Victorian Labor caucus endorses Jacinta Allan as deputy prime minister after mass ministerial resignations

The Victorian government has unveiled the front bench needed for November’s state elections following the exodus of four senior ministers on Friday.

Transport Infrastructure Minister Jacinta Allan will serve as Deputy Prime Minister and become the second female deputy in Victorian history.

Prime Minister Daniel Andrews said the caucus had voted unanimously to support Ms Allan, who is from the same socialist left-wing faction.

Colin Brooks, Sonya Kilkenny, Lizzie Blandthorn, Steve Dimopoulos and Harriet Shing have been promoted to ministerial positions in the new cabinet.

On Friday, Deputy Prime Minister and Education Minister James Merlino, Health Secretary Martin Foley, Police Secretary Lisa Neville and Tourism Secretary Martin Pakula announced that they would not contest the November election and chose to step down from their portfolios. .

They joined up with Planning and Housing Secretary Richard Wynne, who announced his resignation last year.

The state Labor Caucus met on Saturday morning to vote on the replacement of the five ministers, who each held a number of key portfolios.

After testing positive for COVID-19 on Saturday morning, the outgoing Ms. Neville was not present, saying on social media that it was “not the way I would have liked my last days on the job to be spent”.

The five new ministers will be sworn in on Monday, Andrews said.

Their specific roles are yet to be confirmed and some factions are expected to take place ahead of Monday’s official ceremonies.

On Friday, current ministers Mary-Anne Thomas, Lily D’Ambrosio, Danny Pearson, Ben Carroll and Natalie Hutchins were announced as the new coordinating ministers for the health, environment, housing, jobs and education portfolios.

The coordinating ministerial positions are hand-picked by the Prime Minister and are generally the highest-ranking minister, while other MPs take on smaller portfolios.

Specific portfolio appointments and the role of Deputy Prime Minister are chosen by the wider caucus.

On Friday, it was confirmed that Ms Thomas, who currently holds the agricultural portfolio, will become Health Minister, while Corrections Minister Natalie Hutchins will take over education.

Allan continues history-making turnout

Ms. Allan, 48, will be the second woman since Joan Kirner to fill the deputy role.

The MP for Bendigo East became the youngest female Victorian MP when she was elected in 1999 at the age of 25, and the youngest minister in state history in 2002.

As Minister of Transport Infrastructure, she has donned a helmet to become one of the faces of the state government’s landmark projects to remove level crossings and boost public transport.

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