Liberal front bench reshuffled as Karen Andrews quits Dutton’s shadow cabinet

Victorian Senator James Patterson will join the shadow cabinet as the new opposition home affairs spokesperson.

Opposition Leader Peter Dutton has unveiled his reshuffled front bench, with Jacinta Price the new opposition Indigenous Australians spokesperson.

Mr Dutton made the announcement on Tuesday after the portfolio was vacated by Julian Leeser, who resigned from his role to campaign for the “yes” case. 

Mr Dutton added attorney-general to Michaelia Cash’s shadow portfolio and called her a “dear friend.”

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Victorian Senator James Patterson will join the shadow cabinet as the new opposition home affairs spokesperson.

Kerrynne Liddle will take on the role of opposition spokesperson for child protection and the prevention of family violence.

Earlier today shadow Home Affairs Minister Karen Andrews resigned from Peter Dutton’s shadow cabinet.

Ms Andrews, who represents the Gold Coast seat of McPherson, was first elected in 2010.

In a statement, she said, “After much deliberation, I have decided not to recontest the seat of McPherson at the next election, and as a result, I have asked Peter Dutton not to include me in his new Shadow Ministry.” 

“Having made the decision to call time on my political career, I wanted to ensure the Coalition has maximum time to have a replacement in the crucial Home Affairs portfolio, and the best local candidate for McPherson in place.” 

“It has been the greatest honour of my life to serve this nation as Australia’s Minister for Home Affairs, and as Minister for Industry, Science and Technology under a Coalition Government, and on the shadow front bench as Shadow Minister for Home Affairs, Child Protection and the Prevention of Family Violence.”  

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She was a cabinet minister from 2018 until the fall of the Morrison government in the 2022 election.

The opposition leader described Senator Price as a “fighter”.

“She’s a warrior for Indigenous Australians and she’s a very proud (Northern) Territorian,” he told reporters.

“She’s always fought hard to improve the lives of Indigenous women and kids, and we’ve seen that just in recent days. 

“I know that she’ll do an outstanding job in leading the charge, but better practical outcomes for Indigenous Australians, not through the prime minister’s Canberra voice bureaucracy.”

Senator Price, who has been a vocal campaigner against an Indigenous voice in the constitution, said she was “very humbled, very grateful that the leadership has entrusted me”.