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Morrison reshuffles ministers after weeks of crisis

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Scott Morrison’s reshuffled cabinet ministers will attend today’s swearing-in ceremony by video conference, amid accusations the prime minister is putting the job security of his ministers ahead of the rest of the country.

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The prime minister and Governor-General David Hurley will attend the swearing-in ceremony in Canberra, while ministers gaining new roles will appear via video conference.

Two ministers at the centre of furores – Christian Porter and Linda Reynolds – have been retained in cabinet but have been shuffled into the industry and government services portfolios respectively.

South Australian Senator Anne Ruston has added Women’s Safety to her Social Services ministry.

Michaelia Cash has been promoted to attorney-general and industrial relations minister to replace Porter, who lost his job as the nation’s first law officer after launching defamation action against the ABC.

Karen Andrews will replace Dutton as home affairs minister, while he takes over the defence role from Senator Reynolds.

Senator Reynolds replaces scandal-prone minister Stuart Robert, who will take over the workforce, skills, employment and small business portfolios.

Defence Industry Minister Melissa Price has been returned to cabinet, which will have seven women.

Labor deputy leader Richard Marles said the only people guaranteed job security in Australia as the nation deals with economic headwinds are in Morrison’s cabinet.

Greens senator Larissa Waters said adding one woman to the cabinet would not fix the “entrenched and systemic issues” facing parliament or improve the lives of Australian women.

“The PM has shown that once again his priority is to his mates, not women or victims and survivors of violence,” she said.

Business groups hailed the appointment of Senator Cash as one of the most effective ministers in the government.

Labor industrial relations spokesman Tony Burke said she had been embroiled in a series of scandals.

“At a time when Australian workers need job security and better wages they’ve been given a minister obsessed with hardline ideology and political games.”

Meanwhile, the prime minister is resisting pressure to sack disgraced backbencher Andrew Laming despite Queensland Police receiving information about an alleged incident in 2019.

Laming will not contest the election but will remain in the coalition party room after admitting to bullying, stalking and harassing several women.

The Queenslander is also under fire for allegedly taking a photo of a woman whose underwear was showing as she bent over in the workplace, which is a criminal offence punishable by up to three years in prison.

The woman and a witness to the incident on Monday told Nine News they had initiated a complaint with Queensland Police.

But police later said the woman had spoken to them on Monday afternoon and was “not proceeding with a formal complaint at this time”.

-with AAP

 

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