The family of Victorian Labor MP Jane Garrett has been offered a state funeral to farewell the former emergency services minister who has died from breast cancer at the age of 49.
Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews said the service would be “a fitting way to mark her significant contribution” to the state.
Ms Garrett – an MP since 2010 – was diagnosed with cancer in 2016 and announced late last year she would not stand for re-election in the 2022 state poll.
The member for Brunswick and for Eastern Victoria quit cabinet in 2016 over a controversial firefighters’ union pay deal.
Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews spoke of Ms Garrett’s heartfelt advocacy for working people.
“Jane lived a life of service to the labour movement, to the Labor party, and to our state,” Mr Andrews said in a statement on Saturday.
“On behalf of the Victorian Government and the Parliamentary Labor Party, I offer our deep condolences to Jane’s family, friends and colleagues – and all those who knew and loved her.
“I cannot imagine the grief her family, particularly her three children, must be feeling at this incredibly difficult time — my thoughts are with them.”
Her death on Saturday evening was announced in a statement from her family, who praised her “contagious love of life and people”.
“We are devastated by the passing this afternoon of our beloved mother, sister, daughter, dear friend Jane Garrett, following a long battle with cancer,” the statement said.
“Unfortunately, Jane’s cancer recently returned after some time in remission, and she was admitted to hospital earlier this week.
“We will remember Jane always for her contagious love of life and people; her intense compassion and the drive which made her a very fierce advocate for women and those most disadvantaged.
“Her intellect, wit and generosity are irreplaceable, and her loss leaves a huge hole in the Garrett family.”
She is survived by her husband James and their three children, Molly, aged 19, 15-year-old Sasha, and Max, 10.