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(MELBOURNE) LATEST: Christian Porter & Linda Reynolds have been removed from their senior ministerial positions, switched to other Cabinet roles as Scott Morrison seeks to stabilise his scandal-plagued government #AceNewsDesk report

#AceNewsReport – Mar.31: After weeks of shocking revelations about workplace culture and the treatment of women in federal politics, the Prime Minister has been forced to rearrange his front bench:

Scott Morrison moves Christian Porter, Linda Reynolds and Peter Dutton in Cabinet reshuffle: ‘Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton moves into the defence portfolio, a role he has long coveted: Karen Andrews, formerly industry minister, has been promoted to replace Mr Dutton at Home Affairs & she has done an outstanding job in her role. She is a woman of great talent, great experience and great practicality,” Mr Morrison said’

ABC NEWS: 2m 37s

Play Video. Duration: 6 minutes 3 seconds
Christian Porter has been demoted from Attorney-General in a Cabinet reshuffle
Karen Andrews speaks to the media with a pink banner behind her
Karen Andrews will become Australia’s first woman to lead Home Affairs.(ABC News: Matt Roberts)

The Prime Minister also announced a new taskforce, which Marise Payne, the Minister for Women and Foreign Affairs, was to lead.

He said it would oversee the government’s policies on women’s equality, safety, economic security, health and wellbeing.

Senator Payne said: “Bringing a gender equality lens, if you like, to the whole-of-ministry approach enables us to really focus in on those issues right across government in a way that I have never seen before.

“I think it’s very powerful.”

Play Video. Duration: 2 minutes 37 seconds
A group will be established in the Federal Government ministry to deal with women’s issues.

Porter no longer the top law official

Mr Porter moves from attorney-general to take on Ms Andrews’ former role, while Senator Reynolds takes on government services and the NDIS.

Michaelia Cash moves from employment ministry to become Attorney-General and Industrial Relations Minister.

Mr Porter and Senator Reynolds both remain on medical leave.

The Prime Minister sought advice from the solicitor-general after Mr Porter launched defamation action against the ABC and journalist Louise Milligan.

Mr Morrison said moving Mr Porter would allow him to remain in the Cabinet while he pursued the legal action.

“This fully addresses all the issues relate to the advice received from the solicitor-general, as well as the Prime Minister and Cabinet regarding the ministerial guidelines,” he said.

“He’s a very capable minister and I’m sure he’ll apply his talents to that portfolio to the best of his abilities.”

A red-haired woman stands at a podium with arm raised.
Melissa Price returns to Cabinet, having been demoted after the 2019 federal election.(ABC News: Marco Catalano)

Cabinet returns to record numbers of women

Social Services Minister Anne Ruston will add Minister for Women’s Safety to her responsibilities and join a broader leadership group within the Cabinet.

Defence Industry Minister Melissa Price retains her portfolio but returns to the Cabinet, having been demoted after the last election.

It means there are now seven women in Cabinet, a record previously held before Bridget McKenzie lost her leadership role in the so-called sports rorts scandal last year.

Assistant Minister to the Attorney-General Amanda Stoker would take on additional assistant ministry positions supporting women’s and industrial relations’ policies.

Stuart Robert, a close ally of Mr Morrison, moves from government services to take on Senator Cash’s former roles.

#AceNewsDesk report …….Published: Mar.31: 2021:

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