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Christopher Pyne Says His Replacement Should Be Chosen 'On Merit' Not Gender

Outgoing MP Christopher Pyne says his replacement should be selected on merit.

Outgoing South Australian MP Christopher Pyne says his replacement should be selected on merit -- not gender -- from candidates who have known the area for a long time.

The federal defence minister announced his retirement on Saturday, and said Premier Steven Marshall's chief of staff James Stevens fits the criteria.

Chris Pyne
Christopher Pyne announces retirement. Image: AAP

Stevens is the early frontrunner to replace Pyne.

"It has to be somebody from the area who knows the area well and has known the area well for a long time, not some blow in from outside the electorate," he told reporters.