Four ministers resign from cabinet, new line-up announced

Premier Daniel Andrews has thanked the outgoing ministers and is now facing a significant Cabinet reshuffle. Picture: ON FILE

Several senior Victorian Government ministers have announced they are resigning from their positions in Cabinet effective immediately, with the new cabinet featuring more women than any other state government in Australia.

Deputy Premier of Victoria, Minister for Education and Minister for Mental Health James Merlino, Minister for Health, Ambulance Services and Equality Martin Foley, Minister for Police and Water Lisa Neville and Minister for Industry Support and Recovery, Trade, Business Precincts, Sport, Tourism and Major Events and Racing Martin Pakula are the resigning members.

On Saturday 25 June, Jacinta Allen was announced as the new Deputy Premier, replacing Mr Merlino in the cabinet.

Pascoe Vale MP Lizz Blandthorn became the Minister for Planning, Bundoora MP Colin Brooks is the Minister for Child Protection and Family Services and Minister for Disability, Ageing and Carers, Oakleigh MP Steve Dimopoulos was announced as the new Minister for Tourism, Sport and Major Events and Carrum MP Sonya Kilkenny will be Minister for Corrections, Minister for Youth Justice, Minister for Victim Support and Minister for Fishing and Boating.

Eastern Victoria MP Harriet Shing was announced as the new Minister for Water, Minister for Region Development and Minister for Equality.

Mr Pakula said a decade in the Ministry has taught him that a government with big ambitions for the state, its people and its future is something to be cherished.

“It’s certainly not something I have ever taken for granted, and if the rest of my working life is half as rewarding as this chapter has been, I will consider myself truly fortunate,” he said.

“Thank you and farewell.”

The announcement of the new Cabinet team next week will mark the replacement of the outgoing ministers.

Mr Foley said the past two years have been a tough time for all Victorians.

“Many of us have come to reflect on what we aspire to achieve. I am no different. I am looking forward to contributing to a better, fairer, sustainable Victoria in a different capacity,” he said.

“One that allows me more time to focus on my family and wellbeing and different interests.”

Minister for Planning and Housing Richard Wynne also announced his retirement from politics as of the November election in late 2021.

Ms Neville said she is not finished with public service.

“While it is no longer sustainable from a health perspective for me to commit to being Minister and local member for the next term, I am not finished with public service and look forward to finding other ways to continue to contribute to public life after the election in November,” she said.

Ms Neville was hospitalised after a long-running fight with Crohn’s disease, which was a contributing factor to her retirement.