Media Release

06 February 2015

Guy: Shadow Parliamentary Secretaries

Friday 6 February 2015




Today I have made several appointments as Shadow Parliamentary Secretaries and Chairs of a new, streamlined Coalition Policy Group Committee structure.

These appointments reflect the new ideas, fresh thinking and energy and hunger we need to be successful in 2018.

Two Parliamentary Secretary appointments – Margaret Fitzherbert and Tim Smith – are first-term Members of Parliament.

A former Chair of the Royal Women’s Hospital, Margaret Fitzherbert has significant experience in the delivery of health services and policy. Margaret has accepted the position of Shadow Parliamentary Secretary for Women’s Health and also has responsibility for the Rural and Regional Health portfolio.

Tim Smith will bring new ideas as well as his considerable energy to the role of Shadow Parliamentary Secretary to the Leader, in addition to responsibility for population policy and housing affordability.

Cindy McLeish has accepted the position of Shadow Parliamentary Secretary for Communities and Volunteers and her contribution will help shape the way the Coalition improves its community engagement as well as recognising the important role that volunteers play throughout Victoria.

Bernie Finn is passionate about many issues but none more than children with autism spectrum disorders and supporting them and their families. I am therefore very pleased that Bernie has agreed to help me in this important policy area by taking on the role of Shadow Parliamentary Secretary for Autism Spectrum Disorder. Bernie is also responsible for the portfolio areas of Electoral Integrity and Melbourne’s West.

Daniel Andrews is already threatening to put a billion dollar hole in the budget which will put enormous pressure on the Victorian economy and the job market. The Coalition will be focussed on not letting Labor destroy the good economic conditions it inherited. Neil Angus will take on the position of Shadow Parliamentary Secretary to the Shadow Treasurer and his extensive experience in audit and investigations will be invaluable in this important role supporting Michael O’Brien.

Tim McCurdy is a great advocate for regional Victoria and is taking on the job of Shadow Parliamentary Secretary for Country Schools as well as the portfolio area of Recreation policy.

Michael Gidley is appointed to the position of Shadow Parliamentary Secretary for Cost of Living, Red Tape Reduction and Business Costs and his experience and interest in these policy areas will mean the development of policies which are practical and relevant to Victorians.

Simon Ramsay is another champion for regional Victoria and I am delighted he is the new Shadow Parliamentary Secretary for Rural and Regional Transport. Labor has made some big election promises in this policy area and Simon will be ensuring that Daniel Andrews doesn’t walk away from these commitments as well as developing our policies in this area.

The Coalition Policy Group Committee structure will also be significantly reformed by a major streamlining into four key policy groups. These Policy Group Committee Chairs will have key responsibility for the policy coordination of the Coalition’s approach to the business of government in four broad areas:

  1. Gary Blackwood will chair the Infrastructure, Environment and Population Committee;
  1. Emma Kealy will chair the Social Capital Committee;
  1. Dee Ryall will chair the Integrity, Budget and Treasury Committee; and
  1. Graham Watt will chair the Jobs and Business Committee.

The four Policy Group Committees will work to bring about new and innovative policy for the Coalition’s 2018 election platform and will be a valuable assistance to the Shadow Ministry.

The leadership of these Policy Group Committees and the policy contributions of its membership will be integral to the success of the Coalition’s preparation for the 2018 election and I look forward to working closely with my colleagues to develop and align our policies with Coalition values.