Victorian ministers confirm they are withdrawing from the Andrews government ahead of the November election

Written by Javed Iqbal

Four Victorian government ministers have announced their resignations and are stepping down from their portfolios ahead of the November state elections.

Deputy Prime Minister James Merlino will step down from the front bench and leave his roles as Minister of Education and Minister of Mental Health.

Merlino said he would not contest the seat of Monbulk in the November election, ending a 20-year term in parliament.

Health Minister Martin Foley, who guided Victoria through much of the COVID-19 pandemic, announced he would not contest his seat in Albert Park at the election.

Police Minister Lisa Neville mentioned health concerns about her resignation, and announced that she intends to resign from politics as she deals with Crohn’s disease.

Sports Minister Martin Pakula also announced his resignation, ending a 16-year career as a member of the Western Metropolitan, Lyndhurst and Keysborough.

The four outgoing ministers join Minister of Planning and Housing Richard Wynne, who announced last year that he would not contest his seat in the next election.

A cabinet reshuffle is expected in the coming days, with Speaker Colin Brooks, Sonya Kilkenny and Lizzie Blandthorn already suggested as possible replacements.

The group joins the long list of ministers who have left the ministry since the Andrews government’s re-election in 2018, including Jill Hennessy, former health minister Jenny Mikakos, Gavin Jennings, Adem Somyurek, Marlene Kairouz, Luke Donnellan and Robin Scott.

More on the way.

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Javed Iqbal

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