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Australia s leader makes Cabinet moves after sexual misconduct scandals

Australia s leader makes Cabinet moves after sexual misconduct scandals
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Porter, who was the attorney-general, had earlier taken mental health leave after revealing he was the person accused of raping a 16-year-old girl when he was a teenager 33 years ago. His accuser has since died and police are not pursuing any charges.

Reynolds, who was the defence minister, had been heavily criticized for failing to adequately support a young staffer who alleged she was raped by a more senior colleague in the minister s office two years ago.

Reynolds was forced to apologize after it emerged she had called the staffer a "lying cow."

Under the Cabinet reshuffle announced by Morrison, Michaelia Cash will become the new attorney-general and Peter Dutton will take over as defence minister.

Porter will be reassigned to industry minister, while Reynolds will become the government services minister.

Morrison also announced he was starting a new Cabinet taskforce to address issues of women s equality, safety, economic security, health and wellbeing. Morrison will co-chair the taskforce along with Marise Payne, the minister for women.

Morrison said the changes would mean the Cabinet would have the strongest ever representation of women.

"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 difficult tasks," Morrison said.

The rape allegations have not been the only sexual misconduct scandals to hit Parliament as the perception grows that it fosters a culture that is toxic for women.
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