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Victoria appoints new Minister for Housing following reshuffle

The Andrews government has rejigged its cabinet and several senior ministers, including housing, following a swathe of resignations.

Last week, several senior ministers announced that they would retire from the ministry and, at the end of the year, from the Parliament. 

The resignations included:

  • James Merlino (Deputy PremierMinister for Education, Minister for Mental Health and Member for Monbulk)
  • Martin Foley (Minister for Health, Minister for Ambulance Services, Minister for Equality and Member for Albert Park)
  • Lisa Neville (Minister for Police, Minister for Water and Member for Bellarine)
  • Martin Pakula (Minister for Industry Support and Recovery, Minister for Trade, Minister for Business Precincts, Minister for Tourism, Sport and Major Events, Minister for Racing and Member for Keysborough)

These followed on from the news last year that Richard Wynne (Minister for Planning, Minister for Housing and Member for Richmond), would not be seeking re-election at the November 2022 state election.

That announcement, alongside the resignation of a number of senior ministers in recent days, led to the Labor Party’s caucus meeting being called for last Saturday morning (25 June).

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The Victorian state government, led by Dan Andrews’ Labor Party, has now revealed a new ministry, including a new Minister of Housing and a new Minister for Planning.

At that meeting, it was decided that Danny Pearson would become Victoria’s Minister for Housing, in addition to his current responsibilities of Assistant Treasurer, Minister for Government Services and Minister for Regulatory Reform.

The new housing minister will hit the ground running, after the Andrews government promised almost $40 million in reforms and projects in its latest budget to improve housing supply, prices and infrastructure.

Member for Pascoe Vale, Lizzie Blandthorn, is the state’s new Minister for Planning.

Ms Blandthorn takes on the planning portfolio alongside her appointment as leader of the house in the Legislative Assembly.

Sheena Watt takes on the role of parliamentary secretary for housing.

Elsewhere, Melissa Horne has added Minister for Local Government and Minister for Suburban Development to her title, adding to her current responsibilities for Consumer Affairs, Gaming and Liquor Regulation and Ports and Freight.

The new ministers were sworn into their new roles on Monday (27 June).

The reshuffle has also catapulted Jacinta Allan into the spotlight, having been endorsed and standing unopposed as Victoria’s Deputy Premier.

Mr Andrews commented: “These appointments bring the number of women in the Victorian Cabinet to 14 – more than any other Australian jurisdiction – with three of the four parliamentary leadership positions also filled by women.”

[Related: Victoria confirms $40m housing injection] 

Victoria appoints new Minister for Housing following reshuffle
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