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Australian PM Scott Morrison boosts number of women in Cabinet with reshuffle

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Prime Minister Scott Morrison arrives for Question Time in the House of Representatives at Parliament House in Canberra

Australian Premier Scott Morrison on Sunday extended greetings to his "good friend" Prime Minister Narendra Modi ahead of Holi and praised India for doing a "tremendous job" in making COVID-19 vaccines that are helping the broader world combat the pandemic.

Karen Andrews will replace Peter Dutton, who is also taking Mr Porter's role as leader of the house, as home affairs minister.

The new Attorney-General and Industrial Relations Minister will be Michaelia Cash, who is moving into the role from the employment ministry.

This is a developing story.

Ms. Reynolds, who was the Defence Minister, had been heavily criticised 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.

Ms Higgins, 26, reported the allegation to her then boss - Ms Reynolds - but said she had felt pressure not to report it to police.

Attorney-general Christian Porter and Defence Minister Linda Reynolds have both been stripped of their current portfolios but will remain in cabinet.

The new group will be led by Minister for Women Marise Payne and comprise all female ministers, along with the deputy prime minister, treasurer and finance minister.

Queensland senator Amanda Stoker will become assistant minister for industrial relations and women. "She is a woman of great talent, great experience and great practicality", Mr Morrison said.

"Getting these results for Australian women will be achieved through collaboration, it will be achieved through listening, they will be achieved by acting together", Morrison said.

The Australian parliament has been engulfed by allegations of sexual abuse, discrimination against women and misconduct.

Mr Morrison has called Mr Porter an "innocent man under our law", and has refused calls to hold an independent investigation into the allegation against him.

"I was completely stumped, as I have been on more than one occasion over the course of this last month", Morrison said at the time. "But I think what we are announcing today has gone further than that", Morrison told reporters in Canberra. "This is not an issue that should be the subject of partisan contest, it really shouldn't".

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