Philip Dalidakis has been appointed Victoria’s Small Business Minister replacing Adem Somyurek who was forced to resign over bullying allegations.

The new minister told reporters he believed his private sector background will help him develop the state’s small businesses.

The first-time upper house MP defeated the long-serving Shaun Leane and another first time MP, Jaclyn Symes, to win the support of Mr Somyurek’s faction to take the job.

“I have a commercial and finance background, I’ve run my own small business, I’ve worked in the private sector,” Mr Dalidakis said.

“I’d like to think that those experiences, plus the experiences I’ve had in public policy settings over the past 10 years, will hold me in good stead.”

Premier Daniel Andrews said Mr Dalidakis had a wealth of experience despite only being elected to Parliament in November.

“I think it’s good to have a balance in the cabinet of perhaps some younger people, some people who haven’t been in parliament as long as I have been,” said Mr Andrews.

After the Victorian ALP caucus confirmed the appointment, Mr Somyurek said Mr Dalidakis would be a great minister with “fantastic skills”.

Mr Dalidakis is a former staffer for Federal Labor MP Stephen Conroy, and previous to his career in politics was chief executive of the Victorian Association for Forest Industries.

Read Neos Kosmos’ recent profile of Phillip Dalidakis here: