Victoria’s re-elected Premier Daniel Andrews announced his new cabinet, which will feature 50 per cent women. One name is missing from the ministry, though; that of Philip Dalidakis. The Greek MP had been serving as Minister for Trade and Investment, Minister for Innovation and the Digital Economy and Minister for Small Business, but now he joins former minister for women Natalie Hutchins and former minister for Tourism, Sport and Veterans John Eren who bothe announced their departure on Monday.
“I am deeply grateful to Philip Dalidakis for the work he has done,” the Premier said.
“Philip has a very bright future and I think he will have opportunities to contribute in the future,” he added.
The former Minister is expected to remain in Parliament as a Labor member for the southern metropolitan region and has been appointed chairman of the Public Accounts and Estimates Committee.
Dalidakis was appointed minister as a replacement for Adem Somyurek, a factional powerbroker who was booted from cabinet in 2015 due to bullying allegations by his then chief of staff, Dimity Paul. Mr Somyurek is now returning to the frontbench, altough it is not clear in which ministry he will serve, as the government has delayed announcing ministers’ portfolios until later in the week.
The new additions to the Andrews Labor government include Northern Victorian MP Jaclyn Symes who has yet to be confirmed as winning the fifth spot in her Upper House region. She joins Dandenong MP Gabrielle Williams and elected Williamstown MP Melissa Horne as female MPs joining Cabinet for the first time. Their presence raises the number of women in the cabinet to 11, that is equal to the male ministers.
In his announcement, the Premier said having an equal number of men and women in Cabinet was an historic move.
“Today my colleagues have delivered something that has never been achieved in the history of our state – 50 per cent of cabinet are women,” he said.
“There is an equality of gender in our state’s most important decision-making body,” he stressed.