Australian ministry reshuffle


Canberra - The Australian Prime Minister, Mr John Howard, announced major changes to his ministerial team yesterday after the damaging parliamentary travel allowances scandal that forced three ministers from office.

Backbencher Mr Mark Vaile was promoted to the cabinet post of Transport Minister, replacing Mr John Sharp, who resigned last month after it emerged that he had secretly repaid almost A$9,000 (about £4,400) in tax-free parliamentary travel expenses. The portfolios of the other two politicans who resigned were divided up among other ministers. Meanwhile Mr David Sherry, an MP who attempted suicide because of the allegations, spent a third day recovering in hospital.