Wednesday 17 December 2014
The shadow cabinet we are announcing today signals a new era for the Liberal National Coalition.
This shadow cabinet includes people with new ideas, fresh thinking and the energy and hunger to win government in 2018.
Fresh faces to the Coalition frontbench include two of our newest Members of Parliament, Steph Ryan and John Pesutto.
Deputy National Party Leader, Steph Ryan, brings both youth and experience to the Coalition team. Creating new job opportunities for Victorians is one of the most important issues for the new Parliament. Steph’s appointment to the Training, Skills and Apprenticeships portfolio reflects the significance of this policy area to the Coalition. Steph will also be responsible for the Young Victorians portfolio.
John Pesutto also brings enormous practical and political experience to the Coalition team and he will serve as Shadow Attorney General. Neale Burgess will also join the frontbench as Shadow Minister for Small and Medium Enterprises.
Georgie Crozier, Tim Bull, Brad Battin, Russell Northe, David Morris, David Southwick and Craig Ondarchie have all been part of the regeneration of the Coalition in recent years and their new appointments reflect their drive and experience.
Georgie Crozier’s work in the last Parliament has been recognised by her appointment to Shadow Minister for Families and Children, Prevention of Family Violence and Women. Georgie will also serve as Shadow Cabinet Secretary.
Tim Bull is the Shadow Minister for Disability, Mental Health, Senior Victorians, Housing and Racing. Tim is joined by other new, proven performers, Brad Battin (Environment and Emergency Services), David Morris (Finance), David Southwick (Innovation, Energy & Resources and Renewables) and Craig Ondarchie (Investment & Jobs and Trade). Russell Northe is the Shadow Minister for Consumer Affairs, Liquor and Gaming Regulation.
This introduction and promotion of fresh talent to Coalition frontbench ranks is complemented by the appointment of a number of experienced parliamentarians who are focused on putting Victoria first.
Deputy Liberal Leader, David Hodgett has the shadow portfolios of Public Transport and Ports. Premier Daniel Andrews is already walking away from his promise to build the Metro Rail Tunnel even though just weeks ago he assured Victorians that all of his election promises were fully funded and costed. Now, his Government is handballing their commitment to the Commonwealth Government.
Liberal Leader in the Legislative Council, Mary Wooldridge, takes on the key shadow ministry of Health.
As the National Party Leader in the Legislative Council, Damian Drum is a formidable advocate for regional and rural Victoria. As Shadow Minister for Regional Development, Sport and Veterans, Damian will continue to focus on policies that will make Victoria one of the greatest food export regions in the world.
Michael O’Brien will serve as Shadow Treasurer. The contrast between Michael O’Brien and Treasurer Tim Pallas will be one of the greatest in Parliament. As Treasurer, Michael turned around the economic fortunes of Victoria. His legacy to Victoria is a strong economy after the years of waste and mismanagement under the former Labor Government.
Deputy Liberal Leader in the Legislative Council, Gordon Rich-Phillips will serve as Shadow Assistant Treasurer, continuing his partnership with Michael O’Brien. Gordon will also be Shadow Special Minister of State.
David Davis, will bring his forensic attention to detail to the important Planning portfolio as well as working as Shadow Minister for Local Government and Equality.
Despite having no major infrastructure project to relieve traffic congestion in Melbourne, Daniel Andrews and Labor have made some very ambitious promises on roads including the removal of 50 level crossings. As Shadow Minister for Roads & Infrastructure and Industry, Ryan Smith will be relentless in holding his counterpart to account for these election promises as well as having responsibility for drafting and articulating the Coalition’s plan to relieve traffic congestion.
Nick Wakeling will serve in the key role of Shadow Minister for Education. Daniel Andrews has made some big promises in education and Nick will ensure Victorian families are well represented in Parliament in this portfolio.
Heidi Victoria will act in the role of Shadow Minister for Tourism & Major Events, Arts & Culture and Aboriginal Affairs. Robert Clark is one of the most experienced and respected Members of Parliament and he will be Shadow Minister for Industrial Relations and Manager of Opposition Business. He will be highlighting how Labor’s green light to the union movement is damaging Victoria.
Edward O’Donohue is appointed to Shadow Minister for Police, Community Safety and Corrections. Inga Peulich will be responsible for Scrutiny of Government and Shadow Minister for Multicultural Affairs.
We pay tribute to Denis Napthine, Peter Ryan and Louise Asher for their leadership. They have been great servants of Victoria and their legacy will be that of strong economic management and substantive policy reform. As returning members of significant standing, they will continue to provide thoughtful advice and insights to their Coalition colleagues.
We also acknowledge Wendy Lovell, Martin Dixon, Terry Mulder and Kim Wells for the tremendous service they have provided to the Coalition as frontbenchers. They should all be proud of their achievements as ministers and for the service they provided the Victorian community.
The size of this shadow cabinet of 24, including the position of Shadow Cabinet Secretary, is just one more than Labor’s line-up including Cabinet Secretary.
During the four years ahead our shadow cabinet team will be making the case for why Victorians should place their trust in us.
This is a new generation of Coalition frontbenchers that will work tirelessly to promote Coalition values as well as dedicating themselves to the task of winning government in 2018.