Australia PM Scott Morrison reshuffles Cabinet following sex scandals

Australian Government reshuffle as Scott Morrison moves Porter and Reynolds

The crisis began late in February when former government staffer Brittany Higgins went public with allegations that she was raped by a colleague in the office of Defence Minister Linda Reynolds in March 2019.

Linda Reynolds would leave the role of defence minister and would be replaced by Peter Dutton, previously home affairs minister.

"What we must do is address the Government's agenda with the changes that we're making and do so I think, with a fresh lens, in particular to achieving the outcomes, the results that we all want for Australian women across the country", Morrison said.

The Prime Minister also announced the promotion of several women in the administration, adding that his new team has "the largest female representation" in the history of the Australian government.

In a maybe-blamey turn of events, Morrison said that improvements to women in Parliament would come from collaborative efforts, rather than pitting people against each other. Ok.

"But it's not just about the size of the female contingent in my cabinet; it's the skills and the experience, it's the perspective, and it's the collaboration they bring to our nation's most hard tasks", Morrison said.

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.

Now, if you're wondering, 'what the hell is a primary minister for women?' - good luck, we have no idea either.

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But Morrison slipped, saying Payne would become "effectively ... the Prime Minister for Women" in her role as co-chair.

"Scott Morrison needs to take responsibility, personally, as the prime minister, for ensuring that women's issues are properly considered by his government".

Christian Porter and Linda Reynolds, who are both now on medical leave, are departing from their senior ministerial positions and are switching to other Cabinet roles in an effort to stabilise the government.

He has been under pressure to resign after he revealed himself as the Minister at the centre of the rape allegation.

Mr Porter will leave his post as attorney-general to take on Ms Andrews' former role, while Senator Reynolds takes on government services and the NDIS.

In March, the police said there was insufficient evidence to investigate the alleged rape, as the accuser was no longer alive.

His decision to launch defamation proceedings against the ABC and journalist Louise Milligan saw calls for him to be removed from his position intensify, over conflict of interest concerns.

She has since agreed on a defamation settlement with Higgins.

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