Victoria, we have a new Premier

Jacinta Allan has been elected as the new leader of Victorian Labor and will be sworn in as Victoria’s 49th Premier later today.

This makes Ms Allan just the second woman to take Victoria’s top job in 167 years.

The new Premier-elect was elected unanimously, with the current Minister for Public Transport, Ben Carroll, elected as Deputy Premier.

A ministerial shake-up is now expected as the Premier-elect and her new team prepare to reset the Victorian Labor Government up to contest a historic fourth term.

New Premier-elect

Ms Allan has been considered by many to be the Premier-in-waiting since taking the Deputy Premier role last year. However, Ms Allan’s experience and qualifications for the top job extend far beyond the last 12 months.

Ms Allan is the longest-serving female Minister in Victoria, having held multiple Ministerial roles across the Bracks, Brumby, and Andrews Labor Governments since 2002.

Ms Allan will also become one of a select few Victorian leaders from all sides of politics to reside outside of metropolitan Melbourne.

The issues

Until now, the Premier-elect had been tasked with overseeing the Labor Government’s signature $80 billion pipeline of transport and infrastructure ‘Big Build’ projects.

This includes the Metro Tunnel, the popular Level Crossing Removal Project, the more contentious Suburban Rail Loop Project, and major road projects, including the North East Link and West Gate Tunnel project.

Many of the large projects overseen by Ms Allan are now the subject of significant delays due to budget constraints, with Victoria facing $171.4 billion worth of net debt by 2026 (more than the projected net debt of NSW, QLD and TAS combined) together with construction blowouts linked to supply chain pressures and labour shortages.

Another issue for the Premier-elect is that despite her longevity in government, she remains relatively unknown to the broader Victorian public.

Daniel Andrews was a household name due to his prominent national role in the COVID-19 pandemic but also because of his large social media following. With over one million followers on Facebook alone, the outgoing Premier was able to bypass traditional media.

Comparatively, Ms Allan has 11,000 followers on Facebook and will need to rely more heavily on traditional media to deliver the government’s messages.

Style of governance

As Premier, Jacinta Allan will be encouraged by her colleagues to run a more traditional style of consensus Cabinet government than that of her predecessor.

Premier Allan will likely be open and receptive to new ideas and suggestions, but we don’t anticipate a deviation from the core, traditional state government policy grid of issues, like jobs, health, education, and infrastructure, which have delivered electoral success for the Victorian Labor Government.

What’s next

Following the swearing-in of the new Premier, a shake-up of the Ministry is expected to reset the Victorian Labor Government and position it to contest a historic fourth term.

One new face in the Ministry will be Vicki Ward MP. The State Member for Eltham will enter the Ministry following the vacancy created by the resignation of Daniel Andrews. Ward has been the Parliamentary Secretary for Transport since 2020.

SEC Newgate will provide a further update on the new look Allan Labor Ministry once more details are known. For more information on what this means for you and your organisation, contact:

Andrew Anson, Associate Partner – [email protected]

Brenton Baldwin, Account Director – [email protected]

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