemy combatants who fired rockets at the Allied base and prevented a truck bomb from coming through the front gates.[14]

Political career (2015–present)[edit]

The seat of Canning became vacant by the death in office of the Liberal member, Don Randall, triggering the 2015 Canning by-election.

On Saturday 19 September, after a four-week campaign, Hastie won 55.26% of votes under the two-party-preferred system making him the 10th Federal Member for Canning by defeating Labor candidate Matt Keogh.

In the 2016 Federal Election, Hastie ran for re-election and won 56.79% of the votes under the Two-party-preferred vote against Labor opposition candidate Barry Winmar.

In September 2016, Hastie was appointed to the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security, he was then invited to chair the committee in 2017.[15]

As Chair of the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security Hastie has overseen the consideration of several major pieces of legislation, including the Espionage and Foreign Interference Act 2018, the Foreign Influence Transparency Scheme Act 2018 and the Security of Critical Infrastructure Act 2018.

In the 2019 Federal election, Hastie ran for re-election and won 61.83% of the two-party-preferred vote against the Australian Labor Party's candidate Mellisa Teede.

Personal life[edit]

Hastie met his wife Ruth in the summer of 2007 while he was studying at George Washington University. Hastie proposed to Ruth on the steps of the Sydney Opera House. The two were married in 2008. Their children were born in Perth in June 2015 and August 2017 respectively. The family of four now lives in the City of Mandurah in the Peel region of Western Australia.[16][17]

Honours and awards[edit]

Australian Active Service Medal ribbon.png

Afghanistan Medal (Australia) ribbon.png Australian Service Medal ribbon.png Australian Defence Medal (Australia) ribbon.png NATO Medal ISAF ribbon bar v2.svg

AUS Meritorious Unit Citation with Federation Star.png

Ribbon of the AASM Australian Active Service Medal with clasp for ICAT
Ribbon of the Afghanistan Medal for Australia Afghanistan Medal Operation SLIPPER
Ribbon of the Australian Service Medal Australian Service Medal with clasp for CT/SR (Counter Terrorism / Special Recovery)[18]
Ribbon of the ADM Australian Defence Medal
NATO Medal ISAF ribbon bar v2.svg NATO Medal for the Non-Article 5 ISAF Operation in Afghanistan with clasp ISAF
Meritorious Unit Citation Meritorious Unit Citation with Federation Star Awarded to Task Force 66 in the 2015 Australia Day Honours
Infantry Combat Badge
Army Combat Badge


  1. ^ "Mr Andrew Hastie MP". Retrieved 18 April 2018.
  2. ^ "Liberals Dare to Win the SAS Veteran". Retrieved 18 April 2018.
  3. ^ "First Speech". Retrieved 18 April 2018.
  4. ^ "Norman William (Bill) Hastie DFC (1921-2014)" (PDF). Retrieved 18 April 2018.
  5. ^ "First Speech". Retrieved 19 April 2018.
  6. ^ "September 11 Australian Stories". Retrieved 19 April 2018.
  7. ^ "2nd Cavalry Regiment". Retrieved 20 April 2018.
  8. ^ "Counterinsurgency in Uruzgan 2009" (PDF). The Australian Army. 1 July 2010. Archived from the original (PDF) on 23 September 2015. Retrieved 2 September 2015.
  9. ^ a b Oakes, Dan; Clark, Sam (11 July 2017). "Afghan Files expose deadly secrets of Australia's special forces". ABC News. Retrieved 5 June 2019.
  10. ^ a b c Masters, Chris (2017). No Front Line. Australia: Allen & Unwin. p. 518. ISBN 9781760111144.
  11. ^ a b c "What the f*** are you doing: Chaos over severed hands". ABC News. 11 July 2017. Retrieved 5 June 2019.
  12. ^ "Andrew Hastie to run for Liberals, Matt Keogh for ALP in Canning by-election". ABC News. 20 August 2015. Retrieved 2 September 2015.
  13. ^ "Andrew Hastie, Liberal byelection candidate, was in charge of troop probed for chopping hands off Taliban". Sydney Morning Herald. 22 August 2015. Retrieved 3 September 2015.
  14. ^ "The Untold Story of SAS mission". Retrieved 20 April 2018.
  15. ^;query=Id%3A%22chamber%2Fhansardr%2F9de5f081-9ccf-4f72-a05a-02462c1f3a0c%2F0136%22 Retrieved 15 June 2017
  16. ^ "For God and country". The Australian. Retrieved 18 April 2018.
  17. ^ "About Andrew". Retrieved 18 April 2018.

External links[edit]

Parliament of Australia
Preceded by
Don Randall
Member for Canning