Cabinet reshuffle: New ministers for small business and tech portfolios

Stuart Robert

Stuart Robert has been appointed as the new Small Business Minister. Source: AAP Image/Mick Tsikas

The Morrison Cabinet reshuffle has brought in new ministers for both the small and family business and the tech and industry portfolios.

As was widely anticipated, Christian Porter has been dropped as Attorney General and industrial relations minister, with former small business minister Michaelia Cash moving into the roles.

Former minister for government services and the NDIS Stuart Robert — reportedly a close ally of Morrison’s — has taken on the Employment, Workforce, Skills, Small and Family Business Portfolio.

Elsewhere, Karen Andrews, previously the minister for industry, science and technology, has become the Minister for Home Affairs.

Christian Porter is set to pick up her previous portfolio when he returns from mental health leave.

Porter stepped down from his duties temporarily after he named himself as the minister implicated in reports of a rape allegation from 1988. He strongly denies the allegations.

Cash has been the acting Attorney General and Industrial Relations Minister since.

Morrison first suggested he was planning a reshuffle last week, suggesting Porter’s defamation action against the ABC had given rise to a conflict of interest. The move allows him to remain in the cabinet.

Former defence minister Linda Reynolds is also currently on medical leave, due to a heart problem. Her leave was announced just days after her former staffer Brittany Higgins made allegations she was raped in Reynolds’ office.

Former home affairs minister Peter Dutton moves into her much-coveted role, while Reynolds will return as Minister for Government Services and the NDIS.

The cabinet reshuffle follows weeks of scandal, much of which surrounded Reynolds and Porter, and the uncovering of a problematic workplace culture within parliament.

Morrison also used his press conference to announce a taskforce that will oversee policies of equality, and women’s safety, health, wellbeing and economic security.

The taskforce will be headed up by Minister for Women and Foreign Affairs Marise Payne.

The new cabinet also includes seven women — something Morrison made much of — and Social Services Minister Anne Ruston will also gain the title of Minister for Women’s Safety.

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