Aborigine promoted in Australian Cabinet reshuffle

AP News
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Posted: Jan 17, 2017 7:53 PM

CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — Australia's prime minister on Wednesday announced a limited reshuffle of his Cabinet in which he appointed the nation's first aboriginal federal minister.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said that the indigenous lawmaker Ken Wyatt, who is assistant minister for health and aged care, will be promoted to minister for aged care and indigenous health when the new ministers are sworn in next Tuesday.

The reshuffle was forced by the resignation last week of Sussan Ley as minister for health, aged care and sport because of allegations she shopped for residential investment properties during trips charged to the taxpayer as business travel.

Minister for industry, innovation and science, Greg Hunt, will become minister for health and sport. Cabinet Secretary Arthur Sinodinos will take over Hunt's former portfolios.

The reshuffle is the second since Turnbull's conservative coalition was re-elected last July.

Turnbull defended the reduction in the number of women cabinet ministers from six to five among 17 men, saying no conservative government before his had more women ministers.

"Ministers are all doing their jobs very well," Turnbull told reporters.

The government is reviewing the rules around what expenses lawmakers can claim following the controversy over Ley's travel expenses.