New Premier signals new leadership style

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Victoria’s new Premier Jacinta Allan yesterday announced a raft of changes to ministerial portfolio responsibilities following her appointment to the state’s top job last week.

Ms Allan replaces Daniel Andrew as Premier after announcing his resignation last Tuesday, effective 5pm the following day.

Mr Andrews stepped down as Premier after nine years in the role, describing it as the ‘honour and privilege’ of his life.

Stepping up from her role as deputy premier, Ms Allan was first elected as the Member for Bendigo East in 1999, and has most recently served as Minister for Transport Infrastructure, Suburban Rail Loop, and Commonwealth Games Delivery.

The Bendigo-based mother of two is the second woman to serve as Premier of Victoria.

Ms Allan said it was an honour and privilege to be sworn in as Premier of Victoria, and pledged to work hard every day for Victoria.

“Twenty-four years ago when I walked into [Parliament] as a much younger woman from regional Victoria, I never expected to have this length of service or indeed the honour and privilege of serving the Victorian community in various ministerial roles,” she said.

“I will have more to say about policy priorities over coming days and weeks. There’s a lot to do and I intend to hit the ground running.

“Over time, the Victorian community will see me bring a very different [leadership] style – one that is built on the … values of hard work, equality and opportunity, supporting working familes, supporting our beautiful natural environment.”

Elected as the deputy premier is Ben Carroll, who is also the new Minister for Education, as well as Minister for Medical Research.

Tim Pallas will remain as Treasurer and Minister for Industrial Relations, and will also take on an expanded role as Minister for Economic Growth.

Sonya Kilkenny will retain her responsibilities as Minister for Planning and also become Minister for the Suburbs.

Among the changes, Member for Macedon Mary-Anne Thomas will add the Ambulance Services portfolio to her responsibilities as Minister for Health and Minister for Health Infrastructure. She will continue to serve as Leader of the House.

Member for Kalkallo Ros Spence will become Minister for Agriculture and Minister for Carers and Volunteers, as well as retaining her responsibilities as Minister for Community Sport.

Member for Northern Victoria Jaclyn Symes remains as Attorney General and Leader of the Government in the Legislative Council, and Member for Mill Park Lily D’Ambrosio continues as Minister for Climate Action, Minister for Energy and Resources and Minister for the State Electricity Commission.

Ms Thomas said Ms Allan was a long-standing colleague and friend.

“I am so proud to have a regional woman as our new Premier,” she said.

“Jacinta will bring her years of experience working with people across the state to her new role and I look forward to working with her in the new Allan Labor Government.”

Ms Symes said was ‘elated’ that her good friend and fellow regional MP had become the 49th Premier.

“Jacinta Allan is incredibly hard-working, smart and will bring a leadership style that Victorians will see is not at all about herself but about them,” she said.

“I’m honoured to continue in my roles in a new vibrant Allan government.”

Nationals Member for Euroa Annabelle Cleeland acknowledged Mr Andrews for serving in the tough job as the Premier, and wished him and his family well for the future.

“But this marks the end of a leader that abandoned regional Victoria and has left the rest of us to pick up the pieces of a state he has devastated,” she said.

“Daniel Andrews spent his nine years taking out loans in the names of our children and has now left them to pay it – that is his legacy.”