Victoria’s transformed front bench sworn in after Labour’s major pre-election shake-up

The transformed Victorian government’s front bench has been officially sworn in as the dust continues to settle on news that four senior ministers would resign and leave politics.

With the familiar faces of Prime Minister Daniel Andrews and new Deputy Prime Minister Jacinta Allan at the helm, Colin Brooks, Sonya Kilkenny, Lizzie Blandthorn, Steve Dimopoulos and Harriet Shing are MPs taking on ministerial duties for the first time.

The major changes in the party’s leadership come months after the November state election, when the Victorian Labor Party will compete for a third term in office.

Mr Brooks’ portfolio will include child protection as well as disability and aging, Ms Kilkenny will provide corrections and juvenile justice, Ms Blandthorn will be responsible for planning, Mr Dimopoulos will manage tourism, sport and creative industries and the portfolio of Ms. Shing will cover water , regional development and equality.

Ms Kilkenny could not be sworn in due to COVID-19 isolation. That will now happen at a later date.

Existing ministers who have received a substantial boost in their responsibilities under the reshuffle include new Health Secretary Mary-Anne Thomas, Natalie Hutchins, who will take on the education and women’s portfolios, and Danny Pearson, who will fulfill his housing responsibilities. will add.

Ms Allan said she was “humbled and proud” to take on her new role after being voted in on Saturday.

She said the new cabinet formation would strengthen the government in the run-up to the election.

“I was unanimously supported by my colleagues,” she told ABC Central’s Victoria’s Breakfast radio program.

“I was the only candidate for the vacancy. But this is also about bringing forward a very strong team.”

She said it was “not lost” that she was one of the first women and also people from the Victoria region in the Deputy Prime Minister.

There are now 14 female pastors in Victoria.

A group photo of all the Victorian Labor Ministers standing together in Government House.
The new Labor Department was sworn in at Government House this afternoon.Delivered: Seven News/Sharnell Vella

Meanwhile, the opposition has taken last week’s news of the departure of former Deputy Prime Minister James Merlino, Health Secretary Martin Foley, Police Secretary Lisa Neville and Sports Secretary Martin Pakula as a sign of instability.

Shadow Health Minister Georgie Crozier pointed out that there had been four health ministers within four years when Mrs Thomas was in charge of health.

The four outgoing ministers join a string of senior Labor MPs who have stepped down since the 2018 elections, including Jill Hennessy, Jenny Mikakos, Adem Somyurek and Marlene Kairouz.

First openly gay ministers in new cohort

Among those new to ministerial responsibilities is Mr Brooks, who was elected to Bundoora in 2006 and who has been the Speaker of the Legislative Assembly since March 2017.

Before entering politics through local government, he worked as an electrician in the 1980s and 1990s.

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