Planning minister moved on in Andrews’ slightly tweaked cabinet

Premier Daniel Andrews has shaken up the cabinet at the start of his third term, with former planning minister Lizzie Blandthorn stripped of her portfolio due to potential conflict-of-interest issues with her lobbyist brother.

Victoria will get its first female Muslim minister in St Albans MP Natalie Suleyman.

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews has unveiled the make-up of his new cabinet. Credit:Luis Enrique Ascui

Most ministers retain the portfolios that were announced during a major reshuffle six months ago, but Andrews was forced into making several changes following the resignation of one minister just before caretaker mode and Blandthorn’s move from the lower to the upper house.

Blandthorn, who only joined cabinet six months ago, will be elevated to the senior ministry. She’s been appointed deputy leader of the government in the Legislative Council, and hold the portfolios of disability, ageing and carers, as well as child protection and family.

In July, she recused herself from any project involving her brother, John-Paul Blandthorn, a director of Labor-linked lobbying firm Hawker Britton, to avoid a conflict of interest with his construction and development clients.

Health Minister Mary-Anne Thomas will become leader of the house after Blandthorn vacated her lower house seat of Pascoe Vale to move to a safer seat in the Legislative Council.

Other changes include moving Colin Brooks into housing and multicultural affairs, while Lily D’Ambrosio takes on climate action, energy and resources, and delivering on the government’s State Electricity Commission promise. Her environment responsibilities have been moved to Ingrid Stitt.

Newly appointed minister Enver Erdogan will become responsible for corrections, youth justice and victim support, while Sonya Kilkenny takes on planning and outdoor recreation. Thomas will retain health, but take on health infrastructure and medical research, while Gabrielle Williams will add ambulance services to her portfolio.

Natalie Suleyman, who will become Victoria’s first female Muslim minister, will hold the portfolios of veterans, small business and youth. Gayle Tierney will add agriculture to her existing responsibilities.

Senior minister Ben Carroll will take on the portfolios of industry and innovation, manufacturing sovereignty and employment, and retain his existing role as public transport minister.

Melissa Horne adds roads and road safety to her responsibilities.

Harriet Shing, who is minister for water, regional development, Commonwealth Games Legacy and equality, will not be sworn in until counting in the Legislative Council finishes. According to the latest count on the ABC website, Shing is on track to retain her upper house.

The premier will have responsibility for her portfolios until the count is finalised.

Shaun Leane, who was dumped from cabinet due to factional reasons, will become president of the upper house.

“This strong, united team will not waste a moment as we get on with bringing back the SEC, delivering free kinder for every child, 50 government owned childcare centres, and building the hospitals, schools, road and rail Victorians need – all while creating thousands of jobs,” the government said in a statement.

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