Victoria’s mammoth transport infrastructure pipeline has a new minister at the helm, with Premier Jacinta Allan unveiling her cabinet.
Ms Allan was responsible for transport infrastructure and Suburban Rail Loop portfolios but vacated the roles after she was made premier following Daniel Andrews’ shock resignation last week.
As her first ministry was sworn in at Government House on Monday, she handed the reins to Assistant Treasurer Danny Pearson to oversee the state’s multi-billion dollar construction program.
Deputy Premier Ben Carroll has become minister for education and medical research, declaring he personally picked the education role.
Tim Pallas, who vied for the deputy premier role, stays on as treasurer.
Mr Carroll’s replacement as public transport minister is Gabrielle Williams, while Natalie Hutchins swapped education for jobs and industry, women and returns to the treaty and first peoples portfolio.
Colin Brooks has become minister for Development Victoria, precincts and creative industries.
In a major promotion, Harriet Shing takes over from Mr Brooks as housing minister.
Ms Allan denied it was a demotion for Mr Brooks and said her new-look ministry would have a strong focus on building more homes.
“We’ve got a massive job here,” she told reporters.
“This is the number one issue here in Victoria.”
Lizzie Blandthorn has taken charge of the new portfolio for children, bringing together the work across government on education and the protection system.
Ms Allan said the change signalled a “clear new social policy priority” for the government and would allow it to work more collaboratively to support children and families.
Tourism, Sport and Major Events Minister Steve Dimopoulos becomes environment minister, replacing Ingrid Stitt who is in charge of mental health, aging and multicultural affairs.
Eltham MP Vicki Ward was elevated into cabinet, filling Mr Andrews’ vacant spot, as minister for prevention of family violence and employment.
Health Minister Mary-Anne Thomas adds ambulance services to her responsibilities.
The justice portfolios stay stable with Attorney-General and the government’s upper house leader Jaclyn Symes, Police Minister Anthony Carbines and Corrections Minister Enver Erdogan remaining.
Opposition Leader John Pesutto simultaneously revealed his new shadow ministry, with the shake-up prompted by Matthew Bach stepping down to take a teaching role in the United Kingdom.
Under the reshape, former opposition leader Matthew Guy has been welcomed back to the frontbench as shadow public transport minister.
Opposition finance spokeswoman Jess Wilson will pick up the early childhood and education portfolio from Mr Bach and Evan Mulholland has replaced him as the coalition’s deputy leader in the upper house.
Ms Allan was last week sworn in as Victoria’s second woman leader and the first Labor premier from regional Victoria in almost 100 years. Like Mr Andrews from the party’s left faction, she was officially elected to the position unopposed less than 24 hours after his shock resignation.
The leadership selection could have dragged on for weeks after Mr Carroll threw his hat in the ring for the top job.
It would have forced a vote of rank-and-file members under party rules introduced in response to tensions between former prime ministers Kevin Rudd and Julia Gillard.
Ultimately, Mr Carroll withdrew his nomination and emerged unopposed as deputy premier.
His move to education is a return of the portfolio to the deputy premier, previously held by James Merlino until he stepped down from cabinet before retiring last year.