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Australia parliament gets new cabinet

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Australia parliament gets new cabinet

Thereport24.com Desk:

Australia's parliament has resumed with PM Malcolm Turnbull's new cabinet set to take their seats for the first time since Tony Abbott was ousted as leader, reports BBC.

Free trade and counter-terrorism measures are on the week's agenda.

For the first time since 1995, Mr Abbott is on the back benches, along with some of his demoted supporters.

A recent poll conducted for the Australian newspaper showed that 62% of people backed the Liberal Party's change of leader.

But it also suggested public support for the government and opposition Labor was deadlocked at 50-50.

Mr Abbott was abruptly voted out by parliamentary colleagues last month after being plagued by poor opinion polls.

Soon afterwards, Mr Turnbull overhauled the cabinet, removing senior ministers and more than doubling the number of women.

He described it as a "21st-Century government" but opposition Leader Bill Shorten said he had only rewarded his supporters.

A new seating plan in parliament puts Mr Abbott next to ally Joe Hockey, his former treasurer.

Since his ousting Mr Abbott has done constituency work, and also told Australian radio he would make a decision on his future by Christmas.

Ends/thereport24.com/MI/Oct 12, 2015