News State Victoria News Daniel Andrews gets gender parity in fresh cabinet

Daniel Andrews gets gender parity in fresh cabinet

Premier Daniel Andrews unveiled his new cabinet on Tuesday.
Mr Andrews is joined by ministry additions Jaclyn Symes, Gabrielle Williams, Melissa Horne and Adem Somyurek. Photo: AAP
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The Victorian cabinet will have gender parity for the first time ever, Premier Daniel Andrews revealed days after Labor’s stunning victory.

“Today, my colleagues have delivered something that has never been achieved in the history of our state. Fifty per cent of the cabinet are women,” Mr Andrews announced on Tuesday.

New additions to the ministry include Adem Somyurek, Jaclyn Symes, Gabrielle Williams and Melissa Horne.

It’s a return to cabinet for Mr Somyurek, a factional powerbroker who stood down as trade minister in May 2015 over bullying allegations he denied.

Former ministers John Eren and Natalie Hutchins stepped down from the ministry on Monday to refocus on their families, and former trade minister Philip Dalidakis followed them earlier on Tuesday.

Mr Dalidakis had been Mr Somyurek’s replacement in cabinet in 2015.

The portfolios of the new Labor ministry have not yet been announced.

Former Aboriginal affairs minister Ms Hutchins will be a parliamentary secretary to continue the state’s treaty process, Mr Andrews said.

Ms Horne is entering Parliament for the first time and has been elevated straight to cabinet.

She was most recently working as director of the government’s Level Crossing Removal Authority before putting up her hand for the safe seat of Williamstown.

Meanwhile, the upper house is expected to include a mix of micro parties that handed preferences to one another.

Fiona Patten of the Reason Party will likely lose her seat in the Northern Metropolitan Region.

She had not heard from Mr Andrews about a potential role in government by Tuesday afternoon, after the premier floated the idea on ABC radio.

Ms Patten wouldn’t guarantee she’d have another run at a Victorian election: “Four years is a long time.”

She told The New Daily she has no plans of running in the upcoming federal election.

Seats in doubt

About 10 lower house seats remain on a knife’s edge and will rely on postal and absentee votes and preferences to determine the winner.

Bayswater, Benambra, Brunswick, Hawthorn, Nepean, Morwell, Prahran and Ripon are still up in the air, while the counts in Melbourne and Sandringham remain tight.

The Victorian Electoral Commission (VEC) couldn’t say which would end up needing a recount.

All lower house districts were being re-checked on Tuesday, while absent votes were being transported to their home electorates to be counted on Wednesday.

Preference distributions will occur next Tuesday where no candidate has received an absolute majority of first preferences.

In Bayswater, Labor candidate Jackson Taylor was slightly ahead of Liberal incumbent Heidi Victoria on Tuesday evening.

Mr Taylor was ahead by 165 votes, two-party preferred, when 88.59 per cent of votes in the seat in Melbourne’s southeast had been counted.

Brunswick Greens candidate Tim Read pulled ahead of Labor’s Cindy O’Connor on Tuesday night, getting ahead by 222 votes.

He had been trailing but started gaining ground on Tuesday.

“It’s like watching raindrops creeping down the window,” Dr Read told The New Daily.

In Benambra, Bill Tilley’s handsome margin had been severely dented with young independent Jacqui Hawkins entering the race.

ABC analysis has predicted Mr Tilley to hold on and end up with 51 per cent two-party preferred against Labor candidate Mark Tait.

Hawthorn MP, Shadow Attorney-General John Pesutto, was live on television for the ABC election night panel when he realised he could lose the blue-ribbon seat. The count has since gone back in his favour – just.

Mr Pesutto was ahead of Labor opponent John Ormond Kennedy by 235 votes at the latest count on the VEC website, with 72.01 per cent counted.

Nepean on the Mornington Peninsula saw a huge swing against the Liberals. Candidate Russell Joseph was behind Labor’s Chris Bayne on Tuesday night by 359 votes two-party preferred.

The VEC website had Ripon Liberal MP Louise Staley ahead of Labor by 2010 votes. But ABC election analyst Antony Green put her ahead of Sarah De Santis by just 29.

Prahran is a three-way contest between Greens incumbent Sam Hibbins and Labor and Liberal candidates. Mr Hibbins looks likely to retain the seat.

Ellen Sandell of the Greens is expected to hold on to Melbourne, and the once Nationals now independent Russell Northe incumbent is ahead in Morwell.

Sandringham remains close, with Liberal candidate Brad Rowswell ahead of Labor by 598 votes two-party preferred on the VEC website on Tuesday night.

It remains unclear who will replace Opposition Leader Matthew Guy after the Liberal Party’s embarrassing loss on Saturday night.

Shadow Treasurer Michael O’Brien and Mr Pesutto, who could still narrowly lose Hawthorn, are considered alternatives to Mr Guy.

-with AAP

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