The newly elected State Member for Williamstown Melissa Horne has joined Cabinet as Minister for Public Transport and Ports and Freight, with the assignment of multiple portfolios providing a new ‘Minister of many’ for the Andrews Labor Government.
Minister Horne joins a history making line-up of ministers, as it will be first time in the state’s history that half the Victorian Cabinet will be women, and 50 percent of the lead Ministers of Government departments will be women.
The Minister of many will work alongside Jacinta Allan who remains in Cabinet and becomes Minister for Transport Infrastructure, leading an all-female transport team with Jaala Pulford as Minister for Roads, Road Safety and TAC, and Minister for Fishing and Boating.
The changes mean that Minister Allan takes on the responsibility for all major transport infrastructure projects including the Level Crossing Removal Program, North East Link, West Gate Tunnel, Metro Tunnel and Suburban Rail Loop.
In addition to Cabinet changes, the Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources will transition to two new departments – the Department of Transport (DOT) and the Department of Jobs, Precincts and Regions (DJPR) from January 1, 2019.
Speaking on the announcement, Federal Member for Gellibrand Tim Watts said Minister Horne joins a strong, progressive, and united team that will deliver for our local community and for all Victorians.
“Congratulations to the new Member for Williamstown, Melissa Horne on her appointment as Minister for Public Transport and Ports and Freight. Amazing recognition of a great new talent representing us in the Parliament. I know she will do our community proud,” he said.
In other changes, Jill Hennessy remains in Cabinet and has been appointed as Labor’s first female Attorney General. As first law officer of Victoria, she will oversee implementation of what is being touted as ‘Australia’s toughest bail laws.’
To replace Minister Hennessy in her previous portfolios, Jenny Mikakos has been appointed Minister for Health and Minister for Ambulance Services, taking on the responsibility of delivering the state’s hospital building program.