Interim Attorney-General named in Porter’s absence

By Naomi Neilson|03 March 2021

An interim Attorney-General will step in to cover Christian Porter’s role while he takes a leave of absence following a tense press conference about rape allegations.

Western Australian senator and employment and skills minister Michaelia Cash has been made the acting Attorney-General and industrial relations minister for a short time as Mr Porter takes a leave of absence for his mental health. The length of his absence is unknown.

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It follows on from a press conference in which Mr Porter denied that he had assaulted a woman over 30 years ago and said that he will “look into” legal action.

In Mr Porter’s absence, it is being reported that Senator Cash will now take control of a major overhaul of Australia’s workplace laws.

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Earlier on Wednesday, 3 March, Senator Cash announced the appointment of former liberal colleague, the Honourable Bruce Billson, as the new Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman. He will have a “pivotal role” in shaping the government’s response and continuing support of small businesses that are recovering from COVID-19.

Senator Cash holds an honours degree in law from the University of London and a bachelor of arts (social science) from Curtin University in Perth, graduating with a triple major in public relations, politics and journalism. She also holds a graduate diploma in legal practice from the University of Western Australia.

Mr Porter denied that he had assaulted the woman or ever engaged in sexual activity with her. He told media that he had been subjected to a “whisper campaign” and was never given the opportunity to respond to claims written by media.

More to come.

Interim Attorney-General named in Porter’s absence
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