Christian Porter and Linda Reynolds demoted as PM reshuffles cabinet with ‘fresh lens’ on women | Coalition
Prime Minister Scott Morrison has attempted to circumvent a political crisis that is gripping the coalition for its treatment of women by introducing a new bank aimed at raising the female “perspective”.
Morrison said Monday the reshuffle would “shake up what needs to be shaken” and provide a “fresh lens” to achieve change for women, but he defied calls from ministers Christian Porter and Linda Reynolds from the front bench with the couple to be laid off to stay in new portfolios in the cabinet.
Porter, the outgoing attorney general, has been asked to resign to allow an independent investigation into a historical rape allegation he denies. Reynolds, the outgoing Secretary of Defense, has come under fire for handling allegations of the rape of Brittany Higgins and calling her former coworker a “lying cow”.
In an attempt to draw a line beneath the rolling crisis in which a number of cases of sexual assault and misconduct have come to light, Morrison has announced that it will set up a new task force on women, while reducing the number of women in the cabinet to seven out raise seven 23.
The task force will be dedicated to equality, security and the economic well-being of women and will be led by Morrison and the Secretary for Women, Marise Payne. All of the government ministers will be among them.
“This is about getting the right input,” Morrison told reporters.
“The point here is to find the right perspective. The point is to take a close look at the policy challenges we are facing and the policy development and implementation work that needs to be carried out.
“What we need to do is address the government’s agenda with the changes we are making, with a new lens and a new lens, specifically to get the results we all want for Australian women across the country. These changes will shake up what needs to be shaken while maintaining the dynamism, continuity and stability Australia needs. “
The Prime Minister said he did not believe that change could be achieved through “conflict” and Australian demarcation.
West Australian Senator Michaelia Cash will take on Porter’s former role as Attorney General and Labor Relations Secretary, while Queensland Rep. Karen Andrews will take over the home affairs portfolio formerly held by Peter Dutton, who moves on defense.
Porter said he accepts that he must step down from the role of attorney general because he has started a defamation case against the ABC.
“Accepting and understanding that the initiation of defamation proceedings against the ABC now requires my replacement as attorney general, does not change the crucial principle under which I had to initiate defamation proceedings,” said Porter, who is due to return to work on Wednesday, in a statement.
“Given the ABC’s false claims about me, I had no choice but to initiate the defamation process, and I have no regrets that I took this course of action.”
Dutton, who has held the home affairs portfolio since 2017, will become the sixth person to become Secretary of Defense in the past eight years. Stuart Robert takes on the role of Employment, Skills and Small Business.
Melissa Price, who was sacked as Environment Minister after the last election, is returning to the cabinet while retaining her existing portfolio in the defense industry.
Reynolds, who was on vacation, will remain in the cabinet but will take over the domestic portfolio of government services and NDIS, while Porter will take over industry, science and technology.
Morrison will also strengthen the role of Cabinet Secretary Anne Ruston – adding women’s safety to her existing portfolio of social services and appointing her to the government leadership team as Senate affairs manager.
At the Department of State, Victorian Senator Jane Hume will expand her existing financial services role to include women’s economic security and Queensland Senator Amanda Stoker will become Assistant Secretary of State for Women.