New Victorian Government
5 December 2014:
Victoria’s new Premier, Daniel Andrews, has officially been sworn in along with his new 22 member Cabinet. The Andrews’ Ministry combines shadow cabinet members, former ALP ministers and a number of fresh entrants. The Cabinet includes nine women, the largest representation of women in any government leadership team across the country.
The Premier will oversee the State’s infrastructure projects, including the establishment of a new agency, Infrastructure Victoria, and the sale of the Port of Melbourne, while Tim Pallas has retained the Treasury portfolio and Robin Scott remains in the Finance portfolio. Deputy Leader James Merlino, remains in the Education portfolio, whilst Martin Pakula keeps his shadow portfolio and is now the Attorney General.
Shadow Minister for Planning, Brian Tee, lost his upper house seat at the election to the Greens Samantha Dunn; his Planning portfolio has been given to Richard Wynne, Member for the inner city seat of Richmond.
Upper house member for Western Victoria, Jaala Pulford, has been promoted to the frontbench as the Minister for Agriculture and Regional Development, and Jane Garrett, who narrowly retained her seat of Brunswick, is the Minister for Emergency Services, Consumer Affairs, Gaming and Liquor Regulation.
The frontbench is not the only thing to have received a makeover under Premier Andrews, with the public service to be condensed from nine departments to seven from 1 January 2015. Community portfolios have been moved into the Department of Premier and Cabinet, including the newly created portfolio of Equality and Prevention of Family Violence, an area set to feature prominently over the next parliamentary term given Labor’s intention to launch a Royal Commission into family violence.
The head of the health department, Dr Pradeep Philip, will lead a new combined Department of Health and Human Services which will also be responsible for families, children’s affairs, housing, disability and ageing, and sport.
A mega Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources has also been created and will cover a series of portfolios including agriculture, public transport, arts, energy, ports, tourism, roads and small business.
Meanwhile, the Coalition Opposition has elected a new leader. Former Planning Minister, Matthew Guy, defeated outgoing treasurer Michael O’Brien, in a ballot held on Thursday. The outer eastern Member for Croydon and former Minster for Ports, Major Projects and Manufacturing, David Hodgett, was elected as the Deputy Leader. Both Matthew Guy and David Hodgett were first elected to the Parliament in 2006.
It is anticipated the shadow ministry will be announced next week.